How to Eat Natto: A Guide for Newbs

Natto can be purchased at most Asian supermarkets. It usually comes in a pack of 3 for about 1-2 USD. If there aren’t any asian grocers near you, you can also order them online from various sites like asiangrocer.com. Natto comes in little styrofoam containers with a packet of sauce (tare) and hot mustard. There are a few different kinds of tare, but most are soysauce based. But anyway, once you open the styrofoam packet, your nostrils will be overcome with the stench of one million stinky socks. But do not panic, it’s just natto.

Packet of Natto

Packet of Natto

Before removing the plastic film, I recommend sticking it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Not only does natto taste better warm (although there are people who prefer it cold) but warming natto up allows you to peel off the plastic film more easily and with less of a mess. Once the film is removed, add the tare, mix it up real good and dig in! If you’ve never eaten natto before, I recommend taking a bite without the sauce first, just to see how it taste. You will find that it tastes like chicken. Just kidding. Most people say that it doesn’t have much of a taste at all, perhaps because the smell is so strong. They say that half the taste is in the smell, but in the case of natto, its more like 90% of the taste is in the smell. It’s an acquired taste, so if you didn’t enjoy it the first time, try it again in a few days.

Ready to eat natto

Ready to eat natto

Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to rinse off the natto film and container so it doesn’t stink up your trashcan and your roommates don’t complain about the kitchen smelling like a*s. Running it under hot water for about 10 seconds usually does the trick.

If you didn’t like it, just keep in mind that natto is usually not eaten by itself. Try one of the recipes mentioned on this site. If you still don’t like it, you should eat it anyway, its good for you!

One Response to “How to Eat Natto: A Guide for Newbs”

  1. Beck says:

    Sounds gross. I’ll try it!