Here’s Where You Can Take Soba-Making Classes in Kyushu
And learn more about Japan's culinary culture along the way.
When it comes to trying soba (noodles made of buckwheat flour), it is always the best option to have the freshly made ones, of which there is an abundance during autumn, the season of harvesting buckwheat. In this article, we introduce two places in Kyushu known for conducting soba noodle-making classes.
Kugino Soba Kenshu Center
149-1 Kain, Minamiaso, Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture
The restaurant is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The soba making class starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. daily except on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
For a group of four, participating in the soba making class will cost ¥3,920.
Kugino Soba Kenshu Center uses locally grown buckwheat that has been grinded from the adjacent milling factory. Aside from holding soba-making classes, freshly made soba is also served at their eatery. There is a ¥310 additional fee for takeouts.
If you're wondering what happens during the soba-making classes, here's a sneak peek of how the soba noodles are made:
Here's what happens when you make ni-hachi soba. First, you knead 80 percent buckwheat flour and 20 percent wheat flour in the kneading bowl until everything is even. While doing that, gradually add a little bit of water at a time, and let it blend with the mixture.
Make sure that you knead carefully, starting by rubbing the lump of flour with your hand until it becomes firm. If the required thickness is achieved, the noodles won't easily break once they are boiled.
Next, sprinkle some flour on the table and flatten the dough into a round, mushroom shape. Afterwards, flatten it slowly and lightly bit by bit with a rolling pin. Avoid pressing too hard.
Keep reversing the dough after every roll of the rolling pin until it becomes square-shaped and about 2mm thick, then fold.
The most challenging part of the soba noodle-making process is cutting the dough. Maintain a rough 2mm distance when cutting it with the knife specifically designed for slicing soba. The trick here is to cut using a top-down motion, not drawing the knife towards oneself.
1955-1 Kawakami, Yamatocho, Saga Prefecture
Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except on Tuesdays (Open if it is a holiday).
The soba-making class for two persons costs ¥3,000.
Nishiyamada Farm conducts harvesting activities for their organically cultivated products. Various nature-related activities such as soba-making, fruit-picking, and jam-making are held depending on the season.
Let's take a look at their version of making soba noodles:
In the class, you'll make use of sun-dried, flavorful buckwheat flour when making the soba noodles. When mixing the ingredients, it is important not to warm the mixture. As such, it is better to use the tips of your fingers to swiftly mix and knead the flour until it becomes slightly firm.
Next, use a rolling pin to perform the technique of kakudashi (or the flattening of the dough into a square shape). The rolling pin's slender shape lets beginners use it more easily.
Lastly, press the komaita (cutting guide board for noodles) lightly while cutting the dough with a knife. After each cut, push the komaita slightly using the knife until the desired width is achieved. This will make sure that the noodles are cut evenly.
Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kyushu Walker™ (12 September 2018)