Natto Pasta

September 28th, 2010 by koji

Prep-time: 10mins

Natto Pasta

A simple natto pasta recipe

Ingredients:

1. Natto
2. Shiso leaves or parsely
3. 1 tbspoonSoy sauce
5. 1/2 tbspoon Butter
6. Spagetti
7. Green onions (optional)

Directions:

1. Boil the spagetti noodles
2. Once the noodles are done, drain the water and add the butter and soy sauce and mix.
3. Add the shredded shiso leave and green onions and toss with the noodles.
4. Add the natto and digg in!

Natto and Onsen Tamago

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

Prep-time: 30 mins

Natto and Onsen Tamago

Natto and Onsen Tamago

Ingredients:

1. 1 Packet of Natto
2. 1 Egg
3. Soy sauce
4. Dashi soup stock
5. Green onions (optional)

Directions:

The hardest part about this recipe is making the onsen tamago. The easiest way is to purchase them at your local Japanese super market, but not all carry them. If you type in “how to make onsen tamago” into google, you will see that there are several different approaches of making it. But the way I managed to make my onsen tamago is as follows:

1. Bring eggs to room temperature (set on counter for about 20mins).
2. Using a thermometer, set the water to about 70-75 degrees Celsius (158-167 f).
3. Place eggs in the water and let it sit for 25-30mins.
4. Remove eggs from water and place and cold water for about a minute.
5. Gently crack the egg into dashi soup stock with a little soy sauce.

Onsen Tamaga

A successful onsen tamaga

Once you got you onsen tamago, place it into a bowl with natto, rice and some green onions and enjoy!

Natto Guacamole

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

Prep-time: 15mins

Natto and guacamole

Natto and guacamole

Ingredients:

Natto
3 Avocados
1/2 Cup Diced Onions
1 1/2 Cup Diced tomato
1/4 Cup of Sour Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoon Lime Juice
1 Clove minced garlic
Cilantro (optional)
Dash of Red Pepper (optional)
Tortilla Chips

Serving Size: 4

Directions:

1. Peel the avocados, rid the seeds, place it in a bowl and mash it up with a fork.

2. Next add the sour cream, followed by the diced onions, diced tomato, salt lime juice cilantro, garlic and red pepper.

3. Mix it all up and you got your guacamole.

4. Take about two to three big spoon-fulls of the guacamole and place it in another bowl. Add in a packet of natto and you’re done!

Natto and Tofu

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

A quick, easy and very healthy recipe, perfect for breakfast!

Prep time: 2 mins

Natto and Tofu

Natto and Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1. 1 Packet of Natto
  • 1/2-1 Packet of Tofu
  • Soy sauce or mentsuyu
  • Green onions (optional)

Directions:

Slice the tofu up and lay if flat on a plate and drizzle some soy sauce (or mentsuyu) onto the tofu. Empty the the sauce and hot mustard packet into the natto and mix thoroughly. Add some green onions if you like, pour it onto the tofu and you’re done!

6 Reasons to Eat Natto Everyday!

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

A friend of mine, an avid body builder, had a freezer filled with natto. He loved it and ate it everyday. He claimed that it was the “Ultimate food” because not only was it very nutritious, but it was high in protein and contained all the benefits of meat with none of its detriments. Natto is known in many places around the world for its several health benefits. Below are six in which natto is best known for.

1. Reduces Aging

Natto contains lecithin, which is found in various cosmetic products, and it is known to balance out fat and water in skin cells to smoothen and soften. Asian women having smoother and softer skin compared to American and European women, is thought to be because of higher consumption of soy products. Natto is also rich in vitamin E, which is an anti-oxidant and it aids blood circulation in the outside vessels which prevent skin damage, keeping you looking young and healthy.

2. Prevents Obesity

Natto only contains about 90 calories per servings and contains 7-8 grams of protein. It is fairly filing and the protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which prevent hunger attacks.

3. Improves Digestion

Natto is a good source of fiber, which helps the body rid of waste materials and carcinogens. 100 grams of natto contain about 7 grams of fiber. In the olden days natto was used to treat dysentery. Natto also produces enzyme to help break down protein to amino acids, carbohydrates into glucose, neutral fats into glycerin and fatty acids, and fibers into simpler carbohydrates.

4. Prevents Cancer

There are many studies published stating that natto helps prevent cancer of the breast, prostate gland, skin, and large intestine. Although it is not proven, cases of prostate cancer in Japanese males are only a quarter of that of American males. This thought to be due to the consumption of soybean products instead of meat products. There is also a study that shows that not only soybeans, but a certain bacteria in natto have anti-carcinogenic effects. Mice injected with the natto bacteria showed it stopped the growth or drastically reduced the growth rate of the cancer cells.

5. Prevents Osteoporosis

Natto contains large amounts of vitamin K. Bone is made with a combination of gamma glutamic acid and calcium and vitamin K plays a crucial role in combining these two, preventing osteoporosis. Natto contains about 870 micrograms of vitamin K2 per 100 grams of natto.

6. Prevents Heart Attacks, Strokes and Senility

Natto contains an enzyme in called pyrazine. Pyrazine is what gives natto its distinct smell, but it also reduces blood clotting. Nattokinase is another enzyme in natto that dissolves blood clots. Blood clots are what causes heart attacks and strokes and senility. It is said that over half the cases of senility are due to blood clots in the brain.

Sources:

http://www.gaia21.net/natto/natto.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natt%C5%8D#Medical_benefits

How to Eat Natto: A Guide for Newbs

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

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!

The First Person to Ever Try Natto: A Brief History of Natto

September 23rd, 2010 by koji

The truth is, no one has an exact date of when natto was first produced, but the tools need to make it have been available in Japan since ancient times. According to some sources, natto may have been discovered as far back as the Zhou Dynasty (1134-246 BC) in China.

Other sources say it was discovered in the Jomon period (10,000-300 BC) in Japan. Others says that it was discovered during one of Minamoto no Yoshiie’s battle campaigns. Between 1086 – 1088, Minamoto’s troops were attacked while they were boiling soybeans for the horses. They quickly packed and forgot about the soybeans until days later when they discovered that the beans had fermented. They apparently still decided to eat it. And they liked it!

Yet other sources claim that the discovery of natto was more recent, in the Edo period (1603-1867). But enough of what Wikipedia says, all we know is that several sources say several different things. But I actually believe that natto was made like this:

In a top secret underground government laboratory, a scientist carrying out research to reverse aging, inexplicably mixes up his experiment samples with yesterday’s lunch… soybeans. Without noticing, the scientist proceeds to an important researching meeting where he unveils his samples. In total shock and embarrassment, he flees the scene. The (by then fermented) soybeans were studied under a micro scope and found that it was rich in proteins and vitamins that prevent stroke, cancer, aging and osteoporosis! They called it NATTO, because being so healthy and neutritious, it was the only thing it could possibly be called.

The first person to every try natto

Incentive