This type of “Oyaki” is popular in the certain region called “Shinshu” in Japan which is in the middle of the main land.
Remember the Nagano Winter Olympics?
Nagano is in the Shinshu region.
This Oyaki has a chewy kind of texture.
The ingredients are extremely simple (flour, salt, water), yet, super tasty.
For the filling, you can use really anything, from sweet to savory.
This time I decided to go with one of the popular fillings, sweet beans.
Traditionally, sweet beans in Japan are made with Azuki beans (also called red beans).
You cook them with sugar over hours.
I have done that myself even here in the U.S., but often times I don’t have the time or motivation for spending that much time in the kitchen.
I used to buy prepared sweet beans from local Asian grocery stores, but recently I’ve found out that the two stores I frequent have both discontinued carrying them.
So I decided to make it in a rather “radical” way.
First of all, I start with canned beans.
And it’s not even Azuki beans.
I used black beans because they are easier to get in the U.S., and cheaper.
Quickly drained and rinsed.
Now you can add sugar and cook them for a bit.
But this time I decided to use something different to sweeten them.
I took a few pictures of the dates for this post, but the pictures didn’t turn out well, so no pictures of dates, but you know what I’m talking about.
The super sweet dried fruit.
It is supposed to be packed with all the good nutrients.
This (above) is something I call date caramel.
It’s super easy to make.
Combine dates (pitted) and water and puree until smooth, and add a little salt
It’s creamy, sweet, and delicious.
You can use this for a lot of things, such as toast (with butter), yogurt, etc.
This time I simply combined the date caramel with the black beans which have been drained and rinsed.
You can mash the beans if you like a smoother texture.
I mash a little but definitely keep most of them intact because I like that texture.
They turned out great!
I like that you can make these in a frying pan.
No need to preheat the oven, etc.
This makes a great snack, but I ate them for breakfast this morning.
My husband and I both enjoyed these fresh warm Oyaki very much.