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HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU

HOUTOU

HOUTOU

ABOUT HOUTOU

Houtou is a popular regional dish from Yamanashi prefecture in Japan.
Houtou is made by flat wheat noodles, pumpkin and other vegetables in a miso soup.
Adding your favorite fresh vegetables will turn this dish into a healthy and vegetarian-friendly traditional Japanese meal.
Our houtou noodles are made of flour, salt and water from the holy mountain Fuji.
The noodle dish is vegetarian and vegan; however meat lovers can add sliced pork or sliced chicken if they wish.


The meaning of Itadakimasu


Before eating a meal in Japan it is common to say “Itadakimasu” (いただきます).
“Itadakimasu” is often translated as “I humbly receive”. However when related to food it is often compared to “Bon appetit!” or “Thank you for the food.” Some people even compare it to the Christian tradition of saying grace before a meal.
A “proper itadakimasu” is performed with clasped hands together and a slight bow, however it is also common for people to say it individually quietly to themselves or to share the greeting with everyone together who is joining the meal.
Japan has the background of Buddhist culture and therefore Itadakimasu is also related to the Buddhist principle of respecting all living things.
“Itadakimasu” can also be understood as an appreciation to animals and plants that gave their lives for the meal which will be consumed. People also say “Itadakimasu” to everyone involved providing the meal, including hunters/farmers and the cook.


HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU


Preparation for two people:
ほうとう具材
•300 g Houtou noodles
•1,5 L water
•Miso paste (2 packages)
•Vegetables cut into small size (eg. carrots, pumpkin, potato, onion, cabbage, mushrooms,tofu…)

You can choose your favorite vegetables – Japanese people like to use green onions,taro, winter radish, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, and also fried Tofu. You can experiment and find your favorite taste.

HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP1
ほうとうだし汁
Fill the pot with 1,5 L water and wait until it is boiling.
HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP2
ほうとう 煮えにくい野菜
Add the hard vegetables to the boiling water first (such as carrot, pumpkin and taro).
HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP3
ほうとう 麺入れ
Once the vegetables are cooked and they are quite soft, cut the length of the noodles to a half and add them to the pot.
Let it cook about 10 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP4
ほうとう 煮えやすい野菜
Next step is to put all the “soft” vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, cabbage or tofu.
Color is very important in Japanese cooking and if you put all the vegetables together from the beginning the broth will not look nice. Let everything cook for another 2 ~ 3 minutes.
HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP5
ほうとう 味噌入れ
The final step is to add the Miso. Put the Miso paste on a big scoop or ladle and slowly add it to the water. Put water on the ladle, mix it with the miso and add the paste to the soup.
Miso has a very strong taste and should be always put at very last. Never put the Miso from the beginning!
HOW TO MAKE HOUTOU STEP6
ほうとう完成
It’s done! If you like very soft noodles, you can cook them a bit more. Enjoy your Japanese noodle dish! 🙂


The meaning of Gochiso-sama deshita


When finish eating, Japanese say, “Gochisosama” or “Gochisosama deshita” (ごちそうさまでした)which is the more formal form.

The origin of the word goes back to the Edo period. Gochisosama can be written in Kanji, ご馳走さま.
馳走 (chiso) means making every effort or running around.
In former times people were riding their horses or running through the town to prepare meals for their guest, therefore the word “chiso” began to include the meaning of inviting people to eat.

Later on the words Go (御) and Sama (様) were added to show the appreciation of providing a meal and Japanese people started to use this phrase after receiving a meal.

Nowadays The word gochiso refers to luxurious food, a feast or a good meal.
You might translate it with “That was delicious!” or “Thank you for the meal!”
If you leave a restaurant in Japan after finishing your meal you can also shout “Gochisosama deshita!” to the cook to show your appreciation for the delicious meal.




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