Japanese Umeboshi (Salted Plum) Pickles
This is one of the classic pickles of Japan made from a type of green sour apricots (ume). My memories of growing up in Kamakura centers around making umebosh (salted plums)i and umeshu (plum wine) with my grandmother every June. Umeboshi is regarded as a medicinal food to aid digestion. There is an old Japanese say that an umeboshi a day, keeps the doctors away!
Umeboshi makes a delicious filling in rice balls. It is also used to season meats and vegetables. You can have it with green tea. I will show you how. This is a hands on class. I will show you umeboshi in different stages of pickling, what to do with the plum vinegar and how to dry them in the sun. You will take home the salted pickles to complete the fermentation at home. The plums will take about 3 months to pickle. Sorry for the last minute notice but the ume season came a month earlier and will end soon.
Fee: $100 includes a picklling container with lid and ume plums. (The cost of ume is very high at 40 to 50 cents per ume) so I had to allow for ingredients cost.
Tasting menu: Grilled Onigiri with Umeboshi, Edamame, Hijiki, Cucumber salad with Ume dressing. Panfried Pork with Ume shiso sauce.
Place: Highland Park
To register contact: email@example.com tel 310-600-4263
Space is limited so hurry!
1. Korean Pickles- Kimchi
Description: If you love Korean food but have been timid about cooking it at home, the best place to start is by learning how to make kimchi. This “soul food” of Korea often appears on “super food” lists. There are over 200 different kinds of kimchi. My Korean friend Sonya Chun's mother makes the most delicious kimchi I've ever tasted. In our workshop, Sonya's mother, Sonya and I will guide you through three types of kimchi, including the classic whole cabbage kimchi, delicious citrus “water” kimchi, and a fresh seasoned kimchi. You will learn to prep, taste, and understand the fermentation time. Your class will be followed by a delicious lunch of Pa-Joen (Korean Chive Pancake with shrimp & pork),Citrus “Water” Kimchi,
Lunch Menu:Nyeng Myun (Cold Korean Buck Wheat Noodle Soup), Freshly Seasoned Kimchi, Classic Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Dessert of Homemade dried Persimmon, in a ginger and Cinnamon soup.
Date: April 25 from 10 -2 pm. $95 To register contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You will leave with a jar of Cabbage Kimchi to take home!
2. Japanese Tsukemono Pickles: Fresh, Savory, Sweet and Fermented
In this workshop, we’ll explore everything there is to know about Japanese pickling: how to taste and adjust a quickle pickle brine, how to create your koji, salt, vinegar, sesame oil, seaweed, and nuka pickling base, and quick vs. fermented pickles. We will feature young ginger pickle in vinegar, sun-dried napa cabbage and chili pepper pickles, nuka pickles and koji pickles. Sonoko will make a light lunch of chilled summer somen noodles with assorted umeboshi (salt plum pickles) and condiments and herbs, and a homemade dessert.
Date: Saturday, May 16 10-2pm $95 To register: Contact email@example.com
3. Japanese Umeboshi (Salted Plum) Pickles
This is one of the classic pickles of Japan made from a type of green sour apricots (ume). My memories of growing up in Kamakura centers around making umeboshi with my grandmother every June. Umeboshi is regarded as a medicinal food to aid in digestion. Umeboshi a day, keeps the doctors away! Umeboshi makes a delicious filling in rice balls. It is also used to season meats and vegetables. You can have it with green tea. I will show you how. I will be offering this class sometime in June when the sour plums appear in the market. If you are interested, I will take advance reservations but this will entail coming to my house several times during the month of June and July. I will show you umeboshi in different stages of pickling, what to do with the plum vinegar. In mid-July, we will spread the plums out in the sun for three days to dry and then return them to the pickling jar for a final fermentation. The plums will take about 3 months to pickle, so in August, you will get to finally taste your umeboshi. We will make dishes, using umeboshi. It's a commitment but it will be fun.
If you are interested, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and reserve your spot, as space is limited.
