Monday, March 22, 2010


Ever since I watched Crayon Shin-Chan as a kid, I've always been fascinated about Natto. Not that I knew it was called Natto. I just remember the kid swirling his chopsticks around his bowl and suddenly everything is covered in a cob web thing! It was only a few years ago that I figured out what he was eating was Natto. Imagine my surprise when I found Natto being sold in a few Asian grocery stores!

I immediately grabbed a pack of 4 (They only come in packs of 4) and headed over to my friend's place. My friend had lived in Japan for many years, and I assumed that he could show me how to eat Natto and that he'll eat it with me. WRONG. My friend's expression was a combination of hysteria and horror. No way in hell was he going to eat Natto. He'll give me instructions, but he doesn't want to be near the stuff. Its like I rocked up with rotten eggs covered in blue cheese or something!

I guess I should've given my friend more notice, because he had no rice and no seaweed sheets! Dang! But I was still determined to try and decided to eat it on its own, with no accompaniments.

Since Natto is frozen, the first thing you must do is to let it defrost.

Once defrosted, you can peel off the layer of plastic sitting ontop. As you peel it off, you can see the strands of cob web like ick starting to form. Be careful pulling the plastic off or you'll get the sticky stuff all over you.

Then, using your chopsticks, you stir. As you keep stirring, you'll notice the strands of sticky cob web eventually turn into something that I can only describe as a cross between mucus and saliva. When it looks like the beans are suspended in this mucusy-saliva like thing, then you're done.

Natto usually comes with a few sachets of condiments. In my case, it was mustard and some soya sauce looking thing. Wanting to taste natto in its most purest form, I opted not to stir them in yet. And it tastes

It wasn't entirely disgusting like my friend described. I wouldn't call it delicious either. To me, it was a slightly slimey, coffee like bean substance. I added the condiments and tasted it again. It still wasn't disgusting, and I'm finding that the flavour is growing on me.

I wish I had a bowl of steaming hot rice to eat this with, because I actually think it'll taste quite nice! My friend, however, was waiting for the contents of my stomach to come back up because he thinks I was faking it. I wouldn't rush out to start stocking up on Natto, but atleast I know if I get served only this and a bowl of rice, I'm not going to starve!

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