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Natto


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#61 torakris

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 06:06 PM

not only does it taste good, it is very good for you!

check this out:

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

medicinal properties as well as recipes, for purchased natto as well as making your own, and a source to buy the natto bacteria

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#62 jrufusj

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 09:44 PM

I just bout a new kimchi cookbook the other day and it has a recipe for making natto kimchi, not mixing the 2 together but actually kimchi-ing natto!


Kristin:

Thanks for bringing this thread to the top of the pile. When I was reading through it, I found the tidbit quoted above.

Have you tried the natto kimchi recipe yet? I am eager to know how it worked.

If you liked it at all would you be willing to share? Or if that is a copyright issue, can you give me a reference to the book it was from? Was the book nihongo, hangul, or English?

Thanks...you've really got me curious.

Jim
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#63 torakris

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:14 PM

I just bout a new kimchi cookbook the other day and it has a recipe for making natto kimchi, not mixing the 2 together but actually kimchi-ing natto!


Kristin:

Thanks for bringing this thread to the top of the pile. When I was reading through it, I found the tidbit quoted above.

Have you tried the natto kimchi recipe yet? I am eager to know how it worked.

If you liked it at all would you be willing to share? Or if that is a copyright issue, can you give me a reference to the book it was from? Was the book nihongo, hangul, or English?

Thanks...you've really got me curious.

Jim

It is a Japanese book by a woman named Toyoda Hisako:

http://www.amazon.co...1893627-1067502

Basically what she does is mix together natto and scallions (the thin ones that are mostly green) and then add a yan nyom (please help me with the spelling I am translating from Japanese :wink: ) the "sauce" used in kimchi making.
I have never tried her recipe which calls for mochi flour, garlic, ginger,dried shrimp,sesame seeds, pine nuts, pureed apple, pureed persimmon, ami no shiokara, ago no dashi-ko, red chile and Korean fish sauce.

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#64 kuishinbo

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Posted 30 September 2003 - 02:39 AM

torakris: I aslo saw on tv, that if you mix it 100 (or was it 200?) times the strings disappear. I have never tried it, personally I love the strings, but my friend did and said that it actually worked.


this is true. i saw a 2 hour special on natto once on NHK TV and they showed how stirring the natto
stretches the strings and actually changes the chemical composition of them. It does taste better.
They recommended mixing it 400 times. I've tried this and its quite a work out - the natto gets pretty
stiff as the strings break up.

Mixing a well-stirred portion of Natto with Negi-Toro and a splash of soy sauce is probably the best
gateway recipe for Natto newbies.

Personally, i've liked the stuff since day one. It just tastes like beans to me.

Cooking natto may help with the texture for some, but it really brings out the smell
and that makes it worse for others. I was camping at a festival up at the tip of Tohoku
years ago and in the mornings i ate Natto Fried Rice (with a nice nutty flavored brown
rice) that an enterprising young woman was selling - cooked in a frypan over a little fire.

I couldn't get the taste of this out of my head when i got back to Hiroshima where i was
living at the time (Note: Hiroshima is in Western Japan - not exactly Natto country). I
convinced a friend to make this for me in her restaurant and when the Natto hit the grill
it literally emptied the entire restaurant coughing and choking out on to the street.
:unsure: Oops!

one more Natto factoid: How long do the slime strings stretch?
a recent trivia show demonstrated this by lifting a guy up with
a hydraulic lifter as the natto string extending from the beans
held in his chopsticks grew and grew. I think it was 12 or 15
meters before the string broke.

#65 hillvalley

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 01:26 PM

I love the look I get when I (a westerner) order natto at a sushi bar. The rest of my meal is usually so much better than it would have been.

Edited by hillvalley, 12 October 2003 - 01:27 PM.