If you love Korean food but have been timid about cooking it at home, the best place to start is by learning how to make kimchi. Kimchi is rich in vitamins and minerals and fiber. This “soul food” of Korea often appears on “super food” lists. There are over 200 different kinds of kimchi. Sonya Chun and Sonoko Sakai will guide you through three types of kimchi including the classic whole cabbage kimchi, delicious citrus “water” kimchi, and a fresh seasoned kimchi. You will learn to prep, taste, and understand the fermentation time. Your class will be followed by a delicious lunch of Pa-Joen (Korean Chive Pancake with shrimp & pork),Citrus “Water” Kimchi,
Nyeng Myun (Cold Korean Buck Wheat Noodle Soup), Freshly Seasoned Kimchi,
& Classic Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Dessert of Homemade dried Persimmon, in a ginger and Cinnamon soup. April 25 from 10 -2 pm. $95. You will take home the classic Cabbage Kimchi to complete the fermentation. To register e mail email@example.com
11-2 pm Highland Park
Fresh bamboo shoots from Penryn Farms will be featured in the soba. We will have two sobas
prepared from scratch, including the broth and sauces, and an appetizer and Japanese mochi dessert - all
Menu includes Seasoned rice dishes - Chirashi Sushi with Seafood, Beef sukiyaki and Shirataki rice bowl, Miso soup with farm fresh fava and San Jose Tofu, Fermented Nuka pickles, Shiratama Dessert with Adzuki bean.s
We will make Nuka pickles from scratch. Fee is $100
To sign up, please visit JCCNC (click here!)
Gluten Free hands on soba workshop. March 14, 2015 from 11-2pm in Highland Park, Los Angeles.
Tasting menu of three soba - zarusoba, cold soba with dipping sauces and duck ginger soba in a hot broth. Koji pickles and shiratama fruit dessert will be part of the tasting menu. Stonemilled Buckwheat Flour is from Japan!
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.
Two Soba Workshops on January 17 at 10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm.This is a hands on workshop at the Gourmandise School in Santa Monica. For registration and details, please go to the Gourmandise School Website
To find out about upcoming workshops and events, please visit my website http://www.commongrains.com.
Thanks for our support.
Soba Workshop in Malibu. This is a workshop that sold out before I could post it! I am organizing another in December 2012, so please keep an eye on upcoming events.
Any excuse to go to Paris is a good but I have been invited to do two cooking workshops at SIAL.
I will be doing the seminars at 11:30 and 3:30Pm on October 21 and October 22. Hands on soba making, dashi tasting and even a light tasting lunch of curry rice and sushi will be offered at the seminar. For more informaiton, visit the JETRO booth at SIAL.
Workshop hours: 11am-2pm
For more information, please call Sonoko Sakai 310-600-4263.
Looking for a healthy and hearty dish for the fall and winter season? The French may think Bouillabaise. Nabe is the Japanese answer. Nabe is a light stew made in a Donabe clay pot. We will cook everything right at the table. It is a convivial way of eating.
Sakai will show you how to prepare and serve three nabes—Yudofu, made with tofu, daikon radish, and konbu seaweed, and served with ginger, shichimi pepper and negi; a winter nabe made with black cod, napa cabbage, and age tofu and seasoned with white miso; and Chanko nabe—a savory soup made with chicken balls and a variety of vegetables, and served with yuzu kosho and ground sesame seeds, all in this 3-hour class! At the end of the nabe, Sonoko will prepare Zosui, a Japanese style risotto like dish made with rice and the rich broth. The dish will be served with Japanese herbs.
We will divide up the workshop into small groups. Each group will prep the ingredients, including the dashi from scratch, make a beautiful platter for the table, and cook the nabes, following Sakai’s demonstration. At the end of the meal, there will be a homemade Japanese dessert to clear the palate. What to bring to class: Cutting board, kitchen knife, apron, and bandana. $75 members; $85 non-members, incl. admission & supplies. RSVP early, 15 students max. For more informationn visit: http://www.janm.org/events/
Description of workshop: You will learn to make Nihachi style Japanese soba noodles by hand. Nihachi soba is a blend of fresh stone-milled buckwheat flour and wheat flour. You will learn how to knead, cut and cook the soba noodles, using authentic Japanese soba tools. You'll also make an appetizer, two homemade sauces and a soba dessert. The class will be from 10 am to 1 pm.
Place: Home of Margarete Mehrabian
What to bring to class: Apron, bandana, tupperware to take home your noodles. Wear comfortable shoes.
For further information, please contact Sonoko Sakai
For further information visit: http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Bread-Bakers/events/79484302/
Somen can be made by hand or machine. The hand-stretched noodles are called tenobe somen. Sonoko Sakai will introduce you to several somen noodles, including the rare delicacy made by the Moriwaki family in the village of Handa, Tokushima in the Shikoku island，which she recently visited and brought back a half a suitcase full of noodles. This is a demonstration only and tastings workshop.
Tenobe somen noodle factory in Handa, Tokushima in Shikoku Island.
Appetizer: Seasonal greens with roasted black sesame seeds sauce.
