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Making Soba with Children

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 12:00 AM

One thing I enjoy about children is that they have almost no inhibitions about learning something new.  In this situation, making soba.  I had my two nephews and niece stay with me for a few days.  Initially, I was worried that I may not make a good hostess, and these kids would get bored to death. It's not like I have legos and dolls around the house, and my tv doesn't even work.  But children don't necessarily need toys to have fun. They are naturally creative and I soon recalled what it was like to be a young mother again.  I didn't need to keep them busy.  They kept me busy.  For a few days, at least.  

Soba made by Hayato, Mako and Miki

Hayato, the oldest one of the bunch is visiting from Tokyo.  All three love their mother's home cooking and when the visit me,they eat everything I make, so they must like it, too.  They unanimously wanted to eat soba noodles for lunch. Since they know I make my own, they wanted to learn how to make soba - not the dried noodle kind but fresh from scratch.  No sweat.

The three children are ages 8, 10 and 11 so they listen to you for the most part, and follow instructions.  Hayato has already made udon noodles  (here is the link to the blog), and his mother is a pastry chef, so he has some experience dealing with flour and water.  For the other two kids, it was their first noodle making lesson.


WIth kids, it's good to start with smaller portions than adult portions.  I used the regular recipe for beginners soba, and it worked out fine.

Hayato is a natural with flour.  He did a good job of combining the water and flour quickly, scraping the bottom to clean the bowl as he went. 
Miki's first soba!

Miki and Mako participated when the dough was ready to knead.  Even just rolling out the dough is fun for kids. The idea is to flatten the dough evenly and thinly, and as wide as possible. Square is the shape but I told them, it can be round too.  Just be careful not to tear the dough because with soba, it doesn't mend well.

Future Michelin Star Chef!

After flattening the dough to about 1/8 inch, the noodles are cut.  I cut Miki's because the knife, as you can see the soba knife is big and scary looking, even for an adult.  Hayato wanted to cut his own noodles. I trusted Hayato with the knife because he is used to handling a kitchen knife.  Of course, I stood next to him and gave him guidance, and watched him closely.  He did fine.

Mako pays attention.  He is very careful with the knife.

Nice looking noodles.

The best part was eating them. They were absolutely delicious. We had fun. Two days later, we made noodles again!   

Categories: Noodles, Pasta and Dumplings, Kids, Workshops

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