It does not sound delicious, does it? Moreover, it looks just as tasteless… To many nations of the world as disgusting as Natto may sound: pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, “Russian” dumplings or cottage cheese (it is rumored that the Japanese do not like cottage cheese).
Natto is a product not well known outside of Japan, and is one of those mandatory to eat while being there or at least to try. I admit that the taste is unique, strangely bitter / light coffee, consistency in not impressive, but about its therapeutic and pro-health properties one can write many:
- as one of the few plant products, is rich in vitamin B12,
- thanks to pyrazines and the presence of certain enzymes, Natto prevents blood clots and strengthens the cardiovascular system (for example: prevents heart attacks),
- some studies suggest that it may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and the like,
- contains vitamin K, which helps in preventing osteoporosis,
- Natto is a source of vitamin PQQ, which helps in the nutrition of the skin,
- works like an antibiotic (in Europe people used to eat molded bread with cobwebs and garlic…)
- it is also said to prevent cancer, autoimmune diseases, obesity, hair loss, and to lower the cholesterol level.
Extremely healthy, isn’t it? However, for this healthy product to become tasty, one has to contrive a bit. Personally, I tried to eat natto with rice and wasabi, which turned out to be quite a good meal, but not good enough to get my discriminating palate stand the consumption of all of it. Internet users in this respect are much more creative than I was:
- on ilovenatto.com page you can find such recipes as: Neba Neba, coffee jelly, kimchi, fried rice with Natto, pork gyoza, toast, hamburger, Tororo Sobe, curry, Natto with egg;
- and the author of shizuokagourmet.com page offers such delicacies as: traditional Natto, Natto miso, Natto no Age Yaki, lotus root sandwiches and Natto, Natto Mabodofu, spicy Natto, sushi rolls with Natto and sesame seeds, Natto with tofu, deep-fried Natto with tofu and Yama Imo.
Nothing more to do but cook, eat and recover!
Wikipedia mentions that industrially produced Natto is also available in Poland (dried), but I am skeptical about the idea of eating it. I believe that it is best to eat food and local products at their place of origin / production. But if someone was as stubborn and curious as to eat Natto, I recommend that you try it – it is a really interesting experience. However, in defense of dried Natto, it is worth mentioning that in this form it does not lose its pro-health properties.