Natto is traditional Japanese food, and in this article, we will thoroughly discuss different aspects of Natto, such as what Natto tastes like? How is Natto cooked? Natto health benefits etc.
We will also go through some important queries related to Natto to give as much clarity as possible.
Table of Contents
What Is Natto?
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybean with Bacillus Subtilis Var.
Natto is typically served as a breakfast dish along with rice.
Natto is also served with Japanese bunching onions, soy or tare sauce, and karashi mustard.
What Does Natto Taste Like?
The taste of Natto varies by batch and the fermenting process.
However, the taste is often compared to old brie, foie gras, or salty cottage cheese.
Some people even say that Natto has an earthy bacon flavor, but it is tough to describe Nattos’s flavor.
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How Is Natto Made?
Here is how Natto is made:
The soybeans used for Natto vary in size from super large to tiny.
In most cases, tiny soybeans are used to make Natto.
People often prefer Natto made of tiny beans because then Natto has a pleasant taste and can easily mingle with the rice.
Soybeans, which are the main ingredient of Nattos, are processed through the sorting machine, which removes the foreign substances, colored beans, worm-eaten beans, and cracked beans.
Then, the soybeans are washed in a washing machine that washes away the soil and attached skin of the soybeans.
The next stage is soaking; this process is also known as Shinseki.
The soybeans absorb the water, which makes the beans easier to be heated in the boiling and steaming process.
Water absorption is also important because it makes the beans soft and flavorful.
However, the time the beans should be soaked in the water depends on the water temperature.
In the winter season, when the temperature falls below 15 Degrees Celsius, the soybeans are soaked in the water for 17 to 18 hours.
However, when the temperature is higher than 25 Degrees Celsius in the summer season, the beans only need to be soaked for about 7 to 8 hours.
Steaming is an important process because it kills the bacteria attached to the soybeans’ base.
Soybeans become soft in the steaming process, making it easier for Natto yeasts to grow and take the nutrition.
Also, steaming the soybeans makes it easier for the enzymes to dissolve with the other ingredients.
Regarding the temperature and duration of the steaming process, each manufacturer increases or decreases the time and temperature depending on the origins and variety of the soybeans.
Natto yeasts that are purely cultured are sprayed onto boiled soybeans after the steaming process.
It is ideal to spray soybeans as it prevents bacteria contamination.
The fermentation process for the soybeans begins in the fermentation container, which is placed in the fermentation room at a temperature of 38 to 42 Degrees for 16 to 24 hours.
After 16 to 24 hours, the soybeans are taken out of the room so the cooling process can stop.
Once the soybeans cool down at room temperature, they are taken to the refrigeration room.
How Do You Cook Natto?
Here is how you can cook Natto rice:
- Cooked Short-Grain White Rice: 1 Cup
- Fermented Soybean Packets (Natto): 2 Packets (50 grams)
- Soy Sauce: 1 tsp.
Gather all the ingredients and place the cooked rice in a large bowl.
In a small-sized bowl, combine two packs of Natto with Karashi and Soya sauce and add all the ingredients to the large bowl.
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with chopsticks.
Add your favorite garnishes to the bowl, you can also add light soy sauce, but it depends on individual taste.
Then, add mixed Natto on top of the steamed rice.
You can also add additional garnishes.
What Do You Eat Natto With?
There are many ways you can eat Natto; you can pair Natto with a salad of your choice or make it a filling for a sandwich.
However, how much Natto you pair with your favorite food items depends on you.
For a tangy and hearty salad, you can mix different ingredients such as shredded cheese, Wasabi, pickled plums, perilla leaves, and Natto.
If you want your salad to have a light or refreshing taste, you can marinate the Natto with daikon, kelp, beets, carrots, or other vegetables.
Before serving the salad, please stir it to evenly distribute the Natto’s stickiness evenly.
For a quick snack, you can also make a Natto toast.
This is an easy-to-make snack, which you can either plain or dress with your favorite toppings.
Try to use thicker bread slices than thin ones, as the Natto and the other ingredients can get too heavy or oversaturated for thin bread slices.
Put Natto on the slice of bread, and spread it evenly.
You can also add a gooey texture or sweetness to the toast in the form of cheese or honey while the toast is still hot.
You can also cook the Natto on the stove with eggs.
A standard Natto pack can be cooked with up to 3 eggs.
You can also get creative and add other ingredients such as green onions, cheese, or spinach.
Lastly, you can also try a combination of meat and Natto.
Pick your favorite meat and pair it with Natto.
However, it is best to pair the Natto with pork chunks or chicken slices.
Season the meat with ginger and sesame oil.
You can also mix barbeque sauce with the Natto and add the mixture to the meat.
The warmth of the meat will instantly melt the Natto.
If you want a side dish for the meat and Natto dish, you can take cooked salmon and mix it with lemon juice, tamari, and kale.
Is Natto Good For You?
Rich In Nutrients
Natto is extremely nutritious and contains several essential nutrients that are beneficial for the body.
A 100 gram (3.5 ounces) portion of Natto can offer the following:
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Calories: 212
- Fat: 11 grams
- Protein: 18 grams
- Iron: 48 % of RDI
- Manganese: 76 % of RDI
- Vitamin K2: 29 % of RDI
- Copper: 33 % of RDI
- Calcium: 22 % of RDI
- Selenium: 13 % of RDI
- Zinc: 20 % of RDI
- Vitamin C: 22 % of RDI
- Magnesium: 29 % of RDI
- Potassium: 21 % of RDI
Can Improve Digestion
There are more than a trillion microorganisms in the gut, almost 10 times more than the cells in the body.
Having the right type of gut bacteria creates a healthy gut flora, which can lead to several health benefits, such as an improved digestive system.
Natto has several probiotics that prevent dangerous bacteria and toxins from entering the gut.
Researchers have stated that probiotics can reduce constipation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Most foods rich in probiotics typically have 5 to 10 billion CFUs (Colony Form Units) per serving, and Natto has between one million to one billion CFUS.
Related Questions About Natto?
Is Natto A Superfood?
The Japanese people have long considered Natto a Japanese superfood; however, the mucus-like and ammonia-like smell makes the dish a turnoff for many people.
Is It Ok To Eat Natto Daily?
You should not eat more than 2 packets of Natto daily.
However, it is best to eat just 1 pack and eat 2 packs occasionally.
In this article, we have thoroughly discussed Natto and how you can cook it at home.
We have also gone over some health benefits of Natto.
Hopefully, this article will motivate you to try Natto.
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