Oyaki are delicious little fried filled parcels, usually with a buckwheat outer shell but can be made with pretty much anything that you can form into a dough, in this case leftover mashed potato. The filling of these oyaki is an attempt to recreate the flavours of some that we bought from a street vendor outside the Hachiman shrine in Tomioka, Tokyo- a mixture of chopped pork and prawns, similar to what you’d find inside everyone’s favourite little dumplings, gyoza.
- Approximately 2 cups of cold mashed potato
- 4 tablespoons potato starch
- 100g Chinese (napa) cabbage
- 100g raw, shelled prawns
- 150g minced pork
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 finely chopped spring onion
- 12 stalks of chives, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Finely chop the cabbage and then mix with the salt in a bowl. Leave this for 10 minutes to extract the excess water from the cabbage. After the 10 minutes has passed put the cabbage into a clean cloth and squeeze over the sink to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Finely chop the prawns and thoroughly combine with the pork mince in a bowl. Now add the cabbage, spring onion, chives (reserving half a teaspoon of chives for the dipping sauce), ginger and sake, then mix together to complete the oyaki’s filling.
- To make the outer dough simply knead the potato starch into the mashed potato until it reaches a firm but workable consistency- if it’s too sticky add a bit more starch. It should make a dough similar to Italian gnocchi.
- Divide the potato dough into eight balls (if you want to be overly precise like us, use some scales to do this- ours were 67.5g each).
- Flatten a ball in your hand until it is approximately 4″ across, and then add a heaped teaspoon of filling. Close the sides of the dough around the meat and shape into a neat patty. Add no more than this much filling or your oyaki won’t seal properly.
- Repeat this until you have 8 perfectly formed patties, each one around 3″ in diameter.
- Heat up about two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and put in four oyaki. Fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Leave the first four in a warm place while you fry the second batch.
- While waiting for the oyaki to fry you can make the dipping sauce. Mix the soy, vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl and season with the chives and chilli.
These oyaki are best eaten hot while the outer shells have a mochi-like chewy texture, or at room temperature. Don’t be tempted to eat them after they have been refrigerated as the casing dries out too much.
Serves 4 people, makes 8 oyaki.