Updated: November 06, 2018
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Love it or Hate it: How to Eat Natto!

Natto is either loved or hated, but it leaves no one indifferent! Natto is mostly eaten at home, but can be found at restaurants and there are many different ways to eat it.

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What is natto?

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Natto is fermented soy beans so it contains a lot of healthy bacteria like yogurt. It is very healthy and contains a lot of minerals and vitamins (K, C, manganese, iron and fibre). It also is high in protein and is often eaten in the morning on top of rice. And, it's super cheap! One pack of natto is about ¥30!

It gets some time to get accustomed to the taste and texture if you haven't eaten it growing up. The slimy texture the strong smell is usually what puts people off.

Just give it a try! You might come to like it and that's a good thing because will it's super nutritious and cheap!

How Japanese people eat it at home

Natto is surprisingly versatile. The video below shows how it usually is eaten at home, with a few additions that you can put into it.

The next section will introduce some ways it is served at popular chain restaurants in Japan.

The classic way to eat natto: on top of rice: Matsuya

fastfood_matsuya
Matsuya is famous for its "gyudon" beef bowls, but they also have morning sets. This is only ¥360 and it includes white rice, miso soup, seaweed, a raw egg and natto! That's quite a bang for you buck if you want healthy breakfast food!
https://www.matsuyafoods.co.jp/

Natto bowl at Ootoya

ootoya
Another way to eat natto is in a bowl over rice, mixed with other ingredients. For lunch or dinner, it's only ¥721 and it comes with miso soup and some pickled vegetables. The bowl comes with tuna, seaweed, a raw egg, etc. It may not look appetising if you're not used to all the slimy foods (tororo, natto and okura), but it's nutritious and delicious. You've been warned, this bowl is the definition of slimy, but it's delicious and healthy!!
https://www.ootoya.com/index.html

Natto sushi at Kappa Sushi

Another classic way to eat natto is as a sushi. In terms of trying sushi, natto sushi is the easiest way to try. You just order one dish for around ¥100 and if you don't like it, you don't have to commit the whole meal to it, you can move on to something you like more.

Natto ramen at Tenkaippin

Natto can be eaten in a variety of ways, would you try it with a bowl of ramen? Well you can at Tenkaippin. On a bowl of ramen, they softly top it with some ramen.
tenkaippin

Natto pasta at Kabenoana

Natto pasta??? Yep, natto on top of pasta; mixed with salted roe and squid. They serve Italian cuisine with Japanese ingredients. It is a very interesting mix, are you game to try it?

And finally...All-you-can-eat natto!!! at Sendaiya

You need to work your way up to this one because it's all-you-can-eat natto. This ain't for no beginner! Are you ready for the challenge?
There is even a vending machine outside the shop to buy many kinds of natto.
Have you ever thought of trying natto doughnuts, or sweets? Well now you can!

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

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    Lili Wanderlust
    I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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