Soba Noodle Making Class in Tokyo

One of the coolest things we did while in Tokyo last Christmas was learn how to make soba noodles. While I will never be an expert and I can't tell you all of the step by step details, I can share the pictures and tell you this was an awesome time.  We did the basic class, for fun, at the Tsukiji Soba Academy.

Here I am with our sensei, Akila.
We started off making the dashi, which is a broth and base used for just about everything in Japanese cooking.  One of the main ingredients in dashi is dried bonito.
As part of the cooking process we watched our instructor create a chemical reaction among the ingredients using a hot metal rod.  Here you can see it over the open flame.

Here are some mushrooms that are being prepared to eat with our soba.  We started off by learning to make all of the sauces and accompanying ingredients, then we watched him make noodles, and after eating lunch we learned how to make our own.
Here goes the metal rod!
Here the dry ingredients are being measured out for the soba noodles.

Mixing it all up with some liquid added.
And here we have a Hershey Kiss!
But not for long, haha!
Then it was flattened.
And rolled out.
Bigger and bigger
Until it was at the right thickness to be cut.
Next it needed to be folded over a few times.
This is the special knife designed just for cutting soba noodles.
This board is used as part of the noodle cutting technique.
You cut it and then angle the board back and slide it a little.  Hard to explain and even harder to do it correctly!
Look at him go!
Pretty impressive to watch him quickly cut all of these noodles.
Then it was time to prepare, serve, and eat lunch.
Radish for grating.
Getting the fresh wasabi ready.

Grating the wasabi fresh for our soba.
Wow, that's a lot of fresh wasabi!
Grated daikon, which is a Japanese radish.
Then it was time to cook the noodles.
Some of the ingredients for the soup.
Almost ready to enjoy these fresh soba noodles.
The meal as it was set down at the table for each of us.  In the middle is soba for eating cold with a dipping sauce.
Lovely presentation of our hot soba dish.
And close up.  Yum!
Scallop soup
And if that wasn't enough, we finished off the meal with matcha ice cream.
After lunch it was time for Ryan and I to try out making our own soba noodles.  Since my hands were dirty pretty much the whole time there are no step by step photos and none of me in action.  But that is ok because I was able to fully concentrate on making my noodles.  And I have to admit, it was difficult, but I think mine turned out pretty well.
As did Ryan's!
What an awesome day!  
If you are ever in Tokyo and looking to learn a little about food and cooking techniques, I highly recommend this class.  It was just me and Ryan and well worth the time and money spent.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever made soba noodles?  Have you ever made any type of pasta?  What was the last cooking class you took?  Have you ever taken a cooking class while on vacation?

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