I’m often asked how my world-living adventure of over 2 decades began.
This is how:
With a very lucky modelling contract in Japan that led to the bulk of my 20’s living and working in Tokyo, where I discovered my absolute love for stinky, sticky, slimy natto (fermented soy beans):
Discover just Why I love Natto, the awesome origin story (as told to me by my adopted Japanese family), all of the groovy health benefits + my fave ways to eat it below!
What the hell is Natto?
Strong smelling, stringy, slimy textured fermented soy beans but don’t let that put you off – I love it!
Yes, Natto is definitely an aquired taste but it’s vegan, gluten & lactose free and packed full of protein, iron, dietary fibre and loads other nutrients, making it a truly ideal food.
The origin story of Natto
Long ago a poor peasant decided to sell his meager crop of soy beans so he carefully wrapped them in straw, placed them under his saddle for safe keeping and headed off to the market. A sudden and violent storm appeared causing the peasant to lose his way for 2 days. When he finally arrived at the market and removed the beans from under his saddle and unwrapped them from the straw he was met with a stinky, stringy mess. As he was starving after his tiresome journey, he stirred them all together and ate them anyway only to discover that 2 days under the heat of his saddle had fermented the beans into a delicious explosion of flavour! He convinced a wealthy merchant to taste his last bite and he was so impressed he immediately went into business with the peasant, who was soon no longer a peasant but the creator of a popular new food!
Where can you get Natto?
Asian supermarkets should carry Natto (I’ve always found it in the frozen food section) and of course, Japanese restaurants usually have it on the menu.
– I never had a problem finding it in England, Greece, Germany and N. America –
How do you eat Natto?
Open the package, add the enclosed sauces, usually soy sauce & hot mustard, and give the whole shebang a grand stir with your hashi (chopsticks) until it’s nice and frothy and eat it as is for a quick snack! I stir 20 times clockwise and then 20 times counter clockwise to achieve my perfect consistency.
For a tummy-filling meal: pop your yummy natto on top of some lovely rice and add fresh green onions, sesame + a bit of chopped seaweed to the top it off and enjoy!
(Oishii = delicious)
Check out the intro/outro of my Kawaii Bento Picks video tutorial from 2013 to see me sporting my 1990’s yukata and have listen to my Japanese: