Recipes and Entries

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The Pantry - Tofu Workshop - Seattle

Posted on February 27, 2016 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (1)

Just got back from the Bay Area teaching tofu and nabe workshops.  I had a few days to breathe in Tehachapi, play with my dog Ana and do laundry.  Now I am headed to Seattle where I will be teaching tofu at" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> the Pantry in Ballard.  I am looking forward to teaching in the new kitchen. I also get to hang out with my son Sakae and my daughter-in-law, Binah in Seattle. All three workshops are sold out!

Ricecraft -Onigiri Coobook

Posted on February 25, 2016 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

My new cookbook RICECRAFT will be out from Chronicle Books on August 2, 2016. 

You can pre-order on-line through Amazon.


Saveur March Issue "Sonoko Dreams of Soba"

Posted on February 14, 2016 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I am so please to tell you about the feature soba story in Saveur March issue by Francis Lam. I counted 15 pages with my recipes and pictures.  Francis' story is very moving.   Here is the link to the story.

My other passion: Making Bread

Posted on February 13, 2016 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

Two summers ago, I ressurected my interest in baking bread.  The last time I baked bread was when I was in highschool. There was a picture of me holding my sourdough bread but unfortunately, it vanished. I hope it resurfaces again.  I recall the bread came out as hard as a rock. Still, I was proud that I baked bread. I don't remember how it tasted, it was more about how tough it was. My jar hurt. I am nott sure what I did wrong but the dough went through a lot of kneading and resting so it would rise. It was a lot more complicated than the bread I make today, which is a no-knead bread, thanks to Chad Robertson for inspiring me to bake this way. I took one lesson from Clemence Gosset at Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savory and I got right into baking again. Last year, Itook a break from baking, because I had to finish my Ricecraft book. I didn't want my baking temptation to distract me from writing the book. But now that my book is finished and I am free to do anything I want, I chose to bake again on a regular basis.
I will be posting my breads from time to time.  Here is yesterday's Spelt bread.

Spring Comfort Foods - Workshops

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (1)


My flowering pear tree in the patio is in full bloom and my grapefruit tree is heavy with fruit. The weather has been so warm, it feels like summer is already here, but let’s hope for more rain. Some exciting things are happening in my kitchen. Last year, writer Francis Lam did a two day soba immersion class with me and wrote about it. The story is featured in the March issue of Saveur, “Sonoko Dreams of Soba.” along with of step step instructions and beautiful photographs by Dylan + Jeni. I hope you pick up a copy at the newsstand. To celebrate soba, I am going to be sharing the recipes that were featured in the magazine at the upcoming March workshops. I am also offering my first miso making workshop as well as the popular udon noodle stomping workshop. In all three workshops, you will put your hands in dough, learn about the Japanese pantry and have a lot o fun. If you sign up before February 15, you will get a 10% discount. To register, please e-mail me at [email protected]


Hope to see you at one of my workshops.


Thank you for your support.


Best wishes,





Make Soba Noodles by Hand

Session 1: Saturday, March 5  3-6pm

Session 2: Sunday, March 6, 11-2 pm

Sesson 3: Sunday, March 6, 330-630pm

Hands on soba workshop - We will make our own flour blend to make soba, using aromatic, coarse, and finely milled Anson Mills flour. I will show you how to make the sauces and soups featured in the Saveur, March Issue, which includes Chicken and Egg Soba with Herbs in a hot broth and Mushroom Seiro with dipping sauce and Zaru Soba with Walnut sauce. I will serve something sweet to tie the soba meal. Fee: $95. You will take home 2 servings of Soba. To register email [email protected]




Make Miso at Home

Saturday, April 2,  11-3pm

There is nothing like home made miso. The fermentation is a six month process so you won’t see results overnight but it is fun to see the gradual transformation of beans to miso. Once you try it, you don’t want to go back to store bought miso anymore. In this Hands on miso making workshop - you will make your own batch of miso, using Non GMO soybeans, koji and sea salt. Sonoko will serve a lunch of Japanese rice bowl with miso soup, homemade pickles and something sweet to tie our miso themed day. Please bring a 6 cups container with lid for your miso. This is a 4 hour class. $110 To register email [email protected]


Udon Noodles and Donabe Clay pot Cooking

Saturday, April 9, 11-2pm

Udon or Soba, that is the question. People in the southern western part of Japan will say Udon! Some people eat and love Udon more than rice. Udon is a thick wheat noodle that is commonly served hot as a cold weather comfort food but we can also serve it cold like soba. I will show you both ways. We will be stepping on dough so it will be a fun work out. The noodles will be served Udon-suki - a Classic Donabe hot pot so you will also be learning how to cook with a donabe pot. If you don’t have a donabe pot, no worries. A regular pot will do. You will take home 2 servings of udon noodles. What to bring: Apron and your kitchen knife. Fee: $95



Standard Dtwn Soba Pop up/ Workshop Jan 13, 2016

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Tofu Workshop February 6, 2016

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (1)

If you haven't tasted fresh tofu, you got to do it at least once.  You will realize that what you have been eating all this time, the commercial stuff that is, doesn't have any flavor at all.  Fresh tofu is made and eaten on the same to enjoy its full flavor.

Join me on February 6 from 10-130p and 3-6pm in Highland Park. E-mail me to register - [email protected]

Community Soba Workshop January 3 - two sessions

Posted on January 1, 2016 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)
I am offering a community workshop in Highland Park.

Session 1:   10-1130am   
Sesssion 2:  1-230pm   

You will make 3 servings of soba by hand and we will do tastings of soba in a hot broth.
Vegetarians are welcome.


SQIRL Los Angeles - Soba Noodles

Posted on December 28, 2015 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hello Friends!


I will be making SOBA NOODLES to usher in the New Years.


"The tradition of slurping soba noodles at year end is to put the hardship of the year behind you. The belief being that the soba noodles are easily cut while eating; easing us into the New Year."


Come for a knead or a slurp!

To register visit



Kids only Onigiri Workshop, January 30 2015

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (1)
Onigiri workshop for kids - the first workshop in Pasadena will be Onigiri making for kids. I will be at Urbank Kitchen on January 30 from 3-5pm.  To sign up visit


Posted on December 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Making soba is more than making noodles.  It's meditative and grounding.  Here is me slurping on the radio, and I am not even embarrassed.  Slurping is a good sound. Here is the Link.

Onigiri-A Weekend Project

Posted on December 4, 2015 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The Onigiri story I worte a few years ago for the Los Angeles Times was the catalyst for writing the cookbook RICECRAFT.  Now there are a lot more people who know what onigiri is. and enjoy eating it.  This recipe was suggested as aweekend project.  It's Friday, so it's something to do on the weekend, if you feel like eating something delicious. There are several recipes in this article, including the easy peasy, Onigiri with peas and Onigiri with Salmon.  

RICECRAFT - Onigiri Cookbook - Fall 2016

Posted on November 30, 2015 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

My new cookbook titled Ricecraft is all about Onigiri. It will come out in the fall of 2016. Onigiri is a portable finger food made of rice. The rice is shaped into a ball by hand. It is usually seasoned with a little salt and stuffed with something savory like a piece of chicken or grilled salmon, and wrapped with crispy nori. Onigiri is what my mother made for me when I was hungry. It is also the darling of the convenient stores in Japan. There are thousands of varieites. Since they are so simple to make, you can easily invent your own onigiri.

I will be posting things about onigiri on "Onigiri-a-Day" of this website.  

One of my favorite Onigiri is inari-sushi.  It is a seasoned fried tofu pouch filled with sushi rice and chopped vegetables - shitake, green beans, carrots, hijiki seaweed, and sesame seeds. This will be one of the onigiris featured in the book.  My Inari sushi mascot here wears the tofu pouch as a hat. As we were doing the photography of the book, she appeared out of the blue. I decided she had to be in the book.  

Randberg, California - Ghostown near Tehachapi

Posted on November 25, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It's nice to get away from Los Angeles. We visited the old mining town of Randsburg, Ca - in the Mohave desert  (circa 1865) -now a weekend spot that brings mostly bikers. Sakai had once considered buying property around here to build his studio. Randsberg was found during the gold rush and when the rush ended, it turned into a ghost town that it is now.  We stopped for a beer at the Joint. We were the only customers but we enjoyed talking to the owners about the history of the town. Then walked around the town a bit. Some souvenir shops for bikers. Most of the antique shops had stuff donated by the miners before leaving town but were closed during the weekday.  It was hard to imagine, this place was more populated than Los Angeles at one time.  I want to come back here again, maybe to pick up an old lamp.

Lucky Peach - Half English Breakfast

Posted on November 22, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (2)

The short memoir about my grandmother's half English Breakfast is now available in the Breakfast Issue of Lucky Peach.  So exciting to hold the hard copy.


Posted on November 6, 2015 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Ok, finally the pop up I always wanted to do - Tachigui-soba.  Standing only, eat-and go soba pop up.  

It wil be for only two days, Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 6-9pm. So don't miss it.  
Where: Cofax coffee shop.Across from Animal restuarant.
Address: 440 Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood
Parking: Street parking

MENU:   The soba is made with new crop ANSON MILLS Koban buckwheat
grown in the Applachia near Asheville in North Carolina. Field ripened.
I am featuring two hot sobas:
Duck soba in a hot broth $17
Suage vegetables in a hot broth-v  $15

Vegan option is available.

Japanese inspired Tofu donuts will be prepared by Nicole Rucker. 

Three noodles workshops in November- Ramen & Soba

Posted on November 1, 2015 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

You get to pick one or the other or take both.  They are both Japanese noodles with an entirely different styes -

Soba is buckwheat based.  Ramen is wheat.   Soba is light.  Ramen is fatty.  Both have great umami.

We will be making the noodles from scratch.  The broths as well.  Commercial noodles will become too salty, and the 

noodles mediocre after you taste these homemade noodles.  To register, go to the school's website.

Saturday, November 8

Gourmandise Cooking School

Ramen 10-1pm 

Soba 630p-930p

To register go to

Sunday, November 9

Urban Kitchen

Soba 11-2pm

Hoshigaki Workshop - Encore!! Sunday November 1, 3-5pm

Posted on October 29, 2015 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (1)

One more chance to learn Hoshigaki - the art of drying persimmons from me.  Second class will be offered this Sunday, November 1, from 3-5pm in Highland Park. To register, contact, [email protected] Fee $70.  There will be homemade shrub and persimmon bread to munch on while making the hoshigaki. 

Shabu Shabu Nabe Workshop - Sunday, October 18, 11-2pm

Posted on October 15, 2015 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)
It is that time of year to cook in a donabe - Hot hearty soups right at the table. I am teaching a Shabu Shabu class this Sunday, October 18 from 11-2pm.  Let's swish and swash those meat and vegetables in a beautiful umami rich broth. We will finish with homemade ramen noodles. What a way to start the Fall!  To register, e-mail me at [email protected]  Fee $95

Hoshigaki Workshop - Satuday, October 24, 11-2pm

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

=Hoshigaki Workshop  Saturday, October 24  11-2pm  Highland Park, Los Angeles  Fee $65 includes a case of persimmons. 

To register contact me at [email protected]

Gozen Hoshigaki from Japan - My goal is to make hoshigaki that look like these.  It takes tender love and care.