Posts Tagged ‘handmade soba’

The biggest cooking disaster since that green tea syrup incident

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Okay. So round one of soba making did not go well. It was an unmitigated disaster. A catastrophic failure of epic proportions. And let’s set one thing straight. This isn’t a “hahaha isn’t it funny when you let your husband into the kitchen” kind of post. No not at all. In my family I’m the one that does the cooking and I take a certain amount of pride in my domestic abilities. But not this night. No. The gods of soba have seen my pride and have humbled me.

I have a few excuses. But none worth writing about. It turns out that soba actually being noodles is kind of key. Soba pellets are not nearly as delicious. Not at all.

I actually made my wife laugh out loud at the dinner table. She was really trying to be a sport. She knew I’d be upset at how it turned out and was trying to not make eye contact. I took one bite and said “this is a disaster” and she burst out laughing. Yep. Soba pellet comedy.

She opened a can of refried beans and made a burrito for dinner. A bean frigging burrito. I couldn’t cook something better than a bean burrito… from a can. I just embarrassed a thousand generations of my ancestors.

I’m am humbled but undeterred. I will give the wife a little break from having to eat soba disasters but will be back at it after the weekend. What is that saying about a thousand mile journey starting with… an unmitigated disaster.

Soba Bowl

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

It all started from a text from my mom. She had just heard an NPR story about Sonoko Sakai’s quest for soba and teaching soba making workshops in LA and knew it would be something I’d be interested in. I immediately took to the internet and found her website and signed up for her next soba making workshop. I love soba and in my on going quest to get geekier about food the opportunity to learn how to make homemade soba was something I couldn’t pass up! It wasn’t until two days after I signed up for the class did I realize it was on Super Bowl Sunday right during the game. I mean I love football and all but soba vs. football is no competition. So off I went to the soba making class.

There is a lot of overlap between cooking and music. Both are about improvisation, aesthetic and craft. There are so many parallels that I firmly believe that taking cooking more seriously has made me a better musician and I can apply many of the things I’m thinking about music to my cooking. Of course I’m far from the first musician who fancies himself a chef… I often wonder if chefs also fancy themselves musicians…

One of the many things I’m constantly working on as a musician is to be able to do something very simply very well. It’s not really in my nature to gravitate toward simplicity. I’m much more prone to over think and over complicate things. Though recently I’ve started to understand more deeply the beauty of doing something simply very well. It has also occurred to me fairly recently that I should work on this in my food as well.

All these ideas have been swirling around in my head and they crystalized into a plan when I read my mom’s text. I’ll do it with soba! I had already started trying to prepare dashi from scratch. Eien had already been doing this and during our last trip to Japan we took a trip to the Narita fish market with his father to find a bonito shaver so I could shave my own katsuobushi. I now have a dream to make the perfect bowl of soba before I die. Not sure if I’ll ever get there but I’m sure the journey will be well worth it.

If you interested in taking soba workshop Sonoko will be teaching a workshop in Highland Park on Feb 22nd. Find out more at on her website

I was going to post a pic of my noodles but they were embarrassingly bad! They did taste good but I definitely must up my game. Right now I’m not even a padawan learner. I’m like a level zero soba ninja with a -3 skill check penalty. Sheesh.

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