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.
*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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When you eat it, unwrap the leaf, but it is OK to eat the leaf that is left on the cake.