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Oct 29, 2013 03:16 AM

Stealth Nattoo

Does anyone use or have ideas for using nattoo as an additive in more "regular" dishes?
I've been reading up on the importance of K2 vitamin (of which nattoo is an unusually rich source) on bone structure, osteoporosis, plaquing of the arteries and so forth.

Personally I eat the stuff bare, or japanese style with soy sauce and mustard, but the rest of my friends and family, not so much.
I'd really like to feed my family more, and I imagine it would be possible to implement it as an ingredient or a flavouring agent in western recipes as well.
After all, the taste itself isn't THAT repulsive, much less so than shrimp paste, fish sauce, Pla raa, black beans or other exotic elements used extensively in South East Asia.
Any ideas? Nattoo for tempura, perhaps?

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    1. To me, natto is comfort food and I love to enhance the sticky and funky qualities of it, but understand that not everyone feels the same. Although not western recipes, here are some ideas that might make natto more inviting to your family. You can make natto chahan (natto fried rice), natto okonomiyaki (a savory pancake), natto/tofu fritters (pan-fried or deep-fried), natto filled harumaki (spring roll), and natto/rice patties.

      6 Replies
      1. re: BigSal

        Me too!
        I periods I eat only that for breakfast, but surprisingly not that often after my girlfriend moved in. :)
        But honestly, apart from the slime and the yeasty smell, the taste is just mild and somewhat nutty. (In it self infinitely less repulsive than, say, kidneys or tripe or even those bacteria infested lumps of milk residue that here in the west goes under the name "cheese".)
        I imagine nattoo would go well in dishes that contains boiled or fresh peanuts, likecertain thai dishes or salads.
        When I lived in Japan I think I once had a nattoo omelet, but I'm not sure. Will the frying eliminate some of the funky smell like with shrimp paste?

        1. re: Grunde

          Cooking helps with the stickiness and the funk, but I believe you also get rid off health benefits of eating natto (good bacterium) when you cook it.

          1. re: BigSal

            I'm not too sure about that, actually. One of the novelties with the bacillus subtilis is that it can survives temperatures up to 140 C (284 F) for over one hour.
            Fortunately that also comes in handy when making the stuff, since it makes the bacteria pretty easy to isolate and therby making sure it's not contaminated with all sorts of other bacteria and fungi.

          2. re: Grunde

            1. Stop spelling it that way.Go ou or go ō.

            2. Mexican or Sichuanese.

            3. Pairs with pears.

            1. re: Gargle

              1. Get a hobby. That's how my Japanese Japanese sensei spelled it so so do I.

              2. What?

              3. WHAAT..!? .

        2. I find it hard to imagine any recipe that will sufficiently disguise natto. At least not without being equally disgusting.

          1. Why are you trying to disguise the natto from your family and friends, and force feeding them it?

            6 Replies
            1. re: JMF

              It's all about vitamine K2 man. As far as you can call cooking/seasoning food "disguising", i do it for the same reasons i "disguise" stuff like liver, bran and vegetables: It's really, really good for them.
              After we stopped eating spoiled food people generally don't get enough K2. But it prevents osteoporosis, helps the immune system, makes you able to absorb calcium from the food, prevents alzheimer and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
              Natto, however, is an unusually rich source along with other "disgusting" food such as liver, Norwegian rakfisk, old cheese and Swedish surströmming.
              In my mind, nattoo in it self is far less repulsive than more familiar products such as, say, Marmite - which by the way is also a good source for K2.
              Anyway, I really like it and... Hey, why am I sitting here defending my gastronomic inquisitiveness? You should be cheering me along.

              1. re: Grunde

                Dairy kefir (the real, home fermented kind,) is a good source, too, and much easier to incorporate into every day eating/ drinking.

                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  Talk to me!
                  How do you make that at home? Is it more or less challenging than home made yogurt?

                  Here in Norway you find Kefir in most stores, but I have no idea if the quality and vitamin content is on par with the home made stuff.

                  1. re: Grunde

                    Its super easy. You literally just pour milk (can not be ultra pasturized,) over the kefir "grains" (which are not grains at all,) and leave it on the counter for 24- 48 hours. Strain it and pour new milk over the grains for the next batch. You can do a second ferment (by leaving it out,) to further ferment if you like.

                    I got mine from Yemoos on Etsy, but they have a website, too. I don't know if they ship internationally but you could ask. I wish you were closer, my grains have grown and grown and grown to the point where I have far too many!

                    Here is a link from their site, click on the topics on the left to learn about it.

                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                      Are you sure you can't just inoculate milk with store bought natural kefir? That works with yogurt (although with yogurt you have a problem with the unforgiving temperature range during fermentation).
                      When you order the grains, do they ship them fresh or dried? How long will they survive being stored in room temperature?
                      If you have too many, douldn't you just put some of them in the freezer. Would the grains still work afterwards?

                      1. re: Grunde

                        The site I linked to will answer all of your questions about the how and why. I got mine fresh which is ideal because they start culturing right away but you may have to go with freeze dried or dehydrated to get them shipped overseas. I'd look locally first. Inoculating like you do yogurt isn't the same as making kefir.

                        I have water kefir grains, too, they're different from dairy kefir grains. I also got those from yemoos.

            2. gouda cheese is very high in k2 also.

              i don't see how you can disguise natto. i like the stuff but the funk and slime are not easy to obfuscate. it is good over scrambled eggs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hotoynoodle

                It's gonnu be difficult, but i know I can do it. I can make brussel sprouts edible, so why not this?
                I'll try the scrambled eggs ting first.