March 11, 2005

Natto Natto Natto

朝は納豆, originally uploaded by snowy's goodthings.


Oh it's been a loooong while since my last post, but have been doing some of this & that while dealing with a physical move. Whew! Now that that's over and done with, I can jabber about my food adventures as of late. Lately I've been on a quest to find interesting foods high in nutrition. I've always loved Japanese food and am curious about dishes served outside of the restaurant realm. Homestyle, if you will. Here is where natto and I meet.

For those unawares, natto is fermented soybeans usually eaten for breakfast. Natto for Everybody, Natto Land, and I was really just hungry all have the down & dirty on natto, its health benefits and how to eat it. Natto is an unsual sticky mash that is best mixed with a bit of asian mustard, soy sauce and some scallion. Add this mix to hot, steaming rice and you've got the breakfast of champions. Yum? It takes getting used to, the smell especially. It being fermented and all, natto has a strong, ammonia type odor that some people despise -- also the stickiness from the initial mixing, results in a spider-web stringness.

My first bonafide natto breakfast was combining the natto with the soy sauce & mustard flavor packets and adding one raw egg. I mixed this with my rice and thoughtfully dug in. The thought of natto's health benefits helped my nose cancel the pungent odor. I found it non-salty and beany. Lots of texture and hearty tasting. I think the egg interfered with my experience, though. I'll have to try it sans egg with the scallions instead. I hear it's great with pasta. Take note!

For those interested, my natto-interest first peaked after reading the "Rotten" issue of Eat magazine, a Japanese/English publication devoted to all things food. Unfortunately this outstanding magazine is dead, but you can order back issues off their site.

Till next time, "Best stinky dishes"