Sonoko Sakai
Sonoko Sakai

WHEN, WHERE AND WHAT’S COOKING! All my workshops are hands-on format, unless noted in the description. We will have a tasting lunch. Bring containers, aprons and kitchen towels.

Location: All my cooking classes are offered in Highland Park (Los Angeles) unless already noted on this website.

Registration:  please email me to register at Upon payment by Venmo or Paypal, I will send detailed information about the venue.

Dietary Restrictions: Please let me know if you have any dietary restrictions before you register for the workshop.

Cancellation policy: I will give you credit for a future class (valid for 1 year) if you can’t make it to the workshop. The fee is non-refundable.

Waiver: You will be asked to sign a waiver, which I will e-mail you prior to the workshop. Please print, sign and bring it to the workshop.

Sonoko on TV! Watch The Migrant Kitchen


Sonoko Sakai’s new cookbook: Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors (Roost Books November 2019)

Japanese Dashi Ingredients

Japanese Dashi Ingredients

Japanese Pantry Workshop
Saturday, April 6 9-Noon NEW!!!

This is a basic Japanese pantry workshop that will take you through my Japanese pantry. You will learn the fundamentals of fermented rice seasonings - soy sauce, sake, mirin, and miso; also seaweed, shiitake and bonito flakes - how to use them in miso soup, a salad, a vegetable and a meat and fish dishes. Once you understand the fundamental use of these seasonings, you will get a handle on Japanese cooking We will compose a classic Japanese menu -Ichiju sansai “- one soup and 3 dishes with pickles and rice. $135 includes a tasting lunch.



Sunday, March 31 10-1pm NEW

Let’s make curry from scratch, using fresh whole spices and seeds. We will do our own spice blends and make a curry brick, only ours will be without any preservatives or food coloring. We will then make a chicken and vegetable curry and have it for lunch with sprouted brown rice and home made Fukujinzuke relish - pickles of the seven lucky gods. To register, please Email

$125 per person


SOYBEANS Homemade Miso

Sunday, March 24 10-1pm -SOLD OUT!

Sunday, April 14 930-1230pm NEW!!!

This is a hands on miso workshop. You will each make 1 quart of miso using non -gmo Laura’s soybeans. You will take the miso home to complete the fermentation which will take 6 months to a year. Miso needs to be made during the cooler months so the beans can ferment slowly and then go through at least one summer to further its fermentation. You can start using the young miso when it’s 3 months old but I like my miso when it’s between 9-12 months old. A miso-themed lunch will be served. $135. To register, please Email

Photographs by Rick Poon

Sashimi, Mari-sushi and Temaki style sushi - from the Fish Lesson from Niki Nakayama and Carole iida of N/Naka.

Sashimi, Mari-sushi and Temaki style sushi - from the Fish Lesson from Niki Nakayama and Carole iida of N/Naka.

SPRING 2019 Workshops


Local fish caught in the waters of Southern California. Fish monger Seiichi Yokota of Yokose Seafood

Local fish caught in the waters of Southern California. Fish monger Seiichi Yokota of Yokose Seafood

ALL ABOUT LOCAL WILD FISH! Sunday, April 7 10-1 pm - The First in a series of fish workshops with Seiichi Yokota of Yokose Seafood NEW!!!

I am very honored to offer the first local fish workshop in collaboration with veteran fish expert Seiichi Yokota of Yokose Seafood, a 7th generation wholesale fishmonger who moved to Los Angeles four years ago from Toyama prefecture, Japan.

Seiichi has been involved in the import/export fish whole business. Before coming to Los Angeles, he worked at the Toyama Fish Market and Tsukiji Fish Markets where he developed his eye and technique for handling fish. He is all about respecting the fish. He works directly with the local fishermen in Southern California, driving out to the dock in New Port Beach to select the freshest fish. He does “Ikejime” a slaughtering technique that has been practiced by Japanese fishermen and chefs for hundreds of years. The technique is said to cause the least amount of stress to the fish, preserves its freshness and deepens its umami flavor.

