Because of the countless YouTube videos I watched of people retching and dry heaving when they ate natto for the first time, I wanted to try it. Perhaps I wanted to tap into some weird Anthony Bourdain-esque side of myself. The first time I tried it, I lightly touched my tongue on one bean before I finally worked up the courage to stick the whole thing in my mouth. Now, I can’t imagine natto having natto in my life! Despite I’ve only been able to find it at my local asian market for just shy of $2 a pack. It comes frozen and I stick it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
Each little packet comes with 2 sauces: hot mustard and another sauce that is not vegan because it has bonito (aka fish) extract. I discard the non-vegan sauce.
Peeling back the plastic wrap immediately reveals the stringy, fermented soybeans.
I squeeze the whole mustard packet on them.
Then I pour some thin soy sauce on them, or as my mom calls it “tin sauce”. I pick on her accent because it’s cute and I love her. Thin soy sauce is exactly as it sounds, thinner than regular soy sauce and slightly saltier. We use it in place of fish sauce in recipes.
Next, I stir it all up with a pair of chopsticks to “activate” all the natto slime. Every bean is then covered with a slimy, boogery goo..appetizing, eh?
I stir in some chopped green onions,
pour it on some jasmine rice and sprinkle it with more green onions. This day I also ate it with some grape tomatoes.
This is my favorite way to eat natto but I’ll also eat it without the rice. I eat it for breakfast and for a light snack. In my opinion natto tastes nutty, savory and slightly salty. It never stank to me from the get-go and I didn’t have to “grow into” liking the taste. This leads me to wonder if I got a variety that has been deodorized. I don’t think I did though because N says it smells like stinky feet and/or his B.O. Perhaps my sense of smell is off or maybe I like stinky smells now *shrugs*.