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Natto 2012/10/30 08:49
What makes natto a breakfast food? I think I might like the taste (judging by the description and my affinity for smelly food). But why is it predominantly consumed for breakfast? It's not something I'd imagine next to my morning yoghurt and oatmeal.
by SEA monster  

Re: Natto 2012/10/30 09:21
It's enjoyed as part of typical Japanese breakfast - with a bowl of rice, miso soup, some pickled veggie, etc. A good source of vegetable protein as well. You normally mix in a bit of soy sauce and mustard, and eat it mixed with your rice, so, um, I would not want to have that next to my yogurt and oatmeal either :)
by AK (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/30 11:59
I have had natto a few times at breakfast. Remember that the breakfast (as mentioned above) is savory anyway. But it isnt the taste of natto that is the problem, it is the texture. It it slimy and sticky, it is really quite disgusting. The last time I had it I ended up gagging on it, unfortunately no matter how good it is for you, it is something japanese that I wont try again.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/30 18:28
SEA monster,

But why is it predominantly consumed for breakfast?

I think you mean why natto is eaten for breakfast, not for lunch or evening meal.

Perhaps it is because natto is very easy to prepare. The cook (in Japanese home, it is usually mother or wife, but of course it can be house husband) just buy packed natto, and serve it with a bowl of rice. Of course you can eat it for lunch or evening meal, but in Japan, these meals should be more filling, so many people think natto is not appropriate. I think it is like having cereals for dinner.

By the way, I have not eaten natto for these 20 years or so, though I am a Japanese. But I must say I am from Kansai area where natto was not so popular 50 years ago. When I was a child, there were no "super market" in Japan, so I think natto was not sold in most of the Kansai area. Actually, I first ate natto when I was 24, and it was a dormitory in Sapporo, Hokkaido.


Honestly, I do not like natto, but for me it is not for its texture but its smell. Perhaps this is because I was not used for natto during my young days. As for slimy and sticky food, I am OK for okra, yamaimo (Japanese mountain yam), moroheiya and raw egg with rice and more :-).
by frog1954 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/30 19:14
I agree with the above.
Eat with Japanese foods, and Natto is not necessarily eat for breakfast.

I often heard Kansai-jin inhabitants have no custom of eating Natto.
Yes, my fater who was born and raised in Hiroshima never eat it, too.
Even Japanese hate it and they say it's sticky and stinking?
But I love Natto very much, it's so tasty and healthy!

I can recommend eating Hikiwari-Natto with chopped Negi (welsh onion?) for beginners.
"Hikiwari" means "crushed", it's sold in any super market.
I think maybe it's more easy to eat.
by ajapaneseboy rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/31 01:06
Actually, I've found that substituting oatmeal (steel cut oats) for rice works nicely for breakfast, including with natto and eggs. I feel more energetic after eating that than just about anything else.
by ChicagoMike rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/31 01:22
Natto doesn't smell anymore. Those who haven't tried, try (again). The original natto in straws used to smell but these days natto (in frozen plastic packaging) has no smell but gives a lot of gas(he, onara, hohi, if done by the Emperor), lol. Take a Beano pill. Anyway it is a health food. Slimy grated yamaimo, too. They must have a lot of fiber.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/31 06:04
Actually you are right, there is plenty of japanese food that is slimy. I'm not fond of the slimy yam, and I've had what seemed to be a seaweed product that was (forgive being graphic) the consistency of mucous, and dark green (actually it tasted pretty good for something that looked like it came out of a cow's nose). And I'm not really partial to raw egg in rice either, though I like it with sukiyaki. But natto for me goes beyond all of that, maybe it is the cobwebs that come out of your mouth while you are trying to get it down, it's like something out of a horror movie. Gagfest.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/10/31 18:22
amazinga, I have to disagree- I like natto, and we have it for dinner once a week or so usually (we aren't breakfast natto eaters), but the stuff does stink, especially if you aren't the one eating it, there's no way around it!

If I have started my dinner when my husband (who loves natto) walks in the door and am eating natto one of the first things he will say is "kusai!"

It might smell less than it used to, but it definitely still smells- we eat various brands, so it's not just the one we have!
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/11/1 08:01
Thanks for the insights, guys! It's now on my Japanese protein list right next to soft tofu. I will have it as an afternoon or evening snack though, since (judging from your responses) there is no specific breakfast property related to natto and I prefer to have my breakfast on the sweet side.

Thank you :-)
by SEA monster rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/11/3 14:23
Hi, everyone,

Natto with egg and oatmeal. Well, can not be imagined by this old Japanese, but it should be possible. Anyway, I do not have the right to talk about natto since I have not tried it for these 20 years :-).

Since SEA monster like sweet something for breakfast, it can be natto with honey. I googled 納豆 ハチミツ and found the following recipe.


Some says it is good for those who do not like the smell of natto (like me, maybe :-).

And obviously there is also honey tofu.

by frog1954 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/11/3 19:02
Honey natto...(^_^;

Now I can understand that
some foreigners say "sweet bean jam? give me a break".

I think maybe I like it if I eat it, but I'm feeling so bad...
by ajapaneseboy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Natto 2012/11/3 21:57

I think you should like honey natto :-)

Actually, it was not so bad. Yes, I tried some natto including honey natto today.

I bought natto in a supermarket for the first time of my life. One is from Mizkan, the company selling non-smell natto (におわなっとう). But in the supermarket, they do not sell non-smell one, so I bought 金のつぶパキッ!とたれ国産中粒, meaning "Golden grain sounding Paki (this is a onomatopée in Japanese) with sauce middle grain, made in Japan". Very long name :-) Another one is a hikiwari natto from a local company.

Both are with "tare" or soy sauce based broth, and I used it. It was twenty years ago when I last ate natto so that my thought that it smells bad is, in a sense, not based on the real memory. Honestly speaking, it was not so bad. The smell was not so strong than I imagined. The taste was the taste of the broth and mustard with somewhat bitter natto flavor. Well, not so bad. Considering it is healthy and inexpensive (about 100 yen for the package of three), I think I should eat it once in a week or so. Mizkan's natto is less bitter and I prefer it. Finally I added some honey and eat the honey natto. Well, sweet, of course. I do not recommend, but also I do not persuade not to eat it. It is one's preference :-)
by frog1954 rate this post as useful

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