Make Natto (japanese food) at Home - Longevity and Supplements (Live healthy naturally)


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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Make Natto (japanese food) at Home


What is natto?

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It is a popular and unique dish known for its distinct smell, sticky texture, and acquired taste. Natto has a long history in Japanese cuisine and is often enjoyed as a breakfast food.

The process of making natto involves cooking soybeans and then fermenting them with a specific strain of bacteria called Bacillus subtilis var. natto. The bacteria produce an enzyme called nattokinase, which breaks down the soybean proteins and results in the sticky texture and strong aroma of natto.

The fermentation process gives natto its characteristic slimy texture and a strong, pungent smell often described as earthy or cheesy. The flavor of natto can be somewhat nutty or savory, with hints of bitterness.

Natto is typically served over a bed of steamed rice and commonly accompanied by various condiments such as soy sauce, mustard, or chopped green onions. Mixing the natto vigorously with chopsticks before eating helps to create a stringy and sticky consistency.

In addition to its unique taste and texture, natto is known for its nutritional benefits. It is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins (particularly vitamin K2), and minerals such as iron and calcium. Natto also contains the enzyme nattokinase, which has been studied for its potential health benefits related to blood clotting and cardiovascular health.

While natto is a beloved food in Japan, its strong flavor and texture may not be appealing to everyone, especially those unfamiliar with fermented foods. It is widely available in Japan and can also be found in some specialty Asian grocery stores around the world.

How to consume natto?

Natto is traditionally consumed as a breakfast food in Japan, often served over a bowl of steamed rice. Here are some common ways to enjoy natto:

Classic Natto Rice Bowl: Place a serving of hot steamed rice in a bowl. Open the package of natto and add it on top of the rice. Use chopsticks to mix the natto vigorously until it becomes stringy and sticky. Some people also add soy sauce or a sauce packet that often comes with natto. Mix thoroughly and enjoy.

Natto Sushi: Use natto as a topping for sushi. Place a small amount of natto on a piece of sushi rice and wrap it with a strip of nori (seaweed). You can add other ingredients like sliced cucumber or pickled radish for additional flavor and texture.

Natto Toast: Spread natto on a slice of toasted bread, similar to how you would spread butter or jam. You can add other toppings like sliced avocado, tomato, or cucumber to enhance the flavor.

Natto Omelette: Incorporate natto into an omelette. Mix natto with beaten eggs and cook it like a regular omelette, adding additional ingredients like vegetables, cheese, or herbs to your liking.

Natto Salad: Combine natto with mixed greens, sliced vegetables, and a dressing of your choice to create a unique and nutritious salad.

Remember that natto has a distinct aroma and sticky texture, which may take some getting used to. Mixing the natto thoroughly before consuming helps to distribute its flavors and create the desired texture.

It's also common to eat natto with a side of pickled vegetables, miso soup, or other traditional Japanese breakfast items to balance the flavors.

Feel free to experiment and find the combination and serving method that suits your taste preferences.

What are the health benefits of natto?

Natto offers several potential health benefits due to its nutrient content and the fermentation process involved. Here are some of the health benefits associated with natto consumption:

Nutrient-Rich: Natto is a nutrient-dense food. It is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin K2), and minerals like iron and calcium. These nutrients play essential roles in maintaining overall health and well-being.

Probiotics: Natto is a fermented food, and as such, it contains beneficial bacteria called probiotics. The fermentation process introduces Bacillus subtilis var. natto, a specific strain of bacteria, which produces an enzyme called nattokinase. Probiotics can help support a healthy gut microbiome and digestive system.

Heart Health: Nattokinase, an enzyme present in natto, has been studied for its potential cardiovascular benefits. It may help promote healthy blood circulation by supporting the breakdown of blood clots and reducing the risk of thrombosis. However, more research is needed to fully understand the extent of these effects.

Bone Health: Natto is a significant source of vitamin K2, which is involved in bone metabolism and calcium regulation. Vitamin K2 is believed to contribute to bone health and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Antioxidants: Fermented foods like natto can contain beneficial compounds with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress, which are associated with various chronic diseases.

Digestive Health: The probiotics present in natto can support a healthy gut microbiota and aid digestion. Probiotics help maintain a balanced intestinal environment and may improve digestive function.

Nutrient Absorption: Natto consumption has been suggested to enhance the absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron and calcium, due to the presence of vitamin K2 and the fermentation process.

Natto is widely enjoyed in Japan, and its health benefits, along with its unique flavor and texture, have contributed to its popularity.

How to make natto at home?

Making natto at home involves a fermentation process that requires specific bacteria and careful temperature control. Here's a simplified method for making natto:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Soybeans (organic, non-GMO)
  • Natto starter culture (available online or from specialty stores)
  • A large pot
  • Glass jars or containers with lids
  • Cheesecloth or breathable cloth
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Incubator (or alternative methods for maintaining a consistent temperature)


1.Soaking and Cooking the Soybeans:

  • Rinse the soybeans thoroughly under running water.
  • Soak the soybeans in water overnight or for at least 8 to 12 hours.
  • Drain the soybeans and transfer them to a large pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the soybeans and cook them until they are tender. This typically takes a few hours. Avoid overcooking to prevent the beans from becoming too soft.

2.Preparing the Natto Starter Culture:

  • Follow the instructions on the natto starter culture package for the appropriate amount to use.
  • Mix the natto starter culture with a small amount of warm water according to the package instructions. Dissolve it thoroughly.

3.Fermenting the Soybeans:

  • Once the soybeans are cooked and still warm, transfer them to a clean and sterilized glass jar or container.
  • Pour the dissolved natto starter culture over the cooked soybeans.
  • Mix the soybeans and starter culture gently to ensure even distribution.
  • Cover the jar or container with cheesecloth or a breathable cloth and secure it with a rubber band or lid with holes for air circulation.
  • Place the jar in an incubator set to a consistent temperature of around 100°F (38°C) for fermentation. Alternatively, you can try other methods like using a yogurt maker, a slow cooker, or an oven with a pilot light to maintain the desired temperature.
  • Allow the soybeans to ferment for about 24 to 48 hours. Fermentation time can vary based on personal preference and desired flavor.

4.Storing Natto:

  • Once fermentation is complete, transfer the jar to the refrigerator and let the natto mature for a few days to develop its characteristic flavors.
  • Natto can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Note: Making natto at home requires precise temperature control and sanitation practices to ensure food safety. It's recommended to consider using commercially available natto starter cultures that provide specific guidelines for home fermentation.

It's worth mentioning that natto has a distinctive aroma and slimy texture, which may not be suitable for everyone's taste. It's advisable to try commercially available natto first to determine if you enjoy the flavor and texture before attempting to make it at home.

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