Updated: Jul 13
Natto is made from cooked whole soybeans that have been fermented with koji spores. Once it is prepared, there is no need for further cooking. It is usually served as a side dish as an accompaniment with grains and noodles. It can be prepared by stirring it to bring out the stickiness, then adding different flavors, such as soy sauce, grated fresh ginger, daikon raddish, jinenjo mountain potato, mustard, horse raddish, chives, scallions, nori slivers, and other seasonings. It can be made at home with a bit of preparation and can be purchased in Asian markets or online. I find it is difficult to find Natto made with organic soybeans, so I am going to attempt to make it at home. I ordered the Kawashimayo Natto Starter Powder through Amazon, will update when I do it. I made it years ago with Sensei Muramoto, and remember that it was very different and more delicious than the frozen packages available.
Natto has a distinctive smell and flavor that people either love it or hate it. I have heard that people who eat alot of dairy do not like it, I am not sure how true that is. The benefits to enjoying Natto are enormous. It is a super nutritious food. It is originated in Japan, where the cooked soybeans were wrapped in rice straw which naturally had the bacillus subtillis bacteria on its surface. This allowed the sugar in the beans to ferment creating Natto.
Soybeans are a very hard bean. It takes a long time to cook them. Soybeans are a very important part of the vegetarian diet because they are a one of the highest quality sources of plant based protein, vitamins, minerals and isoflanones. They do contain anti-nutrients such as lectins, however, it has been studied that fermentation reduces the content by 95%.
One container of natto
Two scallions chopped
Grated ginger about one Tbsp. use the squeezed juice
Soy sauce to taste.
Stir the natto until the sticky sauce comes out. Add all the ingredients and mix well.
Serve immediately. Goes well noodles dishes such as udon or soba, also with cooked grain, especially brown rice. Grated daikon raddish, grated raw apple, toasted sesame seeds and nori slivers are all great accompaniments.