Apologies for the late posting from the soba class! If there’s anything I missed or noted incorrectly, please do comment and let me know! I’ll correct it promptly.
Cutting the soba noodles
What we saw Inouge-san make during the soba class was apparently only about 39% of the total amount of flour he usually makes. He used
- 800 g of buckwheat
- 390 g of water
- 200g of flour
- mirin (does anyone remember the amount?)
- Smooth the surface of the dough with your palms
- Use rolling pin(s) to flatten the dough to 5 mm **keep turning the soba dough to flatten evenly and in a circular shape!**
- Create 2 corners in the dough by rolling the dough around the pin, rather than just under
- Unroll the dough sideways to create the other 2 corners **make sure to flour the board, dough, and rolling pin thoroughly**
- Unroll the dough at a 45 degree angle to create an almost rectangular shape
- Correct the shape to more rectangular slowly with a short pin to the final 1.5 mm thickness
- Roll over pin once, turn around, and unroll the dough halfway
- Put a thin layer of flour over the unrolled half
- Unroll the rest over and put a layer of flour over that too
- Fold the second half over the first half and flour half of the top of the folded dough
- Repeat until the dough has been folded into a good cutting size for the length of your knife
- Put a thin layer of flour over cutting board and layer over top of flour
- Use a board over the flour to cut in straight lines **a 1.3 mm width cut is the most traditional size**
- Cook the noodles, drain the water, and eat
This is Inouge-san’s own recipe, which uses less water than usual. This keeps the ingredients’ characteristics, creates a stronger taste, and keeps the noodles not too soft.
Condiments used with the soba noodles were:
- Okinawa brown sugar syrup (dessert style)
- Sliced green onion
- Daikon oroshi (grated daikon)
- Soy sauce
- Tosa joyu (seasoned with bonito)
The broth was made from: a soy sauce base, granulated sugar, bonito dashi, and mirin.
The softer soba dumplings that were made after the soba noodles were made with 2.5x water by weight with the buckwheat flour. To make these, just stir while heating on stovetop until the water and buckwheat mixture has a dough-y consistency!
According to Inouge-san, since soba has 92% more protein than eggs, eating soba with foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium is the perfect meal.
Class will be held in room 108, of the University Religious Center (URC). It’s at 835 W. 34th Street, between College House and the University Health Center–across from the Raubenheimer Music Building.It’s a glassed-in room that juts out from the building.Here is a link to a Google map.
We will need a couple of volunteers to help carry pots and things from the car in front of the URC–at about 10:15 or so, and then to reload them back in the car.
OK, so we are finally set–and the results are that we are getting two soba chefs, instead of one! Sonoko Sakai and Akila Inouye will join us October 7. He runs the Tsukiji Soba Academy, and will be visiting LA for a short time.
As you probably guessed, this does have consequences for the timing of assignments. Here is a summary–
–paper due Oct 7: you are always welcome to turn it in early;
–class in Office of Religious Life Oct 7 (map to follow);
–assignment for Sept 28=read the Miyazawa Kenji story and the Kajii Motojirō story, and think about magic, referring back to our Tanizaki discussion. Write the blog entry on “magic” and post, using CATEGORIES NOT TAGS “magic”and “blog 3” and whatever tags you want.
I have also added a small section titled “a few words on participation,” so you will have a clear understanding of what that refers to, and how I understand it in the context of interactions in the classroom.
What about the plants, you ask? Good question, since we did not finish transplanting (plants were not ready, yet). We should discuss this on Tuesday–the heat wave is likely to last all week, and when it abates, I think we can transplant in small groups. But given that some time will have passed, and only a couple did this hands-on before, a refresher on how to do it is probably a good idea…
I’m trying to finalize the date with the cooking class teacher. We’ve run into a bit of a snag–she needs access to a kitchen, but lives in Santa Monica. We can do that, as a last resort, but I fear it would make attendance difficult for some people…as transit time means we’d have to do it on a weekend.
So, if anyone has any insider knowledge of kitchens that we might use or rent near campus, that hold 30 people, I would be grateful if you would let me know. I have already unsuccessfully tried the Faculty Club and the local schools. And am now moving on to ask at local churches and museums. I can offer a couple hundred $$$ in donation/fee. Ideally, the class is as scheduled, 11-12:20 on Sept 30. The only “facilities” requirements are that 1) we can boil water; 2) we can all fit, and therefore see what is going on, and participate when the chef needs an assistant.