|Posted on February 12, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
Join me for a hands on Childrens Onigiri Workshop in Highland Park on February 28 from 11-2pm. $25 to participate.
For details, contact me at email@example.com.
|Posted on January 26, 2015 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Workshop from 11am - 2pm on 2/6 $95
In the United States rice is often served as a side dish, but in Japan, rice is the centerpiece of a satisfying meal. Rice is nourishing, delicious, versatile and gluten-free. Join Sonoko Sakai, Japanese food writer and teacher, and Robin Koda, proprietor of Koda Farms, the oldest rice farm in California, as they share their knowledge and passion for rice.
Sonoko will teach a variety of classic and modern Japanese rice dishes using brown, white rice, mixed grains, and legumes while Robin will share her expertise on growing and cooking rice. Participants will learn how to make plain and sushi-style Onigiri rice balls, winter soup with Kabocha and scallion miso and Nuka pickles. For dessert students will make shiratama mochi balls with sweet azuki bean paste. After the hands-on lesson, we will sit down for a communal meal of all the things we’ve learned to prepare.
Students will take home Nuka base and complete the fermentation at home. Please bring a cutting board, kitchen knife, a plastic or glass container (3 cup size) with a lid, and an apron.
Sonoko Sakai is the founder of Common Grains, a project dedicated to providing a deeper understanding and appreciation for Japanese food and culture. She is currently working on a rice themed cookbook titled Ricecraft (to be published by Chronicle Books in Spring 2015).
Robin Koda is a third generation Japanese-Californian rice grower who, along with her brother, farms, mills, and packages heirloom rice on their homestead in the San Joaquin Valley. Koda Farms is the oldest family owned and operated rice farm and mill in California. It was Robin’s love of the cycles of rice cultivation that brought her back to the ranch after earning an MFA from the School of the Chicago Art Institute.
All workshop participants will receive 10% off in SHED’s retail store and cafe the day of the workshop, perfect for stocking up on cooking supplies to make Japanese food at home.
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This is the second summer since I started soba workshops. I never thought I would be in so deep with soba. My second refrigerator is full with flour. I actually get anxious when my soba flour stock begins to run low.
Student making soba
I used to do the workshops at home but now I am also going out to places likeTortoise in Venice and the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Doing these workshops take a lot of work but I love doing them.
You want your workshop to run smoothly but sometimes you can run into unexpected surprises. Last week, when I did a udon workshop at the museum, a wedding was double booked by mistake and the kitchen was not available. There was a whole crew of chefs and waiters bringing in the food when I got there with my soba making tools. But it all worked
Soba made by a student
out. The chef was nice enough to give me one burner on the range to cook the noodles. I had to conduct most of the workshop in another room, using an electric heating unit to make the stock but we managed. It was a little bit like camping and the noodles turned out delicious.
Roger is cutting the dough
Torotise is an elegant store on Abbot Kinney in Venice. I didn't experience any glitches here. Tortoise added this additional room last spring. It's a gallery of beautiful objects but they also conduct fun workshops like Japanese coffee making, flower arrangement, woodworking, and soba making by hand. I am the messy one of the group but I bring my assistant to make sure we don't leave any flour around.
I love being at Tortoise. It's hard to walk out without not buying something. Everything they have is made in Japan. It makes good sense for me to doing a soba workshop here. I will be doing another one soon.
Kneading the dough
Feasting on the soba
Soba for beginners recipe can be found here.
|Posted on August 16, 2010 at 4:58 PM||comments (1)|
;)Our wonderful friends Revis Meeks, Quyen Tran and Mike Tarantino put this video together.
It was recorded during our first soba workshop in October of 2009.
How time flies! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBZa9Z
|Posted on August 15, 2010 at 4:39 AM||comments (0)|
I am in Japan to bring back some fresh buckwheat flour for our upcoming Pop up soba event and soba workshop at Breadbar, West Hollywood. Here is the link to Breadbar.
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|Posted on December 6, 2009 at 12:21 AM||comments (0)|
Keith is proud to serve his Chanko nabe.
Holiday season is always a tricky time to plan a workshop. Everybody's busy. Yesterday, I offered a make-up session for those who missed my last two hot pot workshops but Keith was the only one who could make it. So we did a one-on-one, a new experience for both of us. Keith was very sore from Aikido practice but he managed fine. The aching ribs didn't get much in the way of cooking or eating.
What's great about a one-on-one is that you get to design the class according to the person's needs. Keith was a novice in Japanese cuisine so he wanted to learn the basics. He brought along his pair of shiny new Japanese chef knives, which he carried in a wooden box. He said the knives were an investment. I could see he was serious about cooking. It's a good place to start because a dull knife will make a dull cook. I bought my first good knife from the four hundred year old knifemaker Aritsugu in Tsukiji, Tokyo. I've had it for more than twenty years, and it is still my favorite kitchen knife.
One thing some Japanese will say about Nabe is why take a class? It is so easy, you can do it yourself. It's yes and no. Japanese people can take Nabe for granted because it is the most popular winter dish we make in a single pot. It appears like any other hearty soup but there are some important steps in nabe making that a cook should know. Nabe is meant to be cooked at the table, and not on the stove. You can do it on the stove but then, you kind of missed the point - the social occasion for people to participate in building and seasoning the nabe.
