In Japan, there is a traditional food called ‘Oyaki’. ‘Oyaki’ is a sort of dumpling made with dough wrapped around a stuffing and cooked on a pan. ‘Kenbikiyaki’ is similar to ‘Oyaki’, but it is wrapped in Myōga Leaf and the filling is always Sweet Azuki Paste. It is a traditional food in Okayama region where I grew up, and my mother used to make it quite often. Myōga’s flower buds are popular food in Japan, but leaves can be used in this way.

I wanted to have this recipe on my website. To do that, I had to cook it to take a photo, and I did need Myōga leaves to cook it, but it was impossible to find Myōga where I live. Then I decided to grow Myōga and bought a young Myōga plant from an online store. Australian extreme heat nearly killed it, but it has recovered from some saved roots. Today I finally made ‘Kenbikiyaki’ and this made me extremely nostalgic.


4 Pieces
*Note: I made 4 pieces because I had only 4 leaves. You can make as many as you want.


80g Plain Flour *20g per piece
1 pinch Salt
100ml Boiling Water *25ml per piece
4 heaped-tablespoons Sweet Azuki Paste *Tsubu-an OR Koshi-an
4 Myōga Leaves *washed and trimmed into the right size if too large
*Note: You can cook ‘Kenbikiyaki’ without Myōga Leaves, just like this ‘Oyaki’
Oil for cooking

  1. Wash Myōga leaves and trim into the right size if too large. Roll Sweet Azuki Paste into balls, so that it would be easy to wrap.
  2. Place Flour and Salt in a bowl, mix to blend, add Boiling Water, and stir to form a soft dough. *Note: Chopsticks are the best tool to stir.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 even portions. Wet your hands with water because the dough is sticky, flatten each portion into a thin round on your hand, place a ball of Sweet Azuki Paste in centre, wrap with the dough, flatten slightly, then wrap with a Myōga leaf.
  4. Heat a frying pan over medium low heat, thinly oil it, cook until nicely browned on both sides and dough is cooked. Covering with a lid would help the cooking process. *Today I cook each side for about 5 minutes.
  5. When you eat it, unwrap the leaf, but it is OK to eat the leaf that is left on the cake.