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How to Eat Natto (And Why You Should At Least Try It)

It's "sticky", it's "smelly", and it may be just the thing to help you out with your digestive problems and/or replace your sugary cereal breakfast with something a lot more healthy. I present to you the popular and old-fashioned 納豆 (なっとう) "natto".

Natto is basically just fermented soybeans, and it's a well-known traditional food in Japan. I'm told that most people don't usually like it because of it's "sticky" and "smelly" nature (AKA pretty much all of the international kids that I counseled here in Japan). But learning to love it opens you up to a world of nutrition, as well as gives you something salty to eat with your plain white rice.

It's a good probiotic (great for digestion), with lots of protein, can help with heart health (because it has basically no cholesterol), has lots of iron, lots of vitamin C and vitamin K (helps for strong bones) and supposedly enhances the skin, too. But I'm not a nutritionist; if I can't convince you, give it a Google, and read for yourself.

Here's how you make it. And don't worry; this isn't going to be one of those extensive, months-long recipes that would have you fermenting your own beans. I'll show you the instant way haha.

1. Get yourself some natto from your local grocery store. They can come in small cups or in these styrofoam packets. These are usually stored in refrigerated areas and kept cold, so when you take them home, make sure to put them in your frig!

2. Open and put both packet contents in the beans. Depending on what flavor you get, the flavoring packets may vary. For this one, there is a small mustard packet and the flavoring in. Optional, add some soy sauce, too!

Quick note: There are a TON of different natto flavors. The ones I prefer are the saltier ones, but if you're adventurous and want to try a sweet one, that's up to you, as well! It's hard to tell the flavors just by looking at the packaging, so it may require some trial and error to find your favorite.

...Unless you try it and decide that, hey, natto's just not for me. That's fine! At least you tried it!

3. Mix together! And when I say mix, I mean mix it until it all becomes one pile of sticky, and the consistency is to the point where you can pick up the entire pile of beans with your chopsticks/fork.

4. Add on top of your rice (or noodles, or salad, or whatever else you'd like) and enjoy! Doesn't this natto just look delectable? Mmmm-MMH!

...So, yeah, I'd highly recommend getting yourself this new, cultural treat!★

...Unless you're me, where soybeans give you acne breakouts. Then stay away. ;_; (I loved you natto, whhyyyy??)

-Posted on: March 3, 2020

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