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Mar 25, 2012 07:12 PM

Natto available in Houston area stores? Please help if you know...

Hello Houston foodies! You probably understand when I say my craving is past the point of being able to ignore it. Lately my craving for natto is making me spend a ridiculous amount of time googling "buy natto online" and reading about how to try to make my own at home. My two attempts were failures. I just want to be able to run out and buy a couple dozen cases whenever I feel like it, you know?

So does anyone know of a store that has it in stock recently? I mean the frozen little square packages of ready to eat natto. Hong Kong market on Scarsdale quit carrying it some time ago and it looks like they aren't going to restock it any more. There isn't even a spot on the shelf for it any more.

I've been to My Quang, Sun's Club, Viet Hua, and a couple of others in Clear Lake, but they don't seem to have it unless they stocked it more recently than my last visits. Last time I got some was a year ago at a Komart in Dallas while on a visit up there, so by now I am getting pretty sad missing it.

I live near Galveston and can't afford to drive my 21-year-old gas guzzler all over the greater Houston area hoping to bump into natto at one of the many Asian markets around Westchase or Spring Branch etc., so if anyone knows of a store that for sure sells natto, I would really appreciate it. Knowing which store to go to would help me out a lot.

Thanks for your input, hoping someone can contribute the information I need!

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  1. I know I have seen it at 99 Ranch. As to whether or not they always have it, I'm not sure.

    I do think it's quite likely, though, so my suggestion to you would be to give them a call and ask.

    1. Not very close to Galveston, but you might try Nippan Daido, it's a Japanese market near Wilcrest and Westheimer, out on the west side:
      11146 Westheimer Rd
      Houston, TX 77042
      (713) 785-0815

      1. I'll be shopping at Super H Mart (Blalock Rd@Westview Dr) on Friday. I'll take a look. They have a large selection of Japanese foods.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mcluhan

          Well, I decided to go there today instead. I couldn't find any, and the employee I asked had never heard of Natto. I second the suggestion to try finding it at Nippan Daido. I just did a search for it and see they've carried this item in the past:

        2. Yay, thank you for the replies! It is just about as helpful knowing where NOT to go as where TO go, since gas went up another 10c yesterday... but I might carpool up to Nippan Daido with another interested shopper and take a look. Thanks for your help. Surely there must be some other Hounds in the Houston area who want natto as well. Maybe this thread will help them too.

          1. HI. Please READ! I lived in Houston for 3 years and just moved away recently. I shopped at H Mart regularly (almost every week-I'm Japanese). Anyway, they ALWAYS have Natto, but they only keep it in the frozen section. As a matter of fact, the have many, many varieties of frozen natto. They are packaged in three or four styro packs that are stacked and wrapped in a sheet of plastic. Not terribly eco friendly, but this is how almost all frozen natto is packaged. If you start from the front of the store the frozen section, it was on the right side of the frozen isle towards the middle or back. The store owners probably don't know the word "natto", so you are on your own for finding it. I have often asked for Japanese ingredients, told they didn't carry it, and then find it on my own later. It's a great store, but the workers are usually either Korean (because it's a Korean Grocer) or people who only speak Spanish or limited English. I wouldn't recommend Daido because it is super small, expensive and the produce section is not too interesting. I LOVE H-Mart and totally miss it here in Kansas. Consider making your own Natto also. I'm doing that now as I type this. You can buy sprouting soybeans (small sized dry soybeans) at H-Mart, Soak overnight and then cook in a crock pot or on low stove top heat until very tender. Let a package of frozen natto defrost on the countertop and add it to the cooked, drained soybeans. Mix well, and put it in the oven for about 10-20 hours (depends on sliminess desired), at 100-110 degress (or just near a window in Houston weather!!) and you will have natto! Stir every so often and you will see the natto "slime" begin to develope. After this first batch, just save a few tablespoons as a culture and add new cooked soy beans. You'll never have to buy Natto again. My family has been doing this because we go through a lot of natto between the 6 of us. I hope this helps! There are youtube videos that show this process as well. There are a few different ways to do it, but the basics are pretty much the same. Enjoy!! From what I can remember, Ranch 99 has natto too, but H-Mart is so much nicer and just a minute down the street--might as well go there.