Hōtō Noodle Soup (Hōtō Nabe)

Hero shot of Hōtō Noodle Soup in a single serve clay pot.

Hōtō Noodle Soup (Hōtō Nabe) is a noodle soup dish with flat noodles, pumpkin, and other vegetables. They are cooked in a miso-flavoured broth. It is a perfect dish on a cold day (it’s winter here in Australia), but I don’t mind eating it in summer too. It’s almost a big bowl of miso soup full of ingredients.

Hōtō Noodle Soup (Hōtō Nabe) is known as Yamanashi prefecture’s most famous local cuisine. It is so famous that, if Japanese people think of Yamanashi prefecture they will think of Hōtō. In Yamanashi, particularly the northern side of Mt. Fuji, you will find many noodle restaurants that specialise in Hōtō.

There are variations to the ingredients, but a particular kind of flat noodle is the ‘must have’ ingredient for this dish, otherwise it won’t be called Hōtō.

About Hōtō

Hōtō is the traditional name of this dish but many people in Japan call it Hōtō Nabe (ほうとう鍋, Hōtō Hot Pot), even though the dish can also be classified as a noodle soup.

This is understandable because the dish contains noodles in a broth (which makes it a noodle soup), and many different ingredients are cooked in a pot (which makes it a hot pot). In addition to this, the dish is often served in an iron pot with handles or a clay pot.

Zoomed-in photo of scooping some noodles and pumpkin piece in a small spoon.

The noodles look almost identical to flat udon noodles, and they are also made with flour. But Hōtō noodles do not contain salt and more importantly, how you cook the noodles is very different.

As soon as the noodles are made, you cook them in the broth while the noodles are still soft and coated in flour. The surface …continue reading