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chopjwu12

Natto

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Last week, I read on the news that Japanese scientists discovered a new vitamin that was somehow affiliated with the nutrients in natto. Anyone else read/heard about this?

I don't know if it is nattokinese or not...


Edited by tissue (log)

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This is a link to an article about the new vitamin PQQ. Apparently natto is the best source, but it's also in parsley, green tea, green peppers, and kiwi.

One more reason to eat natto! Not like I needed any more.

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Last week, I read on the news that Japanese scientists discovered a new vitamin that was somehow affiliated with the nutrients in natto. Anyone else read/heard about this?

I don't know if it is nattokinese or not...

Yeah my FIL was just telling us about it this weekend.

Natto the new wonder food!

I doubt it will catch on in too many places though :laugh:


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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I tried natto with barley in it today.

It tasted milder but the texture was extra sticky/gloppy.

Anyone else tried it?


Edited by tissue (log)

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I tried natto with barley in it today.

It tasted milder but the texture was extra sticky/gloppy.

Anyone else tried it?

The natto with barley is pretty good, they have another one her that has something like 7 different grains added (it could be 4) that I used to enjoy 2 years ago or so.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

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<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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The following is a write-up by a friend of mine who has given me permission to post it here:

An unusual but delicious Japanese soyfood is natto, fermented soybeans. If you have rice-straw lying about your apartment, you could make it the traditional way. If not, you can use a bit of some purchased natto as a starter.

Ingredients:

two cups dried soybeans

water

one package commercial natto

What to do:

1. Soak two cups of dried soybeans overnight in ten cups of water.

2. Put the soybeans in a stainless steel basket (or colander) and cover it with a piece of cloth slightly larger than the basket.

3. Put the above in a pressure cooker with 3 cups water, and place it on the stove. Turn on the stove.

4. After the pressure cooker starts hissing, turn down the flame so that the hissing is at its minimum level.

5. Cook for 15 minutes (measured from the time that hissing noise started).

6. DO NOT OPEN the pressure cooker yet. Allow the pressure cooker and its contents to cool down. Or at least place the pressure cooker in the sink filled with cold water. (The soy beans are considered to have cooled down as long as its temperature is below 140 degrees F.)

7. Make sure that the kitchen counter and its surrounding area are absolutely clean. Sterilize a tablespoon with boiling water.

8. Wash your hands and arms - long-sleeved shirts not recommended.

9. Have a package of commercial natto ready.

10. Open the lid of the pressure cooker, peel back the cloth cover to one end of the basket, and using the tablespoon, quickly mix in about two spoonfuls of natto starter with the beans. Replace the cloth cover.

11. Close the pressure cooker lid with its air relief hole uncovered.

12. Place the cooker in a picnic ice-chest and place an electric heating pad over it. Replace the ice-chest cover.

The natto will be ready in between 24 and 48 hours, depending on the temperature of the heating pad. As an alternate heat source, a 7.5-watt lightbulb may be used. If you don't have a pressure cooker, a regular pot may be used. In this case, the cooking time will need to be increased to about two hours, and the amount of cooking water to about six cups.


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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I was told that it used to be quite popular to "ferment" the natto under the kotatsu.

a kotatsu is a low table that has a heating element either inside or underneath and is covered with a kind of quilt, it is used through out the winter to keep warm by placing the lower half of your body under the quilt.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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thanks Jinmyo--

this process is very interesting to me, and i make home-made yogurt, so feel i could succeed with natto.

as a matter of fact, i'm thinking my yogurt maker (small, 6-cup size)would be perfect for "incubating" the natto, since i have no kotatsu.

:smile:

gus


"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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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


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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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


Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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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.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4...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.


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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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.

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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 (log)

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but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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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:


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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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

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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.

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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.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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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


Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.....


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

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