Cold somen with eggplant, age tofu , and an assortment of herbs.
Hot somen noodles in a hot bonito and konbu seaweed soup with chicken, mushrooms, scallions, shisho, shichimi.
Agar agar dessert with fresh fruit and mint.
For details visit: http://www.tortoisegeneralstore.com/event/2012/07/somen-workshop-by-sonoko-sakai-1.html
I will be offering a summer soba workshop for beginners and intermediate soba makers on June 30.
Workshop is from 11am - 1pm. It's a hands on class with tasting of 3 types of soba. Please bring an apron and a tupperware to take home your noodles and dipping sauce.
For details, visit http://www.janm.org/events/lifelong/
Starting May 31, 2012, I am offering fresh hand-cut soba to take home and cook. It's a wonderful way to stay cool and healthy. I am also offering a beginners soba workshop. Call Cook Book for further information. (213) 250-1900 http://cookbookla.com/
We wrapped the Common Grains project in March. Thank you for all your support. We had a wonderful response. I would love to continue with the project. I will let the idea incubate for awhile. In the meantime, I am going back to doing workshops in town, starting in May and I am also going to sell fresh soba noodles. We are still working out the details. The month of April will be devoted to catching up with my life, planting fruit trees in Tehachapi, visiting family in Seattle, London and Torino; and going to New York.
Please go to Common Grains website for information on the upcoming cooking workshops. Two soba workshops are scheduled during the month of March 2012. http://www.commongrains.com
Here is a write up on the Wagashi workshop by Seattle daily.
I am very excited about the Japanese Wagashi Workshop with Chikara Mizukami. For detials, please visit
For more information, http://www.tortoisegeneralstore.com/event/ or call Sonoko at 310-600-4263.
October 29, 2010
Place: Tortoise General Store
1208 Abbot Kinney
Tel 310 314 8488
Sorry, we will do more Onigiri and miso soup workshops in the fall.
Date: Sep 17 - SOLD OUT!
Date: Sep 18 - SOLD OUT!
Time: 10-12:30pm -SOLD OUT!
Place: Tortoise in Venice, CA
For details, please visit: Http://www.tortoisegeneralstore.com/event/
I will be offering an Onigiri workshop at Tortoise in Venice. This workshop is sold out but we are scheduling another one soon.
Class includes using a donabe and electric rice cooker to make onigiri - both plain and grilled with
a variety of fillings.
Summer miso soup and quick asazuke pickles. This is a fun hands on class.
For more information about Onigiri, please read my story in LA Times.
For details, please visit JANM Website (here is the link).
For more information, http://www.tortoisegeneralstore.com/event/ or call Sonoko at 310-600-4263.
1208 Abbot Kinney
Tel 310 314 8488
Beginners udon workshop will be offered on June 25, 2011 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Hours: 11am-1pm. Here is the link to JANM: http://www.janm.org/please call 213-625-0414 or call Sonoko at 310-600-4263 for more details.
Kneading Udon Dough
BREADBAR’S “POPCHEF” CULinary SERIES INTRODUCES ANGELENOS TO A NEW spring LINE-UP OF ARTISANAL Workshops AND GUEST CHEF EVENTS in April 2011
Guests can enjoy an intimate soba noodle class with Sonoko Sakai in addition to a playful encore of Jet Tila’s “Bistronomics” pop-up event for the artisanal bakery-bistro’s eclectic dining series
WHAT: In April 2011, BREADBAR West Third offers Angelenos multiple ways to please their palates and hone their cooking skills with its new “POPCHEF” series—an exciting array of culinary workshops and events inviting talented chefs from across the city to express their unique culinary talents without any boundaries.
Upcoming programming includes:
§ Saturday, April 9 (4-7 p.m.): Soba Workshop with Sonoko Sakai – For $125 per person, noodle aficionados can learn how to create healthy and flavorful soba noodles made from organic stone-milled Dattan and Japanese buckwheat flours with food author and respected soba maker Sonoko Sakai. Limited to 12 guests, the three-hour session will teach participants how to knead and hand-cut the perfect Nihachi noodle, and will end with a soba tasting of four varieties paired with Wataribune sake and buckwheat tea for students. The small plates will include a Zaru Soba with two dipping sauces; Soba with Jidori Chicken, Chives, and Yuzu in a Hot Broth; Soba with a medley of Vegetables; and dessert of Agar Agar Jelly with Fruit. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Sake Organization Relief Fund for sake brewers who suffered damage from the recent natural disasters. Students must wear an apron, head bandana, and closed-toe shoes, and bring a container to take home their soba creations. For more details and to reserve a place in the class, please call BREADBAR West Third at 310.205.0124.
