Food Forum
Vol. 27 No. 3  October 2013




The dough for oyaki dumplings is easily made by hand, with no need for tools such as a rolling pin. This recipe uses a trio of complementary fermented foods for the seasoning—miso, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar—which, with the basil, give this Japanese snack a Western flair.


Japanese eggplantJapanese eggplant
Makes 10 dumplings

155 kcal  Protein 4.4 g  Fat 3.3 g (per dumpling)

Oyaki dough
  • 150 g (5.3 oz.) cake flour*
  • 120 g (4.2 oz.) bread flour*
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t vegetable oil
  • 2/3 C (160 ml) water or more
Seasoned filling
  • 3-4 Japanese eggplants, stems removed, total 300 g (10 oz.)**
  • 2 T Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 T shinshu (Nagano) miso
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1 t granulated sugar
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar, microwave 40 seconds at 600 watts until slightly thickened
  • 1/4 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped 55-60 g (2 oz.)
  • 1 T and more vegetable oil
  • 10 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6-7 shelled walnuts, finely chopped, 10 g (.35 oz.)


  1. To make oyaki dough, in a bowl stir together the cake flour, bread flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. Drizzle in the vegetable oil, then pour in water a little at a time; knead until the mixture is the consistency of bread dough: not too stiff and so that it just clings a bit to the bowl. Adjust by adding water as necessary. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and set aside for 30 minutes in a bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  3. For the filling, cut eggplants lengthwise and then into 5 mm (1/4 in.) slices. Soak in water for about 15 minutes, then drain.
  4. Mix the soy sauce, miso, honey, sugar and simmered balsamic vinegar, then set aside.
  5. Heat 1 T vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions until transparent, then add drained egg-plants and stir until slightly wilted. Add basil leaves. Lower the heat slightly, add the seasoning mixture and stir to avoid scorching until the liquid is almost evaporated. Turn off the heat, add walnuts and allow to cool.
  6. Divide both the dough and the filling into 10 portions. Flour palms, take one piece of dough and form a ball. Stretch the dough into a 10 cm / 4 in. circle, place one portion of the filling in the center, bring edges together, press to seal (see photos).
  7. Immediately place oyaki sealed side down in a non-stick frying pan over low heat and lightly brown both sides. Alternate between making dumplings and browning them until all dumplings are done.
  8. Steam all grilled dumplings together for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

* As an alternative to cake and bread flour, a total of 270 g (about 2 1/4 C) sifted all-purpose flour may be substituted.
** If using large eggplants, cut lengthwise into quarters then slice into 5 mm (1/4 in.) pieces.

Note: For accurate measurements, please weigh all ingredients.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml