Natto – Unique & Super Healthy Traditional Food of Japanese

Nattō is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybean seeds. It is brown in color, smells unpleasant, fleshy and picky, has a lot of very sticky and sticky fluid. Natto has been concluded by scientists to be rich in many nutrients. Along with miso soy sauce, nattō is one of the most important sources of protein in feudal Japan when people did not eat animals, birds and seafood.

Nattō may originate from the foothills of the Himalayas in Yunnan spreading outward. Nattō was transmitted to Japan at some point, currently unable to verify. Today, it is popular among Japanese people, especially the Kantō and Tohoku regions. Nattō is eaten as a side dish with rice, or cooked into soups, or made into sushi rolls, even made spagetti and soba. There are also types of dried nattō that are packed in bags to eat as a snack.

People choose small soybean seeds, soak in water for a day to soften, boil thoroughly, then ferment. The traditional way is to pack the treated soybeans into straw bags to take advantage of B. Subtilis natto which ferments the soybeans. Today, a kind of yeast called kosōkin is used to start the fermentation process for about 24 hours in an ambient temperature of about 40 ° C. This fermentation process separates the proteins in soybean into short-chain amino acids, an easy-to-absorb tonic.


Currently there are many different records on the origin of natto. The materials and tools needed to produce natto have been available in Japan since ancient times. There are also stories of Minamoto no Yoshiie, who is said to have been involved in a campaign in Northeast Japan between 1086 AD and 1088 AD when one day they were attacked while boiling soybeans for the herd. ho’s horse to eat. They hurriedly packed the beans, and didn’t open the straw bags until a few days later, at a time when the seeds were fermented. The soldiers ate it and felt the taste was great, so they offered it to Yoshiie, who later liked the flavor too.

Straw wrapped natto, Mito Tengu Natto, Mito, Ibaragi Pref, Japan, April 17, 2010.

An important change in the production of natto occurred during the Taisho period (1912-1926), and researchers discovered a way to produce fermented natto containing Bacillus subtilis (a type of bacillus) without straw. . This simplifies the production process and gives more relevant results.

Natto has a distinctive smell, a bit like spicy cheese, natto is occasionally used in other foods such as sushi natto, natto toast, in miso soup, tamagoyaki, salad, as ingredients in okonomiyaki , or even in spaghetti. Sometimes soybeans are crushed and fermented, called ‘hikiwari nattō’.

  • Many people find the taste unpleasant and smelling, while others enjoy it as a daily dish of them. Natto is more popular in some areas of Japan than others. Natto is common in the eastern Kantō region, but less common in Kansai. An Internet survey in Japan in 2009 found that 70.2% of people liked natto and 29.8% did not, but of the 29.8% of people who dislike natto, about half of them ate for their own benefit. benefits of health.

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