Hoto is a traditionally made cuisine from Yamanashi prefecture. It uses very thick and flat noodles made from flour, which is simmered with vegetables in a hot soup based with miso soy bean paste.In some areas, dough which is prepared more like dumplings are used rather than noodles.
In Yamanashi prefecture, noodles especially made to be used for hoto is distributed in the market. The dough for the noodles is different from that of udon, because it does not have much toughness. The soup was used to be made with homemade miso, which uses both barley-malt and rice-malt, but people now buy miso at markets.
The ingredients vary depending on the season hoto is made. In summer, vegetables such as green onion, potato, and onion are used. In winter, vegetables such as pumpkin, Japanese yam, carrot, Chinese cabbage, and mushrooms are used. It is said that the soup tastes great if boiled until pumpkin fall part.
There are other ways to eat hoto. There is ozara, which can also be called cold hoto, and the noodles will be washed with cold water. The cold noodles will be dipped in a warm soup, which contains vegetables and meat. It used to be a local food from Kai city, but hoto restaurant in Kofu city started to serve as a summer speciality, because simmered hoto is not eaten much in summer.
Hoto is a well balanced cuisine because it contains vitamins and dietary fibre from the vegetables, starch from flour and potatoes, and protein from miso. It is believed that hoto has be eaten since the early 1800s, when a mountain ascetic hermit wrote the word hoto in his diary as a speciality of Kai province.