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#66 torakris

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Posted 12 October 2003 - 03:20 PM

hillvalley, welcome to egullet and the Japan forum! :biggrin:

I agee 100% you can get much better service when you order the "weird" stuff. :biggrin:
Back when I was in the US and I was on my military training weekends (former reservist) I would eat Saturday dinner at alone at a Japanese restuarant, my first order was always ootoro and uni nigiri, shishamo (small pregnant fish) and makuro or ika natto, great, great service followed.



Yesterday I made natto for breakfast with daikon oroshi (grated) for the first time, this was great and I am definitely going to do it again! :biggrin:

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#67 growpower

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 03:39 AM

Hi all:

I've never had natto before, but I figured Tokyo is probably the best place me to try it if any.

However, I wanted to make sure that my first natto experience is based on what natto lovers considered to be good natto. So, can someone suggest a brand (am student, so please keep price considerations in mind)? And what's the typical way for eating it? Just with rice?

-thanks
_A

#68 Palladion

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 04:00 AM

Ugh, natto. I wanted to approach it with an open mind and at least give it a fair shot. I handled my first package of it with a little trepidation. Opened it and began to stir the gooey muck. But I didn't even get as far as properly stirring the stuff. The smell alone sent me running. Good luck to you with it, but I decided it wasn't an acquired taste that was worth acquiring.

#69 smallworld

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:29 AM

Maybe a better idea than preparing it at home (and thus having to deal with stinkiness and stickiness during preparation) would be eating it out. The first time I tried- and enjoyed- natto was at an izakaya and it was served deep-fried. Not a usual dish, but it pops up on menus occasionally.

Deep-frying is a no-brainer, but basically any kind of cooking will destroy the smell and stickyness, so get out to an izakaya and keep your eyes open for any kind of cooked natto.

Once you have your first favourable cooked natto experience, you can move on to simpler, more usual preparations. I think there is a natto thread where you can get some ideas.
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#70 jrufusj

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 06:54 AM

Hi all:

I've never had natto before, but I figured Tokyo is probably the best place me to try it if any. 

However, I wanted to make sure that my first natto experience is based on what natto lovers considered to be good natto.  So, can someone suggest a brand (am student, so please keep price considerations in mind)?  And what's the typical way for eating it?  Just with rice? 

-thanks
_A

growpower:



The thread will give you a number of ways of eating it. My favorite ways, in no particular order:

- on top of rice, with soy sauce and mustard and one or more of following: raw egg yolk, chopped green onion, chiffonade of shiso, nameko mushrooms;
- along with the normal sauce on top of agedashi tofu;
- mixed with chopped chutoro scraps and (sometimes) yama no imo; and
- in a sushi roll as nattomaki.

The last way is probably the gentlest way for a first try, both because you don't have to handle it (presuming you order it at a sushiya) and because it is contained within the roll. The first way is probably the most common.

Kin no tsubu (金のつぶ) literally means beans of gold, but it is not as expensive as it sounds, though it is one of the more expensive varieties. Natto is not that expensive in general, though. Given that many people can be turned off by a less than perfect first natto experience, I would not recommend skimping.

Black bean natto (黒納豆 or 黒なっとう) is not traditional or terribly popular, but it can still be found in most grocery stores. I find it has a little less slime and a less assertive smell and taste. I don't really like it as well as more classic natto, but it might be a gentle way to put one's toe in the water.

Whatever you do, enjoy...


Jim
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#71 Palladion

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 07:21 AM

Kin no tsubu (金のつぶ) literally means beans of gold, but it is not as expensive as it sounds, though it is one of the more expensive varieties. Natto is not that expensive in general, though. Given that many people can be turned off by a less than perfect first natto experience, I would not recommend skimping.

Hmm, thanks for the info. Perhaps I should give it another shot: that first natto experience that I had was with natto that was served with my school lunch (I teach at a Japanese middle school). That might be a bad basis for an aversion to natto.

