When you look at the Nagomi Kitchen site you might only see the two of us, Megumi Kusunoki and myself, Alisa Sanada, on the about us page, but we are actually supported by many amazing advisors. Among these wonderful advisors is Megumi Kusunoki’s mother. If you are a past participant in one of our cooking programs, then you might have met her. She’s the one with the camera snapping away making you feel like a superstar during our sessions. And if you are going to be participating in the near future, make sure to get all your Japanese food and Bali scuba diving questions ready because she sure knows a lot about both and is ready to share.
She is from Yamanashi Prefecture, most famous for Mount Fuji. However, in my eyes it’s the land of the yummy regional dish houtou. It's a flat udon noodle dish with vegetables in a miso soup broth that is normally eaten at a restaurant if you are not from the region. But of course the locals eat it at their homes and mmm-hmm it sure is delicious!
I had the pleasure to try her homemade houtou, which was my first one outside of a restaurant. What I liked about it most was the fact that we were eating it nabe hot pot style instead of each person with an individual bowl. It was great seeing the soup get thicker and thicker because you cook the noodles still covered with flour unlike other noodle dishes where you need to pre-cook using another pot. That combined with the broth that comes from the ingredients like chicken, kabocha pumpkin, onions, fried tofu, carrots, mushrooms, daikon radish and of course miso, mmm-hmm is all I can keep on saying! Even if you can’t get a hold of houtou noodles, at least try making it with udon noodles. You will understand how great miso is, and how it is not just for miso soup!