Where to get natto?
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minya

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Hoping I can get some answers here.

I'd really like to try natto, the stinky fermented Japanese soybean thing. For some reason, I bet I'd really like it. Problem is I don't know where to get it. I live in the Bay Area of California and we have lots of Asian markets all around. Would these places be a good bet? What would it look like? Would it be refrigerated?

And assuming I do find it, how do I prepare it and with what do I serve it? It looks like it'd be good served over rice with chicken and soy sauce.

Thanks for any tips.

- Chris
 
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jefemeister

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I think I've had something similar in some chinese food (Fermented black beans?) that are pretty good. I would think you could find natto pretty easily in the Bay Area. Here's the only natto recipe on foodtv.com
 
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Joe Bloggs

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Huh, I always thought Dau Fu Fa is this stinky fermented Chinese soybean thing.
Here in Hong Kong it's served stinking hot by street corner hawkers.
(never tried it myself :p )
 
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LobsterSan

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Natto is usually refrigerated, and it comes with many different flavor packets here in Japan. My favorite is the daikon (Japanese radish) flavor. Mostly, it is sold in small styrofoam packs of three. Being near San Francisco, I'm sure you could probably find it in the San Francisco "Japantown".

Personally, I don't care for natto in large doses. I really have to dress it up to make it acceptable to me, or eat just a few bites at each meal. Traditionally, natto is eaten with raw eggs mixed with white rice (not suggested in the USA), or in a maki sushi roll that has not been cut (just natto in the middle, white rice wrapped around, and nori seaweed on the outside). Sometimes you might be able to find onigiri with natto inside.

My old roommate loved natto, and he was born and raised in the midwestern United States. He would sometimes eat packets of the stuff, as is. This, in turn, would revolt me. It's not so much the taste, but the texture that gets to me. But he did invent a wonderful "Italian natto" recipe. It's plain natto, with olive oil, basil, and oregano mixed together to form a rather pleasant taste.

Natto is rumored to be incredibly healthy for you, so if you are able to find it and if you do enjoy eating it, then more power to you.
 
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minya

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Thanks for the info, guys.

Lobster, I'm sure I could get it in Japantown, but since I live about an hour away from the city I'm hoping I can get it at the local Asian market. I'll check the refrigerated section. The maki sushi idea sounds neat.... I need to get a bamboo wrapper thing to make my own maki.

I have heard of its health benefits. Sounds interesting.

Hope I have luck today at the Asian market.


- Chris
 
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******* I miss natto. I wonder if you can get any in Manchester. *adds "buy natto" to the to-do list*

I'm not one to make too many useless posts but damn do I love natto. Mmmm...
 
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minya

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fiddler
******* I miss natto. I wonder if you can get any in Manchester. *adds "buy natto" to the to-do list*

I'm not one to make too many useless posts but damn do I love natto. Mmmm...



What did you eat it with?

- Chris
 
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minya

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Eating natto right now.

Interesting taste. Nowhere near as bad as I expected. I expected something a lot more vinegar-y/sour. This is just kinda earthy. I'm a little disappointed, but it's certainly not the revolting disgusting foulness that some make it out to be...

... nor is it entirely delicious.

I put half a package (a styrofoam package -- probably the same ones you see, LobsterSan) on some rice and drizzled some soy sauce on top. I added the little mustard packet, but there was hardly ANY mustard in there. Maybe I need to add more?

Overall, a cool, interesting food item that I'm glad I tried. Any suggestions on how to make it more flavorful? More mustard, more soy sauce?

- Chris
 
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did you prestir the natto before pouring it on the rice? usually you mix the ingredients together (the natto, soy sauce, mustard, and whatever else you prefer) until you get a mixture that is quite sticky with strings forming from the natto seeds before consuming it with rice. I think they are best when you can lift a few beans by the strings alone. the fermentation process where the beans are put in straw containers creates a coating in the beans and this leads to its sticky nature and the origin of the stringy substance.

I, myself, don't like it (though I have been told that I loved it when I was very young) but just passing some information along on how best to enjoy it.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by minya
Any suggestions on how to make it more flavorful? More mustard, more soy sauce?


Natto is more stinky than flavourful, even with mustard and soya sauce on it. But, I still eat a fair amount of it. It just adds that extra bit of "zing" to plain white rice.

D.
 
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