#72 danjou

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 12:17 PM

Hi,

here are some more ways to enjoy natto:
Some of them are:

"Maguro natto tataki tekkadon": finely chopped tuna, seasoned with soy and wasabi, mixed with stirred whole or chopped natto, topped with grated radish and raw egg, all of it placed on top of newly made sushi rice. Shredded nori ( seaweed) as garnish

Ika natto donburi : fresh squid sliced into strips seasoned with soy and wasabi and mixed with natto on top of warm, newly made sushi rice.

Hamachi natto don: Chopped yellowtail tuna belly mixed with natto on sushi rice.

Try also:.....

Natto jiru: natto in miso soup

Natto soba:
I recall first having this wonderful dish at a shop in Tokyo which made "nihachi soba" ( 2 /8 soba) which is artisanal soba made from 8 parts Sarashina buckwheat flour, and 2 parts wheat flour.
The fantastic chilled soba, topped with stirred natto and grated radish with a quail egg in a pool of wonderful soba sauce was sheer heaven.

I have my soba noodles( store bought...commercial variety) with natto often, and if you want to try to make it yourself, I can type up the recipe for you.

Indeed, Natto truly is an interesting subject.

I recall many years ago, a lecturer in a class on Japanese Anthropology mentioned that natto was once considered to be a lowly, provincial farmer's food frowned upon by supposedly more sophisticated and cosmopolitan city dwellers.
Indeed, a Japanese friend of mine who grew up eating natto in his province was subjected to bullying ("hijime") at school because of his fondness of eating "smelly soybeans" when his family moved to the big city.
Now, natto seems to have attained almost a cult status in Japan as a highly beneficial food.

:smile:

#73 tissue

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 03:00 PM

If you don't like the smell, I would suggest trying the natto with packs of shiso sauce. It has a strong enough flavor to balance out the assertiveness of natto.

#74 torakris

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 09:45 PM

Kin no tsubu (金のつぶ) literally means beans of gold, but it is not as expensive as it sounds, though it is one of the more expensive varieties. Natto is not that expensive in general, though. Given that many people can be turned off by a less than perfect first natto experience, I would not recommend skimping.

This is one of my favorite types as well.

If you don't like natto on your first try, don't give up! It took me a couple of years to learn to love the stuff! :biggrin:
My favorite way of eating it is with steaming hot white rice, mix the natto with scallions, soy, karashi (mustard), katsuo-bushi and an egg yolk.

Though I love natto like this I can't stand it in soups, deep fried dishes, fried rice, etc.....

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#75 Hiroyuki

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Posted 27 April 2004 - 10:02 PM

jrufusj and Trakris,

Which 金のつぶ type do you refer to?

http://www.mitsukan....moku/index.html

Do you refer to におわなっとう, which is less stinky?

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My wife and children like ふわとろ fuwatoro, but I don't.

Edited by Hiroyuki, 27 April 2004 - 10:03 PM.


#76 torakris

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Posted 28 April 2004 - 03:40 PM

I like the fuwatoro on in the reddish box.

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#77 jrufusj

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Posted 29 April 2004 - 02:54 AM

I like the fuwatoro on in the reddish box.

And me as well.

Jim
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#78 growpower

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 03:58 PM

I made the dive!! Day after my original post, I noticed that my japanese housemate was actually making it for lunch, so I asked her for some. Observations:

1. The taste and texture wasn't too bad for me. It was a little bit salty and sticky. The taste wasn't that different from soybeans stewed in soy sauce. I did think it was really interesting that the more you stirred it, the more sticky frothy white stuff there was (is there a name for that, btw?).

2. I wasn't too found of the smell. She had mixed it with packets of soy sauce and mustard. She gave me a little dish of it. I actually had a little bit of trouble consuming the whole thing without gagging. And I usually can down anything. My other housemate compared it to Taiwanese smelly tofu. I am not sure I agree it's as pungent as that.

3. I am not sure what brand she used, she had already taken everything out of the containers.

All in all, I would probably try it again, just because. But I think I might try the fried version next time due to the smell. But I wonder since the taste isn't all that distinctive, do the people who love natto, love it because of the smell?


