Thursday, September 09, 2010

How to Make Natto & A Foreigner's First Experience With the Smell!!

Looks Yummy??
Natto - One of my first experiences here in Japan was an encounter with this olfactory insult. I was with a friend at a traditional Japanese restaurant eating sashimi and other Japanese goodies, when this smell hits me.

Really vile, and it keeps getting closer. I sniffed around my clothes & feet, just to be sure it wasn't me, then gave a big friendly hug to my friend, nope not him either. 

I dropped chopsticks to the floor to see where the source of smell was coming from, but remained in the smelly dark. I then learned what natto was- Fermented old beans.

Natto is traditional Japanese food. So if one day you visit Japan and eat with a Japanese family, and then wonder what smells like old gym socks, while eating a pork fish sandwich, that's probably natto (or your friend, Paco).  Natto, when you first lay eyes on it, looks like an ordinary package of beans in a sticky cheese like substance. Unfortunately, it`s not cheese.

The first time I brought home natto, because at one time I was a real sucker for anything promoted as healthy, I ate it straight from the box.  It tasted pretty much like it smelled- A gym sock after football practice dripped in raw sewage. Not to say that I`ve tasted that before...

I did not know how to make natto, did not know you could actually MAKE natto, until I met my fiancée.  So this is a tip for all you foreigners living in Japan or those who are interested outside of a Japan in making natto, get a Japanese fiancée.

They tend to be a bit fussy (mine was actually mad when I was taking pictures of it and made me make it look pretty.)

Anyway, here`s how you make Natto and make it somewhat less sock juicey. Natto comes in a white Styrofoam box with mustard and soy sauce.

If you want to be hardcore (macho and lack taste buds), just eat it as is...

The best way to eat Natto matters on how well you mix it. Don't just spin the spoon around and mix it, I mean you really get in there and mix it (or you will get a smack, if you took the fiancée advice).

There is a certain art of mixing that makes Natto fluffy. Mix with air and care (sounds better in Japanese, not so fruity), but that's the way Japanese fiancée teaches it.
Make sure air gets in the natto while mixing.  Basically while you are mixing, separate your chopsticks from one another & let air accumulate inside the natto. I`m not really sure why that makes it taste better, but it does. .

Guys, if you want to impress a Japanese girl or a Japanese family, make Natto with the ingredients below. Girls, if you want to impress a Japanese guy, just stuff the natto in your cleavage (hmm, well that may not work since it smells!)... ...

Ingredients are below:

1) Japanese Onion

2) Raw Egg yolk, dispose everything but the yellow yolk. (not recommended in America right now...)

If you do happen to find Natto in America and want to make it, abort numero dos.

3) Use the mustard pack...

4) Natto Package, fermented beans.

5) Mix well and Air with care!..

 6) Once everything is mixed well, throw the soy sauce in if you want, that is optional.

And there ya have it, I`m no Martha Stewart (cook or prisoner) but it is very edible.

To make it taste better, I recommend trying it with rice or Kimichi.

I love Natto now and if you ever come to Japan I guarantee, your Japanese friend will make you try it.

Japanese know foreigners do not like natto! (or whale) and they are inherently sadistic, just ask my fiancée, or yours if you took my advice earlier.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a Japanese version of COWBOY BEANS!!

Chris said...

looks likes baby poo

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