Japanese nattō, how to use it?

I have 3 boxes of frozen organic nattō I bought a while ago and forgot in the freezer. I have absolute no idea how to use these fermented beans. Any enlightenment? Thanks.

I’ve had it as a topping for soba noodles - scroll down to the fifth picture. It’s an acquired taste which I have yet to acquire.

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Mix in a little soy sauce, spoon some on top of rice. Can’t say it’s my favorite thing, but I actually don’t find the stuff that bad.

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It’s usually not the main ingredient, but more like a condiment. Usually served over steamed rice, first mixed with soy sauce, hot yellow mustard, and sliced scallion. Maybe some sliced smoked bonito shavings and shiso leaf. It can be eaten just like that, poured on top of the rice, or all mixed up together. It’s got a lot of health benefits because of vitamins and probiotics. Taste is a mild cheesy/funky/fermented, but it can be a bit stinky/fermented. I have had it very funky, and very mild. Also you stir it in the container with chop sticks before using to make it all sticky/stringy. Many folks hate the taste and texture, but still eat it for the health benefits.

I like a spoonful in a soup like udon or ramen or miso soup to bulk up the umami. Also I sometimes add it as an ingredient in fried rice, or in a fried noodle dish. Or with kimchi on steamd rice.


I like it. It’s part of breakfast. Just a bit inconvenient with the very long strings but it’s no big deal. Ate it whenever possible on my 6 week backpacking trip a couple of years ago.

Interestingly, I quickly noticed that the Japanese only ate the “Western” offerings at breakfast. Asked around and was told it’s because they eat typical Japanese breakfast at home every day so a hotel buffet is a perfect opportunity to eat Western food.

Japan occupies the number one spot on my “most favourite countries” list. Such an ab.so.lutely astounding and incredible country (to me).

Natto is nice, not to mention healthy.

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Today, I just finished my first box. In fact they have a small bag of mustard and another bag of favoured oil to accompanied the beans. I didn’t put them in my noodles. They were okay, I think I had something similar before maybe Chinese, I’m sure I didn’t had this Japanese version, extremely sticky. I think it will be better used as a condiment to add umami than to eat alone.

Agreed! Especially for food! They have a quite big variety of choice.
I also like their aesthetic sense and their high requirement to reach perfection.

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Have you seen my pics? See in full screen and in this order:

(OK, not sure what happens here. Can’t seem to embed the player this time.)

Click on “autoplay next” to disable autoplay next file (under progress bar, far right).

I continued to bow 6 months after returning home from the trip. Did so much bowing in Japan I got used to it! Want to save for Okinawa next.

Congrats! Yes, your natto mixture should be very sticky. It’s supposed to be really healthy and nutritious for your gut. In addition to mixing Natto with its accompaniments into plain steamed rice, which is how I usually eat it for breakfast, you can also use that mixture to spread onto Nori and make little nori rolls, including whatever else you want for your Natto/Nori rolls. You can modify the flavors by adding steamed egg strips, carrots, courgettes, etc…

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The first time I went with our college class in the mid 90’s, it was a cultural shock with all the extravagance and contrast. Compared to the later trips I made in 2000 and 2010, the problem of economic seemed to weigh down a lot on the society.

I think I will try the nori rolls. I’m especially interested to use it to add in a plate that it becomes more invisible.

You can’t go wrong with soy, mustard and scallions. Get some white rice and wrap it in nori, it’s great, especially with a little bit of Japanese pickle of any kind. And sesame oil.

It’s good with miso too. And also good in miso soup.

If you want maximum slime, mix it up with a raw egg!

Or for a weird fusion version, turn it into pico de natto: tomato onion jalapeno avocado lime cilantro. Or guacanatto works too.

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Need to be courageous to eat that!

It is good if you mix the natto with hot steamed rice. It’s best if you stir it up on its own first, then add soy sauce (and any other condiments), then stir again, then pour over and mix into rice.

Leftover rice doesn’t work so well, it is better with hot rice.

You can also wrap the mixture up in nori if you like.

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Late to the party.

I just eat it. Nothing much to it.

After thraw, just stir and stir until sticky, then I consume it. Many people love to eat it with raw egg and rice too.

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I have tried with luke warm rice or noodles, it was ok… I will try with hot rice next time!

@Chemicalkinetics At first, I’m a bit indifferent with it, by the third time, I started to like it more… Will buy another box next time to the Japanese store.