Oh, and what's Kastuobushi that the other poster mentioned?

-thanks
_A

#79 torakris

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 04:08 PM

katsuobushi are known in English as bonito flakes, check page 18 of the Daily Nihongo thread for more information! :biggrin:

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#80 Hiroyuki

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Posted 30 April 2004 - 05:00 PM

Well, I didn't mention natto tempura deliberately. Wanna know why? You'll see that if you make natto tempura yourself at home. The ordor will fill your room!!

But except that odor, torakris and helenjp are right. Click the following site and scroll down, and you will see two graphs.

http://www.nhk.or.jp...3/20030924.html

The left graph shows that the foul odor decreases by deep-frying natto, while the right one shows that the fragrance increases by deep-frying.

***
There are no appropriate names for that white stuff you mentioned. We may refer to it as nebaneba (ネバネバ), which refers to something sticky, nebarike, or nebari. We describe natto as ito wo hiku (糸を引く), literally, pulling strings.

#81 torakris

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 03:30 PM

At the Imaiya restaurant (site of Tokyo egullet first ever get together) part of our final course included natto, it was actually a mix of two different kinds of natto, one from the Kanda area of Tokyo and the other from Yamagata.
The Yamagata natto was called shio (salt) natto and it was flavored as well as having the additions of konbu and kouji.
My husband fell in love with this stuff and our wonderful waitress kindly answered all of our questions and even went back to the kitchen to bring us the package to show us what the bag looked like.
The first thing my husband did when he got home was look it up on the internet and we found it:
http://www.rakuten.c.../434914/434975/

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#82 jrufusj

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 03:51 PM

At the Imaiya restaurant (site of Tokyo egullet first ever get together) part of our final course included natto, it was actually a mix of two different kinds of natto, one from the Kanda area of Tokyo and the other from Yamagata.
The Yamagata natto was called shio (salt) natto and it was flavored as well as having the additions of konbu and kouji.
My husband fell in love with this stuff and our wonderful waitress kindly answered all of our questions and even went back to the kitchen to bring us the package to show us what the bag looked like.
The first thing my husband did when he got home was look it up on the internet and we found it:
http://www.rakuten.c.../434914/434975/

Kristin:

Thanks for the internet link. This is definitely one of my follow up items from the dinner. I looked in three grocery stores yesterday and couldn't find it.

Jim
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#83 tektite

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 07:25 PM

Natto! Natto! Natto! Natto! Natto! It has to be in my top five favorite Japanese foods. The more you eat it the more you will love it.

my favorite way to eat it is natto gohan (over rice) with diced takuan and negi and topped with uzura tamago yolk (with a little soy sauce, karashi and a dab of vinegar)

eat that every day for breakfast and you will never get sick!

The takuan's crunchyness is such a good balance. I have a friend who swears by putting apple chunks in it, but I have yet to give it a try!

#84 Sleepy_Dragon

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 03:42 PM

I have not learned to like natto yet, but I'm working on it. So far I've tried it three times without success. But, all this suffering will be worth it eventually just on account of how nutritious it is! Or so I keep telling myself.

Pat, stubborn
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#85 torakris

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 04:04 PM

I have not learned to like natto yet, but I'm working on it. So far I've tried it three times without success. But, all this suffering will be worth it eventually just on account of how nutritious it is! Or so I keep telling myself.

Pat, stubborn

Don't worry Pat, it took me years!

A couple years back I bought my kids one of those sugary coated cereals from Kellogs (I swear I haven't done it since! :shock: ) and on the back they had charts showing the cereal vs a natto gohan breakfast and the cereal was way ahead in everything. :shock:
I couldn't beleive these people were trying to convince mothers that this junky sugar coated crap was better for you than a natto gohan breakfast....

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#86 Hiroyuki

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:23 PM

I think that most natto haters hate the smell of natto. One solution to overcome the smell is to reduce it by putting the natto in the freezer for some time before eating. Another is to cancel out the smell by adding, for example, vinegar.

