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Natto -- Some serving suggestions

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I was looking through Japion, a Japanese language free weekly paper here in NYC, and it had a little sidebar on a variety of ways people eat their natto. I really enjoy natto, by the way. Here are some ingredients to mix with natto to enhance your eating pleasure.

1. Mayonnaise
2. Minced tsukemono
3. Ketchup
4. Salt
5. Umeboshi/ground sesame
6. Wasabi/dashi soy
7. Chopped tomato
8. Grated ginger
9. Chili oil
10. Chinese hot sauce/sesame oil
11. grated daikon/ponzu
12. French dressing
13. Shiso dressing
14. Dashi soy (men-tsuyu dipping sauce)
15. Peanut butter

Other suggestion include adding natto to these common preparations:

1. Mixed into miso soup
2. Mixed into Japanese style omelettes (slightly sweetened)
3. Natto fried rice

I've tried a few of these methods, but I'm curious about some of the more odd suggestions. But I'm willing to give it a try. You?

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  1. There are some other natto recipes in the link below.

    I eat natto the most basic way, by stirring it up, then adding shoyu and green onions, then pouring over rice. Sometimes I will crush some toasted seaweed on top.

    I've seen natto mixed in with spaghetti, along with shoyu and butter. I didn't try it but I imagine it would be good.

    Natto with mayonnaise, however, sounds absolutely horrible! Same with natto and peanut butter.

    Link: http://www.gaia21.net/natto/recipe.htm

    1. some more serving suggestions:

      - w/kimchi
      - w/avocado & soy sauce
      - curry topped w/natto
      - natto toast (w/mayo, cheese, etc.)
      - abura-age (fried tofu)stuffed w/natto & grilled

      1 Reply
      1. re: naoko

        I realize this thread is way out of date but I'm having it tonight. I quite literally salivated while I prepared it. An agonizing 8 minutes.

        1 bunch of soba noodles cooked for 5 minutes and cooled.
        1 45g package of natto...I was shorted on the mustard
        Kim chee juice that spilled on the counter a little.
        Noodle base that contains shoyu, dashi, sugar and wine...comes in a bottle
        3T minced scallion

        I snacked on the kim chee while I waited for the water to boil.

        I'm becoming very satisfied. I love the stuff.

      2. I've never been able to handle natto, but my dad loves it. He'll pile the natto on a bowlful of hot rice, crack a raw egg into the bowl, and pour a LOT of shoyu into it and slurp away.

        1. Wow, I eat almost everything and have never been able to manage natto. But I'm willing to learn. Which of these preparations do you think would be best suited to converting a "natto virgin?"

          It's not the texture so much that I mind -- I'm from the South, so I eat slimy things like okra happily -- but the smell. So I guess masking the smell somewhat would be my first priority.

          - er

          3 Replies
          1. re: enrevanche

            Easy enough to get used to.

            Go to a sushi bar and order a few pieces of natto maki. Ask the chef for a spoonful of natto on the side so you can try it alone.

            Now don't dawdle the first time. Eat a piece of maki. Not bad, eh? Definitely does not live up to its stinky reputation. And rather neutral in taste, too. Rather beany.

            Next -- and quickly, take the spoonful of natto and eat it in a bite. Not bad, eh?

            Now you have a last piece of natto maki. Let it warm to room temp for, say five minutes, then eat. Still tasty, right? But, if you take a whiff of this warmer natto, you will get a sense of what the fear is all about.

            Do this twice and you will be good for natto anywhere. Now Japanese boys and girls will think of you as a true mensch.

            1. re: mirror

              Just a note about the smell. This is at a bleu cheese level. It is not a smell like limburger or even like pickled herring.

              There is a funky quality, like unwashed socks, but this is mild in most nattos. And covered well by all the damned shoyu and mustard and so on plastered on top. Plus, take a whiff of Doritos nacho cheese or the parmesan on your pizza. These are about equal to the punch in natto.

              So, again, your fear is about to be gone.

              1. re: mirror

                These are very sensible (and reassuring) instructions.

                Next time I'm at a good sushi bar, I'll do this very thing.

                Thanks.

                - er

            2. n
              neba neba natto queen

              Mix with chopped up kimchi and serve with rice.

              Also, natto spaghetti - I prefer cappellini, a bit of dashi (or else it is too dry) and top with nori (the same used for sushi) and green onions!

              Also, did they mention grated radish? The combination of grated radish and natto is supposed to help you lose weight. Key point is that you grate the radish prior to eating.

              Cheers!

              2 Replies
              1. re: neba neba natto queen

                I'm a huge fan of natto, myself, although at the same time I'm a little disgusted by it. Yes, my brain works strangely when it comes to food. Just thought I'd add my 2 or 3 cents to this conversation by saying that many of the health benefits of natto are supposedly minimized by cooking it. I eat my natto pretty much straight - with tamari and/or mustard and/or thinly sliced green onions, but never cooked. By the way, you can culture your own natto by ordering natto bacillus from the linked company below. My problem has been finding appropriately small soybeans. I've only been able to find larger soybeans here in New York.

                Link: http://www.gemcultures.com/

                1. re: BGrey

                  Oh, honey, of course I eat Natto straight up most of the time! And like most nutrients, Yes, cooking the ingredient would harm the nutrition value of the food. But remember, this sled is to offer different natto recipes for fun, and not necessarily be nutrient conscious.

                  Natto is especially great for women's health, but hey, just have fun with the sticky, stinky, yummy natto!