Jane and I tend to be adventurous eaters. By that I mean that we’re always willing to try new foods. Occasionally the “ick” factor overwhelms us, but for the most part, we believe you don’t know if you like something until you try it.
Jane has recently heard about a Japanese food called natto, a fermented soybean dish which she is interested in trying. I’m not sure why she wants to try this, but she does. So tonight, after dinner at our favorite vegan restaurant, Shojin (in little Tokyo), we stopped off at the Japanese grocery store in the same mall. We bought a few staples, some miso, rice wine vinegar, panko bread crumbs… and natto.
So what is natto? Natto is a traditional Japanese dish of fermented soybeans. So what’s the big deal about natto? Well, apparently it has a very strong odor and mucilaginous consistency, both of which make it rather unpalatable for some people. If you look up natto on YouTube there are many videos showing what it is and how to eat it (including a number of of videos which show people “giving back” their eaten natto). This video shows what it is and how to eat it.
If you’re going to try it yourself make sure to read the ingredient labels carefully. Most of the varieties of natto we found contained Bonito shavings. Bonito is a type of fish. We also found natto with scallop powder (huh?). The variety we bought appears to be vegan, meaning there are no discernable animal products. I’m not sure when we’ll be eating this, but whenever it is, I’m sure there’ll be a follow-up post.