By EunYoung Sebazco
We have been growing buckwheat as a crop plant to add organic matter into the soil. The soft white buckwheat flowers have shown up early in the summer. I can’t stop thinking about Soba (Buckwheat) noodles that I enjoy in the summer time. So, we decided to invite Miki Daycare, which is composed of mostly Japanese children. Let’s make Soba noodle! Buckwheat noodle is one of the popular meals in Korea and Japan. Koreans love to have chilled noodles during the summer season. The Japanese serve the noodles either chilled or hot for the whole season. They are both based soy broth that used for dipping or soup.
On the day of Miki’s group visiting, the children were able to see the buckwheat plants and harvested Dikon (Asian radish) and scallions for the Soba noodle garnish. After we finished the tour of buckwheat plant beds with our farmer Nick, they put on the small aprons. And they were ready to become chefs! They were excited to start kneading. The Japanese traditional way to making noodles will be really hard to handle for kids, so we constructed a more simple way. Mixing 80% of Buckwheat and 20% of flour, and water. We were supposed to knead more than100 times (because of strength of noodle) So while kneading, everyone counted together to make strong noodles with our farm’s intern Winne’s leading the way. We finished the dove. Now, lets roll it and make a pie. After rolling into a pie, sprinkling a lot of flour on top of the pie and double-folding very gently. Then is the toughest step for cutting and slicing down the knife top to bottom (do not press the folded pie). We will need to make very thin noodles as you can and place the noodle on the tray as straight as you can after cut. Boil the noodle for only 60 seconds, and drain the hot water and rinse off with cold water. Now, we will need to prepare the garnish for the dipping sauce. We will need to chop the scallion and grate the daikon. Seaweed and wasabi will be an option if you want to add more flavors.
Lunch time! We all got together on one big picnic blanket under the cherry trees. Miki passed noodles and garnishes in a small bowl with chopsticks. Miki and her little friends put their hands together and said “ITADAKIMASU!”, which means “Let’s eat.” Before we started to eat, the children kept saying “MORE NOODLES.” I believe that they had a great sense of pride in the noodles that they made. Again, Miki and her little friends put their hands together and said “GOCHISOUSAMA DESHITA”means “Thank you for the food ” after we finished the meal. Thank you for visiting Randall’s Island Urban Farm!