Beginners Soba classes will be offered at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on February 05.
Details: http://www.janm.org/please call 213-625-0414
3 hours. 11am-1pm.
Join me for the end of the year soba workshop for good luck and good fortune. It's a Japanese tradition called Toshi-koshi soba.
Two beginners/intermediate workshops will be held on December 30 from 930am-1230pm and 2pm-5pm. Call Sonoko Sakai at 310-600-4263 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register and obtain directions to the soba studio in Santa Monica. Fee: $85 per person. Payment is by check or cash only.
Class description: You will learn how to make soba noodles by hand, using fresh stone-milled Japanese organic stone ground buckwheat flour. Since buckwheat is gluten free, we will use some wheat flour to bind the noodles. We will use Nihachi formula, which is a flour blend of 80% buckwheat flour and 20% wheat flour.
First, I will show you how to make the dipping sauce and broth for the soba. Then I will demonstrate how to make the soba noodles. You will make your own soba, using 350 grams of flour. This is three servings. Please bring a tupperware to take home your creations. Also bring an apron, a head bandana and indoor tennis shoes. No open shoes or high heels. Space is limited to 12 people per session so sign up early!
Visit our soba website: http://mazumizu.com.
Beginner's soba workshop was offered for beginners. Despite torrential rain, people came from near and far, including San Francisco and San Paulo, Brazil.
Keith measuring the water.
Everyone checking the water again. Soba making is precision.
Patricia joined us for two sessions, back to back.
and did yoga before the soba workshop. What a sport.
Soba workshop at LARK
Chef John Sundstrom of LARK invited Akila Inouye and I to do a Soba workshop and Soba dinner at his beautiful restaurant in Capitol Hill, Seattle. We sold out our workshop. The dinner was wonderful. We served a prefix soba dinner that comprised of a soba salad with uni dressing or daikon radish dressing. Sobagaki roll with a Tosa dipping sauce and oyster broth and soba with duck broth. I even made buckwheat cookies. Half of them burnt but I managed to have enough for the evening and they tasted very good. Thanks to John Sundstrom and his team for keeping us organized and at ease. Thank you to Roberta Torgenson who was so generous to host me for the evening and put up with my evening baking effort. Sorry about the sugar spill.
I love Seattle!
Soba demonstration for buckwheat growers in Eastern Washington.
Harvesting buckwheat in Pasco, Washington
Al Pine, Canola Farmer, and Akila Inouye making soba.
The farmers and locals of Pasco who came to the workshop
We are offering a Beginners Soba workshop on December 18 from 10am-1pm in Santa Monica. Please contact Sonoko Sakai for details. Tel. 310-600-4263 Morning class is sold out. Afternoon class form 3-6pm is still open.
Soba workshop in Santa Monica
Jameen's first soba- looks great! Akila's soba - beautiful!
Our workshop in October, included Udon workshops for beginners and an udon suki class. We also offered a brush up class for those who have taken soba with us before. For details, please visit: http://www.mazumizu.com
Hand cut udon noodles
Stepping on the dough.
Another great time making soba!
Ludo making his first soba. Beautiful!
Kikouchi soba workshop moment!
Ludo Lefebre makes soba.
It's summertime. There is nothing so satisfying as hand cut, homemade soba noodles. I I will be offering my second workshop at Tortoise in Venice, Ca. For more informaiton, visit
We had a great turn out at the Breadbar, thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped us make it through the week, and thanks to everyone who came for the big slurp. It was hardwork, we learned a lot, slept little. The best part was making new friends and sharing what we love so much: Soba!
I will be offering a handmade udon noodles workshop at JANM on June 25 from 11am - 1pm.
For more information, please visit JANM website http://www.janm.org/and register with them directly. Homemade udon is
delicious and very easy to make.
We finsihed our first Mazumizu soba and homecooking workshop last Sunday. It was a great success!. Thanks to everyone that participated in the workshop.
We will be doing another mini-workshop in August. For class descriptions, schedule and prices, please visit Akila and Sonoko's Official site Mazumizu, http://mazumizu.com. Or please contact Sonoko Sakai by e-mail: email@example.com or Tel. 310-600-4263.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
I am offering a hands on Onigiri workshop for children and parents.
When: February 28
Fee: $25 for one child and one parent. $35 for two children and one parent.
Miso soup, Onigiri and homemade koji pickles will be served.
To register please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org