Posted on December 2, 2016 at 6:35 PM

Lucky Peach    Art by Vinnie Neuberg

As some of you may know, Sakai and I have a small ranch in Tehachapi, which is in the high desert northeast of Mojave. We’ve had this place for almost four years now. After spending Thanksgiving day at our friends’ house in Venice, we drove up here for the weekend. Winter came early to Tehachapi this year. By the first evening, temperatures fell to the low 30s and the rain turned to snow. No matter how cold, winter is my favorite time of the year. I like to do a major year end cleaning, so I don’t carry any old dust into the New Year. It is also the time of the year that I get superstitious with food. Japanese people prepare special foods that are supposed to bring good luck and good health in the New Year and eat them during New Years Eve and throughout the first week of the New Year.

I am excited to tell you that In addition to my core winter workshops in miso, sushi and noodle making, I am going to teach how to make Japanese Good Luck dishes that can be easily prepared at home. You can serve Good Luck dishes as nibbles or as part of the main course at your New Years Eve or New Years Day party; or you can enjoy them throughout the winter season. I am also offering a Good Luck Holiday Special Certificate for $110, which you can use toward any of the following workshops, so long as you sign up before Sunday, December 8, 2016; you can also use this certificate for any future workshops I host in 2017.

I hope you join me or invite your family and friends to come to one of my workshops.  Finally, I want to thank you for all your support in 2016. Good luck and Good health to you and your family in the New Year! Sonoko Author of RICE CRAFT(Chronicle Books) Best Book of the Month of July 2016 by Amazon.

Sonoko’s December 2016 Workshops  

Miso Making and Ozoni, New Years Good Luck Mochi Soup

Saturday, December 10

Hours: 10-130pm

This is a hands-on miso making workshop. I will show you how to make miso from scratch. We will cook and mash the grains and inoculate the paste with koji - fermented rice. We will use non-GMO soybeans and rice as a base for making the miso, which will undergo a slow fermentation process of six months to a year to reach maturity. We will make a a hearty good luck soup Ozoni, made with homemade mochi rice cakes, chicken, greens, and a rich dashi stock; also Grilled Ongiri, with miso, using rice grown by my friend farmer Koda Farms. You will each take a pint of miso to complete the fermentation at home. Fee: $135. To register e-mail me at [email protected]

Freshly Milled Soba Noodles Workshop and Good Luck Tempura

Sunday, December 11 

Hours 10:00-130PM

Hours: 10-130pm Soba noodles are traditionally eaten at New Year’s Eve, because soba represents a lean and long life. Even if you are a ramen lover, switch to soba for a day. You will feel better. This is a hands-on noodle making workshop. We will use a blend of home milled groats and premium grade Japanese buckwheat, and Sonora wheat flours grown by my farmer friends of the Tehachapi Grain Project. We will make noodles in a hot soup and a batterless vegetable tempura, using root vegetables like burdock and carrots to bring you a sense of balance and stability in the New Year. Fee: $125 To register e-mail me at [email protected]

Easy Sushi for Beginners and Good Luck Mochi Soup Session one:

Saturday, December 17

Hours: 10-130pm

We will make easy seafood and vegetable sushi, using mari zushi (ball shaped sushi) and maki zushi (rolled sushi, using rice grown by my farmer friend Koda Farms. You will get a lesson on filleting the fish and seasoning the rice to make sushi as well as preparing the vegetable toppings. See my story in Lucky Peach to get more details about the class. http:// I will also show you how to make the dashi rich New Year’s soup of toasted mochi, shrimp, greens and yuzu to bring you good luck in the New Year. Fee: $135 To register e-mail me at [email protected]

Handmade Ramen noodles workshop and Good Luck Pickles

Wednesday, December 28

Hours 10-130pm

Those of you who love ramen should try making it at home. You will taste the difference, especially the noodles. In this workshop, we will be cranking out noodles made with a blend of rye, sonora and red fife wheat grown by my friends of the Tehachapi Grain Project. I will show you how to make ramen with chicken and pork bones cooked slowly for more than six hours. Yakibuta -braised Pork Belly and Marinated eggs will be served on top of the noodles. For good luck, we will make Namasu, carrot and daikon radish salad that represents the purity and fire in our life. Fee: $135 To register e-mail me at [email protected]

Categories: Workshops

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