If you love food that sticks to your ribs, then you have got to try Yamanashi’s most famous regional dish, hōtō (ほうとう). This delicious soup is true comfort food. It is made by stewing flat udon noodles and vegetables in miso soup. Although the soup may appear to be vegetarian, you can almost be certain that the stock is flavoured with dried fish flakes.
If you are in the Mount Fuji area, then you have got to stop in at Hōtō Fudō, Kawaguchiko (North). This is my favourite hōtō restaurant in Yamanashi.
If you enjoy trying to recreate the foods you discover on vacation, why not try making hōtō?
First make the noodles:
In addition to preventing the noodles from sticking together, coating the noodles with flour helps thicken the soup. Once your noodles are ready, set them aside.
Now put kabocha (squash), shimeji (mushrooms), napa cabbage, carrots, and green onions in soup stock and cook them to your desired consistency. The soup stock recipe at the restaurant above is a closely guarded secret, but it appears to be made with three of four types of dried fish, lots of round onions, carrots, chicken, pork bones, a knob of ginger, salt and pepper. So the flavour is basically from the stock.
Next, add the noodles and cook until your desired consistency.
Finally, add the miso and cook it just until it boils and then stop immediately.
I like to sprinkle some chillies in the soup just before I dig in.