Japan – Natto

by Zayna Khan


This is a very healthy and nutritious dish from Japanese cuisine. Natto is a kind of snack or breakfast that is made up of fermented soybean. This is famous because of its texture and appearance. Actually, soybean is a very healthy bean or legume lentils that can be consumed to get beneficial calories, nutrition, minerals, and vitamins. The main thing to watch is the procedure of fermenting these beans so we can consume with different varieties of rice, toast and mixing with vegetables, etc.

As a healthy breakfast it is eaten with a bowl of rice. It is also mixed with different sauces like soya sauce, mustard, hot sauce, Tarri, mirin, rice vinegar to get new flavors of Japan with this simple fermented beans.

It has acquired taste that means having strong smell, slimy texture and powerful flavor.


Soybeans are also known by names like Soya beans, Soybeans and soy beans.

Soybean is a legume of East that produces beans of a different color. Especially, white and red in color. When they are unripe, they are green and at this stage, they are added to many dishes. When they are ripe, they are added as fresh vegetables or legumes into dishes like soybean curry. And they are being dried so when boiled, added into different salads.

There are many different ways to consume this beautiful legume beans.

There are many fermented different food we can made up of fermented soybeans like:

  • Soy sauce
  • Fermented soy paste
  • Natto
  • Tempeh, etc.

Nutritional value

100 grams of soybeans are having 440 calories and following are the distribution of soybean calories:

  • Protein 36%
  • Water 9%
  • Carbohydrates 30%
  • Fat 20%

The main purpose of this dish is the procedure, Fermentation Food Processing:


Fermentation is the procedure of converting carbohydrates present in the food to alcohol. This procedure takes place by using different yeasts and bacteria. The use of microorganisms to covert the nutrients from one form to other. There are many microbes we can use for fermenting base on the requirement and desire.

For the fermentation of soybeans, Bacillus bacteria is used to ferment for natto.

Food produce by the procedure of fermentation are :

  • Bread
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Yogurt
  • Saucerkuart
  • Cheese
  • Vinegar
  • Soya sauce, etc.

In East and Southeast Asia, Natto is a very famous food formed by Fermentation food processing. Natto is on the top of the list when beans-based fermentation food comes to mind. There are also many other bean-based food like:

  • Fermented bean curd
  • Stinky Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • natto, etc.

This dish is assumed to be have the acquired taste.


These are the kind of food that is not enjoyed by the people because of having strong odor, or slimy texture, etc.

  • Black salt
  • Cheese
  • Sushi
  • Stinky tofu
  • Natto
  • Sashimi
  • Durian, etc.



From Chinese cuisine, natto sushi is a unique vegetarian dish by adding these fermented beans and serve as sushi. From the same vinegar rice, seaweed wrap, and tuna with the addition of natto is a fabulous dish to serve


Nere seeds are fermented and cooked with rice to make a delicious rice sumbala dish. Sumbala alone are fermented and shape into balls, they are known as Sumbala Balls.


Iru is fermented locusts beans. They are used in many dishes like:

  • Iru soup
  • Iru dry cakes
  • Egusi soup
  • Iru woro, etc.


  • Soybeans : 2 cups
  • Water : 1/2 cup
  • Natto fermenter culture : 250 grams


  • We need to soak soybeans for around 6 hours in luke warm water. That makes it soft and juicy so the taste of beans is more juicier and soft. They are sometimes hard so we need to soak it even 12 hours if you think it would necessary.
  • Now we boil the beans on simmering temperature for 1 hour so the beans gets tender and soft. Don’t over boil the beans so after fermentation, it makes it mushy and soggy.
  • In fermenter dish spread this boiled beans and add water with fermenter culture.
  • Beans temperature should be warm enough to start the fermentation procedure.
  • Cover the dish with foil by making small holes to release air.
  • After 24 hours, this dish is ready to serve.
  • ENJOY:)
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