Seiichi will talk about the types of fish available in our local waters, sustainable fishing, how to select fresh fish and about the fishermen in Southern California. He will demonstrate how to prepare whole fish into fillets, using Ikejime and other techniques. The Menu: We will make homestyle sashimi and sushi. To register, please Email Fee:$215 which will include a tasting menu of sunomono (Japanese salad), sashimi, Mari-zushi and Hand rolled sushi, Miso soup made with fish bone Dashi stock with herbs and a Japanese dessert .To register, please Email

Seiichi was featured in KCET’s Migrant Kitchen - Omotenashi episode. Please watch this Emmy Award winning episode.

Oden Hot Pot Workshop

Saturday, March 23 10-1pm

Oden is one of the oldest and most popular Japanese hot pots. What goes into odenvaries from home to home, shop to shop, and region to region. Most Japanese cooks make oden with store-bought odeningredients, but I try to make as many of the entries from scratch as possible because I don’t like all the preservatives that industrial manufacturers use—my constant refrain. So my oden is unique in that way. It takes a little more work than buying premade ingredients, but it is well worth the effort. Entries in this hot pot include Cabbage roll, Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu, Fresh Fish Fritters, Potatoes, Daikon Radish, Carrots, Egg, Konnyaku, and more. $135 To register, please Email


SOYBEANS SESSION Tofu Workshop Sunday, April 28, 10-1pm

There are three steps to making tofu. Soak the soybeans, make soy milk and coagulate the soy milk.

Tofu making is similar to cheese making in that regards but it’s plant based. The beans we use in this workshop is GMO soybeans from Laura’s Soybeans in Iowa. When you consider that 90% of the soybeans produced in the US is GMO, store-bought tofu is made mostly with GMO soybeans. It’s a little more work in the kitchen to make tofu but once you get a hang of the coagulation, it’s pretty simple. We will make medium firm and soft tofu. We will use the lees to make pancakes and use the whey to make miso soup, so no part of the bean will be wasted. Fee: $145. To register, please Email


Saturday, March 30 10-1pm Sold out!


Japanese Sweets Workshop

Saturday, May 4, 10-2pm Japanese Sweets - Learn how to make mochi desserts using agar, fresh fruit, black soy beans and Anko, adzuki bean paste. This workshop will feature Mitsumame (Fruit cocktail with fruit juice agar jelly and fresh fruit, shiratama mochi and beans), Daifuku, mochi stuffed with bean paste and Amazake ice pops and Butter Mochi. Fee: $150 (includes a Japanese lunch) To register, please Email

RAMEN Workshop

Sunday, May 19, 4-7pm

We will make the noodles from scratch, using a blend of local grains. Toppings will include yakibuta,braised pork belly and seasonal vegetables. The soup will be made with - pork bones, chicken, shiitake and kombu based broth.  Vegans and Vegetarian options are available upon request. Noodles will be made with wheat flour.

$135 per person.

You will take home two servings of noodles. Tasting lunch of ramen during class.To register, please Email

Soba Workshop Saturday, March 16 10-1pm

Saturday, April 27 10-1pm

Hand cut soba noodle making. You will also learn how to make the dipping sauce and soup from scratch. Vegetable and Seafood Tempura kakiage will be the topping for the noodles. (Includes a tasting lunch)

to Jul 29



Workshops and Presentations to include in-bakery milling, wheat and women: three vignettes from history, lamination with whole grains, whole wheat ramen noodles, bee keeping, home baked whole grain bread, recipe writing, heirloom and modern wheats, cooking for Olympic athletes, new school agriculture: the legal challenges of creating non-commodity success, working with culinary malts, rural-urban and farm-food movement issues, production baking, Persian flatbreads, plant breeding, challenges and research needs for small to mid-sized milling operations, crackers, and success can be brutal!  And more….

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