- Main lore areas
All over the prefecture
- Main ingredients used
wheat flour, potatoes, pumpkin, daikon radish, carrots, Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, deep-fried tofu, miso
- History/origin/related events
Houtou" is a typical local dish of Yamanashi Prefecture, known to everyone as "Uimono da kabocha no houtou," which means "good pumpkin houtou" in Japanese. It is also called "noshire" or "noshikomi" in the southern region. In mountainous areas where rice cultivation is not suitable, it has long been popular as a staple food to replace rice. Because of this, making "houtou-men" was also considered an apprenticeship for marrying into the family. Since salt is not mixed in when making the noodles, there is no need to boil the noodles in advance to remove the salt content. Houtou is also highly nutritious and goes well with vegetables and meat. Houtou" is the name of a type of "dumpling" that has been known since the Heian period, when it was eaten by aristocrats for ceremonial purposes.
- Opportunities and times of eating habits
Houtou is eaten on a daily basis throughout the year.
Since the soup is stewed with the batter still attached, it is viscous and does not easily cool down, making it a warming meal that is eaten more frequently during the winter months.
- How to eat
Knead the flour with a little lukewarm water, then roll it into a glutinous rice cake and cover it with a wet dish towel. Put chopped vegetables and mushrooms, beginning with the hardest ones, into the broth made from dried sardines, and cook until softened. Roll out the dough thinly and cut into wide strips to make "houtou-men". Add the sliced fried bean curd, half of the miso paste, and the houtou-men and simmer until the houtou-men become clear. When the houtou-men becomes clear, add the remaining miso and season to taste. When it comes to a simmer, add the green onions, turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and steam for a few minutes. Add meat, seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, or any other ingredients as desired.
- Efforts for Preservation and Succession
There are many "hoto" restaurants in the prefecture, and many people visit from outside the prefecture. Among the 176 local foods that Yamanashi Prefecture is working to pass on to the next generation, Hoto has been selected as one of the "Specially Selected Yamanashi Foods," a list of 47 representative items. In 2007, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries selected it as one of the "100 Local Dishes of Rural Villages" from all over Japan.