I usually have natto for breakfast. I don't mind the smell of natto at all when I'm eating it myself, but I sometimes cannot stand it when someone else is eating it. You may think this strange, but it's true.

#87 dougery

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:42 PM

I do like natto a lot but I found the following few quotes quite funny:

*Natto, fermented soybeans, is part of an elaborate joke played on foreigners in Japan.
*Of our five senses, sight and smell tell us that natto is not something to be put near our mouths. If you can imagine putrid beans covered in slime, you don't even need to open the packet.
*It's most popular in Tokyo, where the smell of the filthy ocean makes natto seem fragrant.

http://ballz.ababa.n...vited/natto.htm
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#88 melonpan

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 04:04 AM

i wonder how natto lovers would take to korean style chung-guk-jang (청국장), which are <a href="http://img.happymess...b10.jpg">sticky and very strongly fermented soybeans</a>, <a href="http://www.soy.co.kr...uk.html">mashed up</a>, then added to some soup base with some kimchi, scallions, garlic (of course), some tofu and a couple spoonfuls of good ground chile pepper for a satisfyingly hot and spicy <a href="http://hwaro.com/auc...">cheonggukjang jjigae</a>...

here is a picture of cheonggukjang as it is usually sold, in little wheels: (<a href="http://seogyeong.cyb...0026.gif">wheel pic</a>)

if youve never had cheonggukjang jjigae before and you like natto, i urge you to try it! its 10 times stronger than duenjang jjigae and about 50 times stronger than miso soup...

im sorry. sometimes i forget which board im on. ill go to elsewhere in asia/pacific to continue preaching... :raz:
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

#89 torakris

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 02:28 PM

Is the Korean natto also eaten just plain with rice as the Japanese eat it? or is it normally cooked?

A little while ago I was at a Korean market in Tokyo with a Korean friend and she wanted to buy some of this but decided not too because we were going to be taking the train and she didn't want to offend others with the smell......

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#90 melonpan

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 06:37 PM

Is the Korean natto also eaten just plain with rice as the Japanese eat it? or is it normally cooked?

A little while ago I was at a Korean market in Tokyo with a Korean friend and she wanted to buy some of this but decided not too because we were going to be taking the train and she didn't want to offend others with the smell.....

you know how when you wrap foods around red leaf lettuce and stick some soybean paste in the middle? you can use chunggukjang for that... but other than as that and in soups, i hadnt really heard of chunggukjang being used uncooked like natto. but when i looked it up online, i saw on <a href="http://jk.interget.c.../seng.htm">this page</a> which says that some koreans do eat it uncooked: the page suggests eating chunggukjang mixed with some soy sauce, a little bit of sesame seed oil, then eaten over hot rice, japanese style.

i have found several other interesting recipes at <a href="http://rosecafes.com...li>chunggukjang jjigae
<li>kimchi chunggukjang jjigae
<li>ggakdugi (radish kimchi) chunggukjang jjigae
<li>daikon chunggukjang jjigae
<li>mushroom chunggukjang jjigae
<li>ugeoji (a vegetable leaf) chunggukjang jjigae
<li>chunggukjang seasoned paste for wrapping with red leaf lettuce
<li>deep fried (like tempura) chunggukjang
<li>chunggukjang mandu
<li>chugngukjang hamburger
<li>chunggukjang tonkasu</ul>i think whatever you do with natto, you can do with this stuff too!

another note on natto (which is the topic!)...

at a couple of the korean grocery stores here in los angeles, i see piles and piles of natto for sale. i wonder why i see so much for sale in the grocery stores. they are all japanese brands... some possibilities are<ul><li>a lot of japanese people shop at the korean markets in LA
<li>people my parents and my grandparents age came to eat lots of it during the occupation and their eating natto these days somehow escaped my notice
<li>korean people in LA have more exposure to japanese foods and have accepted natto, since it is similar to chunggukjang</ul>*shrug* dont know why! but im not complaining
"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo