Neba Neba Don

October 19th, 2012 by Lucas

As a tribute to the end of one of the warmest summers on U.S. record, this seems like the perfect time to feature the traditional Japanese food of Neba Neba.

Neba Neba is traditionally eaten more during the summer months. The nutrient packed ingredients served cold replenishes the body, especially during the extra stresses of heat. When served on top of rice it is called Neba Neba Don.

Neba Neba Don

Natto, okra, tororo, seaweed and raw egg served over rice.

In Japanese Neba Neba means sticky or slimy. All the ingredients in this dish resemble the texture of natto, and are just as good for you. I heard that Nebe Neba Don is served in cafeterias in Japan, and I wouldn’t be surprised why. All the ingredients are super foods themselves. Okra is known to stabilize blood sugar levels, help with digestion, and is filled with vitamin C and antioxidants. Tororo is high in protein and full of nutrients and vitamins such as potassium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins C & B1. Seaweed, a good source of potassium, iron and iodine, is becoming more popular with parents too, replacing the craving for salty chips.

There are different variations and ingredients that go into Neba Neba. Most common ingredients included are:

1. Natto

2. Nagaimo (grated) aka Tororo

3. Okra

4. Raw egg (some prefer yolk only)

5. Seaweed (such as mekabu, mozuku or kombu)

Eating the ingredients raw also provides more benefit, compared to eating them cooked. Studies have shown the longer vegetables are cooked under high heat the less vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are retained. Some vegetables, such as the okra in this recipe, can be quite bitter raw. To help reduce the bitterness some prefer to remove the seeds and quickly blanch the okra before cutting it up.

No step by step directions this time, but prep time should be quick since all the ingredients are raw. Try it out for yourself and leave us a comment!

Natto Coffee Jelly

September 29th, 2012 by Lucas

Prep time: 15 minutes and 3 hours for gelatin mixture to set.

Servings: 4

Natto in coffee gelatin with whipped cream served on toast

This is a great recipe for those with a sweet tooth. The flavor of the coffee jelly does a good job of masking the smell and sliminess of the natto. The bread is optional to this recipe. I like to use toasted bread for the added texture but other variations can call for non-toasted bread, one slice of bread (eaten like an open faced sandwich), or no bread at all for a lighter dessert.

The coffee flavored jelly powder used in this recipe may not be sold in all grocery stores. I was able to find it at 99 Ranch, a brand manufactured by a Taiwanese company. Individually packaged coffee jelly is also a good substitute. If you cannot find either, another option is using instant coffee with Agar Agar powder.


1.  2 packs of Natto
2.  Coffee flavored jelly powder (1/2 cup)
3.  Sugar (4 Tbsp)
4.  Heavy whipping cream (1 cup)
5.  Bread


1.  Boil 2 and a half cups of water. Mix in coffee powder and stir until all is dissolved.
2.  Mix in the two packs of natto into coffee mixture, stir enough so the natto is spread uniformly in the gelatin. Remove from heat.
3. Pour the natto+gelatin mixture into a pie tin or square cake pan for cooling. I like the mixture to about 1/2 an inch deep, so I used a pie tin about 10 inches in diameter.
4. Chill mixture in refrigerator for about 3 hours.
5. Prepare whipped cream. Add heavy whipping cream and sugar into mixer of mixing bowl. Even easier with your favorite canned whipped cream.
6. Prepare bread, and assemble all components into a sandwich.

When prepared with two pieces of toast the look reminds me of s’mores, but with the power of natto. If you still know people who refuse to try natto, this recipe is a great place to start. As always try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!


Natto + Kimchi = Uber Food

January 17th, 2011 by koji

Prep time: 5 mins to prep and set overnight

Servings: 1

Natto and kimchi over fresh tofu

Natto marinated in kimchi over fresh tofu

This is a really simple way of preparing natto.  The combination of natto and kimchi make for a delicious and extremely healthy snack or side dish.  Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish and made up of several kinds of fermented vegetables.  It is a good source of fiber and vitamin C and is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, calcium, iron, and several lactic acid bacteria.  It was only a matter of time before natto and kimchi combined forces to create an uber nutritious and delisious dish.

Where can I find kimchi?  You can find kimchi at most asian super markets and many larger super markets like Ralphs.  However, there are several different kinds of kimchi and all are not made equal.  I recommend buying it from a Korean super market if you have the choice.


  1. 1/2 cup Kimchi
  2. 1 Packet of natto


  1. Cut up the kimchi into small bits and place on a plate.
  2. Mix in the natto.
  3. After mixing it, saran wrap it and stick it in the fridge for 6-8 hours.  You can stick it over night or stick it in in the morning and have it later in the day.
  4. After the natto has had the chance to soak up the kimchi flavor, its ready to eat.  Eat if over fresh rice or tofu or whatever you desire.

This is one of my favorite natto side dishes!  Definitely try it out and let me know what you think!

Natto Fried Rice

November 2nd, 2010 by koji
Natto Fried Rice

S&D Recipe Channel’s awesome fried rice!

So I found a good recipe for natto fried rice when I was surfing youtube a while back.  I tried it out and it was pretty good!  I found it on the Simple and Delicious Recipe Channel.  They have a lot of awesome looking recipe videos, so be sure to check out their channel and website.

I’m going to link the video to this recipe, but the text is in Japanese, so I’ll post the recipe as well, (although I think the video is pretty self explanatory).


  • Packet of natto
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Eggs
  • Rice (cooked)
  • Scallions / sprig onions
  • Green onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Thinly chop the scallions and leek.
  • Stir the natto until it gets nice and thick and mix it together with the eggs.  Mix well.
  • Heat up a pan and add vegetable oil.  Move the vegetable oil around in the pan so it coats the surface, then remove the vegetable oil to the side.
  • Add sesame oil.
  • Add the egg and natto.  Be sure to move it around so it doesn’t burn.  Once it starts to solidify, remove it to the side.
  • Again, add vegetable oil to the pan and remove any excess.  Then add the rice.  I like to use day old rice when I make fried rice just because its not as sticky and moist.
  • Pound out the lumps in the rice and make it nice and fluffy.  Once you do that, add the scallions and mix.
  • Add the egg natto mixture and mix well into the rice.
  • Add some salt and a bit of pepper to taste.
  • Add soy sauce and the finely chopped green onion, mix it in, and your pretty much done!

It’s a tasty recipe and the video really good job showing how simple it really is.  Try it out and tell me what you think.

Natto and Pork Gyoza

October 14th, 2010 by koji

Prep time: 1hr or more (depending on how well you can wrap gyoza)

Servings: 8 people

Natto Gyoza

Pork gyoza with a hint of natto.


  • 2 Packets of natto
  • 2 Packs of gyoza skins
  • 1 Pound ground pork
  • 3 Cups of finely chopped chives (or cabbage)
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 Tsp of white pepper
  • 3 Tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp of salt
  • Soy sauce  (for the dipping sauce)
  • Vinegar (for the dipping sauce)
  • Chili oil (for the dipping sauce)


  1. Mix the ground pork, natto, chives, garlic, sesame oil, and egg white in a large bowl.  You will probably have to use your hands.
  2. Add pepper and salt and mix.
  3. Once you’re done mixing, you have stuffing for the gyoza.  Using a spoon, take a small scoop of the stuffing and place it on a gyoza skin.  Fold the gyoza skin over and seal it with a cascade of small folds.  You wet the edges of the gyoza skin to make it stick to each other easier.  It maybe a little tricky for those who have never done it before.  (I apologize for not having a picture of this)
  4. To cook the gyoza, heat up some oil on a pan.  Place the gyoza onto the pan and cook for about 15 seconds.  Then fill the pan with about a half an inch of water and seal with a lid.
  5. Let it steam for about 6-8 minutes and remove the lid.  Cook until the water evaporates. Serve on a plate.
  6. For the dipping sauce, mix 1 part vinegar, 2 parts soy sauce and if you like it spicy, add a few drops of chili oil.

I think the natto blends well with the pork and chives.  Try it out and let me know what you think. We’re also trying to come up with a vegetarian version of this dish.  Hopefully we can post a follow up by the end of this month!

Natto Toast

October 14th, 2010 by koji

Natto toast is a very common breakfast meal is Japan.  It’s pretty much toast, cheese and natto.  I’ve tried it with several different kinds of cheese, but my favorite is mozzarella.

Prep time: 5min

Serving size: 1

Natto toast

Natto and mozzorella cheese on toast!


  • Natto
  • Slice of bread
  • Butter
  • Mozzarella cheese


  1. Butter hot pan.
  2. Toast one side of the bread.
  3. Flip the bread and sprinkle some mozzorella cheese followed by natto and a little more cheese.
  4. Toast for a couple more minutes and serve!

I recommend eating it right when its served, or else the toast gets a little soggy.  Natto toast is another quick and easy natto recipe, perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack.

Natto Hambagu (Hamberg)

October 4th, 2010 by koji

A basic hambagu recipe with the addition of natto in the center.  It’s so good!!  It can be eaten by itself or with rice or with curry.

Prep Time: 25 mins

Natto Hamburg

Japanese Hamburg stuffed with natto

Serving Size: 4


  • Natto
  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup panko (bread crumbs)
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 tbs Vegetable oil
  • Bull Dog sauce (or ketchup and Worcestershire sauce)
  • Mustard


  1. Thinly chop onions into small squares.  Heat up the oil in a pan and saute the onions until they turn a caramel brown color.
  2. Mix the egg and panko in a bowl.
  3. Add the beef, onions, milk, a dash of pepper and salt, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  4. When you form the hamburg patties, make sure you don’t make them too large or they will fall apart when you try to flip them.  Note that adding natto in the center will make them even more brittle.
  5. Place a thin layer of the meat mixture onto a plate, then a layer of natto, and another layer of meat on top.
  6. Heat oil and saute patty for about 2 minutes.
  7. Flip the patty, add a 1/4 cup of water to the pan and steam patty for about 3-4 more minutes.  Then remove the lid and cook until the water evaporates.
  8. Top the patty with Bulldog sauce or make your own sauce by mixing 1 part ketchup and 1 part Worcestershire sauce.
  9. Mustard goes exceptionally well with this meal, (I prefer spicy mustard).

I’ve had friends who dislike natto try it and they really enjoyed it.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tororo Soba with Natto

October 4th, 2010 by koji

One of my favorite ways to eat natto is with soba (buckwheat noodles).  This recipe is very easy to make and is very healthy.  Great for a light lunch or for breakfast.

Prep-time: 15 min

Serving size: 1 person

Soba with Natto

Soba with Natto


  • Soba
  • Natto
  • Nagaimo (Japanese sweet potato)
  • 3 Shiso leaves
  • Green onion
  • Mentsuyu or sobatsuyu


1. Boil water in a pot for the soba.
2. While the you’re waiting for the water to start boiling, chop up the shiso leaves and green onions.
3. Grate the nagaimo to make a puree, (called tororo).
4. Open the natto, add the soy sauce packet and mix.
5. Boil the soba noodles, usually for 4-8 minutes, or more depending on brand, (read and follow instructions on the back of the soba).
6. Take the soba out of the boiling water and rinse under cool water.
7. On a separate plate, place the soba, shiso, tororo, natto and green onions.
8. Pour on some diluted mentsuyu, (2 water to 1 mentsuyu), over the whole thing and enjoy!

This dish can be served in many different ways.  It can be served hot as well and with different types of toppings.  If you have another way of eating soba that you would like to share, please post a comment! =)

Natto Curry

September 30th, 2010 by koji

This is a simple curry recipe using a ready-made curry base.  Natto goes great with curry.  Most Japanese curry restaurants will have natto curry on their menu, so if you don’t have time to make your own, you can try ordering it.  Natto curry also makes a great vegetarian dish without the beef.

Prep-time: 1 hr

Natto Curry

Natto Curry

Serving size: 4 people


  • Natto
  • 2  Carrots
  • 1 Fuji apple  (or any apple you prefer)
  • 1 Potato
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 Curry cubes (half of a full packet)
  • 1 tblspoon oil
  • 4 Cups of water
  • White rice (optional)
  • Beef (optional)
  • 20g Dark chocolate (optional)


1. Heat up oil in a pot and add the thinly sliced onions.
2. Once onions are soft and caramel brown in color, add the chopped carrots, apple and 3. potato with 4 cups of water.
4. Let it simmer for about 30-40 mins, (but make sure you stir frequently if you are using a pot with a thin base for it will burn the vegetables), and add water if it is evaporating too quickly.
5. Add the curry cubes and chocolate and stir until both are completely dissolved.
6. Let it simmer for another 5 mins. If curry is too watery, let it simmer for longer to let some water evaporate.
7. Serve the curry over natto and rice.  Some people like it with just natto.

Natto and Raw Egg

September 29th, 2010 by koji

This is an awesome recipe submitted by my friend Kazumaki5.  I tried it myself and I loved it.  It is a very simple recipe, high in protein and very healthy.  It is ideal for breakfast or as a snack between meals.

Prep-time: 5 mins

Natto and Raw Egg

Natto and raw egg over fresh white rice.

Serving size: 3-4 people


3 Packets of natto
1 Egg
Big hand full of chopped green onioins
Shredded nori
White rice
Mentsuyu or soy-sauce (optional)


1. Crack the raw egg into a bowl and mix.
2. Add the 3 packets of natto and the green onions and mix well.
3. Pour the mixture over fresh white rice and top it off with some nori.
4. If you feel like it needs some salt, you may add a bit of mentsuyu or soy-sauce.