What I talk about first at the nabe workshop is the stock. Good stock leads to good nabe. The chicken stock for the Chanko nabe takes about four to six hours; the Dashi for the Winter nabe takes less than twenty minutes. The chicken stock needs to cook longer to extract the good collagen from the chicken. You can make either stock ahead of time, so there are ways to make life easier for the cook.
As I walked Keith through all the ingredients and showed him how to prep them, he realized how nabe really differed from making a soup, and why I was being a little fussy about how the uncooked foods should be cut and arranged on the platter. For nabe, you want to start with the freshest seasonal ingredients possible. They should be cut in even pieces to make them cook uniformly. You also want to arrange them on the platter in an appealing way because it is the platter that people see first. If you can win over your eaters before the food is even cooked, you have already accomplished half the task as a nabe maker.
Since it was only the two of us when we started cooking the nabe ingredients, we used half of the ingredients on the platter. You don't want leftovers in the pot. Nabe is slow food. Take your time and stretch the evening for good conversation. Replenish the pot with more food and stock when the pot looks low. Between the two of us, we ate most of the Winter Nabe. The cod added a really nice flavor to the Saikyo miso based stock. Later in the afternoon, we had more people join us, as we were making the Chanko nabe. My artist friends Bob and Kathy, and Sakai came for tastings. We opened a bottle of chilled Onigarashi - a smooth dry sake. It paired nicely with Chanko nabe. Keith cleared the pot and made a fresh batch of nabe. By the second nabe, he was in control and built the nabe on his own. The initial one-on-one session turned into a little gathering of friends but that's what happens when you set the hot pot on the table top. It creates a convivial atmostphere. Nabe is a living pot.
Miyagi's famous quote in The Karate Kid:
First learn stand...then learn fly...nature's rule..
|Posted on November 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
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November 14 Workshop
TALKING ABOUT NABE
|Posted on November 17, 2009 at 2:39 AM||comments (1)|
MAKING SOBA BY HAND IS ABSOLUTE COOKING.
Please also check out the Los Angeles Times Food Section's feature stories on Soba making, which includes step by step photosgraphs, recipes for making Soba, walnut and regular dipping sauces, and Soba side dishes. (Here is the link)
HOW TO MAKE SOBA NOODLES BY HAND (using a plastic bag)
The basic measurement for the flour was provided in grams.
If you plan to use more or less flour, remember to keep the 8:2 ratio of
buckwheat flour to all purpose flour, and the
water at 40% of the total weight of the two flours.
5.5 oz stone milled buckwheat flour (160 grams) (Cold Mountain brand or Japanese soba flour)
1.3 oz all purpose flour (40 grams)
2.8 oz (or 40% of clear cold water to total weight of buckwheat flour and all purpose flour (80 grams)
Uchiko flour for dusting (if you can't find Uchiko,use Cornstarch)
1 plastic bag (small trash bag)
Weigh the buckwheat flour and all purpose flour. Set aside 1 % of water (about 1/2 tsp of water) for kneading. Put the two flours and rest of the water in the plastic bag. Using both hands, lump together the flour mixture through the plastic bag.
Now take the dough out of the plastic bag, and put it on a cutting board or kneading sheet.
Shape the dough into a disc. Make holes on top of the dough with your thumbs. Pour the reserved water (1/2 teaspoon) into the holes, and knead the dough untl the water is incorporated completely. Apply pressure to the dough with your palm, and shape the dough into a ball.
Sprinkle uchiko on the kneading sheet/board. Place the ball on the sheet/board, and sprinkle uchiko on top. Using your palm, flatten the ball into a disc, about 15mm or 1/2 inches thick.
With a rolling pin, continue flattening the dough in diagonal directions until the disc is 8mm or 1/18 inch thick, and rectangle in shape. Use Uchiko sparingly while flattening the dough.
Fold the dough in four layers. Use "generous" amounts of uchiko in between the layers. Slice the dough into noodles, about 1.3mm wide.
HOW TO COOK FRESH SOBA NOODLES:
In a large pot, boil about 2 gallons or more water over high heat.
Gently drop the soba noodles into the boiling water. The water should be boiling vigorously to prevent the soba noodles from sticking to each other. Try not to use chopsticks or tools to separate the noodles while cooking.
Cover the pot and bring the water to a full, rolling boil again. The noodles will
take about 90 seconds to cook. If the soba noodles are thinner or thicker,
you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Scoop out the noodles with a colander or strainer, and immediately soak the noodles in a large bowl of cold water.
Prepare another bowl of ice water with ice cubes. Transfer the noodles into the ice cold water for a second to give the noodles a final shock treatment. Drain the noodles.
Serve the noodles on a dish ( zaru - Japanese style bamboo colnader or seiro -Japanese steaming mat), with the dipping sauce and Yakumi flavors - sliced negi (Tokyo style green onions), grated daikon, and shichimi pepper.
Note: Reserve some of the cooking liquid that is left in the pot. You can use it for cooking more noodles, and as "sobayu" - dipping sauce thinner.