Are you up for the Natto challenge?

Natto, the fermented beans from Japan is an acquired taste and is known for its sticky texture and pungent smell. Naturally, it is not commonly accepted by non-Japanese but it has many health benefits that might encourage you to try some!

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Natto is a fermented dish and is commonly eaten in Japan.


It is sticky and has a distinct smell. Even though it is common during meals, it is an acquired taste and there are even some Japanese that do not fancy it.

The beans are steamed and wrapped in straw and kept at 40°C for a day. 


Natto is usually eaten with mustard and soy sauce. Having it with chopped chives, okra or a raw egg is also just as delicious.  

A Bowl of Rice Topped with Natto and Chopped Chives


Natto with a Raw Egg


Natto Served with Okra


Japanese people usually start their day off with natto as part of their breakfast ritual. 


Due to its sticky texture and pungent smell, natto is not well accepted by foreigners but this fermented food product is high in nutrients and has great health benefits for the digestive system. In Japan the apple in the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is replaced with natto. Besides being one of the best foods for digestion, it works great as a prevention against flus or colds. Mothers with new born babies are also encouraged to incorporate them into their dietary to promote breast milk production. 

There are many types of natto. One such type is called the Hikiwari Natto. The beans are finer than the usual natto and the Hikiwari Natto are fed to Japanese children that are still not familiar with the taste and texture.  

Hikiwari Natto


To make natto even more appealing to the young ones, the design on some natto packages includes famous and popular cartoon characters.  


This Hikiwari Natto is perfect for those, who are planning to visit Japan and would like to try this Japanese delicacy. For all first-time challengers, we would definitely recommend you to have natto with rice and pickles!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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