Mazumizu cooking classes begin next month in L.A., San Diego
Anyone who wants to try making soba -- not just boiling noodles from a package, but mixing the buckwheat-flour dough, rolling it and cutting the noodles by hand -- might seek the guidance of Akila Inouye of Tsukiji Soba Academy in Tokyo and writer Sonoko Sakai. They've launched a series of cooking classes; check out mazumizu.com. From June 12-27, Inouye and Sakai will be teaching workshops about soba and Japanese home cooking in L.A. and San Diego.
The tricky thing about making soba is that the dough is not easy to handle. Mixing it is one thing, but rolling it out to a thickness of one-sixteenth of an inch takes some work. (I've personally seen Inouye work up a sweat while rolling out sheets of buckwheat dough.) Cutting the dough into thin strands isn't as easy as it may seem, either. It takes a practiced hand to make even, elegant noodles. But Inouye is adept at teaching beginners and has even come up with an easy way to make soba.
Workshops include soba for beginners; basic handmade soba; kikouchi gluten-free soba; and a comprehensive workshop on handmade soba and traditional side dishes. Other workshops feature a farmers market tour with Inouye and Sakai; a vegan dinner party; Japanese knife skills; a seafood dinner; and easy Japanese summer entertaining. To sign up, go to the Mazumizu website.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Mark Hanauer / For The Times