What is Natto? 🥢

Natto (納豆) is a Japanese fermented soybean dish typically eaten for breakfast. Thesedays Natto is considered as a “superfood” – foods which provide multiple vitamins, healthy bacteria cultures which aid digestion, foods containing anti-inflammatory properties and/or overall have a positive impact on our bodies’ condition, functionality and energy levels. Other superfoods which you might be familiar with are antioxidants as such as green tea and blueberries, probiotics like Kefir and Cholesterol regulating pulses including Chia seeds.

Despite the fairly new introduction of Natto to outside of Asia, Natto is believed to originate back to the year 1051; which seemingly was an unintentional discovery by a Japanese man riding his horse somewhere in North-East Japan. After foraging the soybeans he placed them into a sack of some sort, which was attached to his horse. The heat radiating from the horse’s body in addition to the sunlight resulted in the soybean’s fermentation. It wasn’t until the 1900’s when scientists discovered Natto’s nutritional qualities*

Commonly, Natto is prepared with a small amount of soy sauce and Karashi mustard, served on steamed white rice with ringlets of green onion as a garnish. Natto is an aquired taste mainly due to is not so plesant; yet not unbearable scent, and sticky/stringy texture. In terms of flavour it doesn’t have a invigorating taste nor does it taste alike anything similar to it.

From personal experience, I really couldn’t stomach Natto without the rice; plus plain rice didn’t majorly help the Natto to appeal to my palate or improve my ability to consume it. With some guidance I discovered that combining a few extra ingredients which are untraditional in regards to how Japanese people intended Natto to be eaten, truly enabled me to tolerant Natto aside from it’s nutritional values.

Preparing a simple egg fried rice i.e with some diced white onion, 1 medium free-range egg, a steamed white rice, with pepper and salt for seasoning makes all the difference. The Natto, which should already be mixed with the soy sauce and Karashi mustard (these are usually provided in sachets per pot of one portion Natto), can be laid on top of the bowled/plated egg fried rice. Garnish with green onions as stated earlier. For extra flavour I added Korean Kimchi (Kimchi is also a fermented superfood), but that’s down to individual preference.

If eaten on a regular basis, particularly each morning, Natto can reduce stomach bloating caused by sodium and gluten intake. Some say that it prevents constipation and those with intolerance to dairy had improved digestion or at least experienced less painful or frequent stomach aches thanking to Natto’s Probiotics.

Whether you be a Vegetarian, Vegan or not it’s common knowledge that products made from soybeans, including tofu, are rich in protein. Therefore if you are seeking foods to add to your diet in replacement of meat or more common foods which have a high protein content, then you may want to consider giving Natto a try. From my standpoint I enjoy having Natto from Breakfast as I much prefer savory foods than typical sugary cereals or toast, and on the plus side it means I can intake many nutrients within one convenient meal.

💬 Have you tried Natto, or do you think it’s something you could give the taste test?

* Source: SoyInfo Center

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. This was the episode. They introduce the “secret I gradient”, natto, at 7:15.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks. Going to watch it soon 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Enjoy! I used to love that show.

        Like

  2. Years ago I was a fan of the original Iron Chef show. One time the secret ingredient was Natto. It looked so slimy and disgusting I thought there was no way I could eat that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely something not totally favourable, but the texture can somehow be ignored as long as its made tasteful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve seen this before in the organic store. But I’ve never tried it before… It does sound intriguing! xoxo Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never had it… or smelled it… though I’d like to think I’d give it a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi dear.
    I love Natto but I couldn’t eat it when I was young….. but I’ve started try it for health around age 30.
    I added “TOFU” and chopped “Kimchi” in Natto.
    For now, I am eating simple Matto once in a day for health when I’m in japan.

    For baby(1-3years old) they also will eat them which Natto washed by water then mix with steamed rice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I didn’t know that young children were eating it too. It’s good knowledge to know. Thanks for sharing your experience, I have some tofu at home right now so I will try using that 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never heard of natto before. I’m not sure it sounds like something I would like, although I’m willing to give anything veggie a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Monch Weller says:

    Tried nattozushi (sushi rolls filled with natto) some years ago, and surprisingly – it works well as a filling! A mix of wasabi and soy sauce tempers the strong soybean flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhh, sounds interesting. Never heard of Nattozushi before.

      Liked by 1 person

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