Natto, a Japanese dish of fermented soybeans, is often said to be an “acquired taste.” Those who like it, such as flccoffee, enjoy it with rice. To use it, mix the natto well, says flccoffee, then add the sauce that comes with the package (or some tamari with hot yellow mustard or Japanese chile oil), and mix again. “It is not a traditional sushi filling,” says Tsar_Pushka, who once got scolded by a Tokyo sushi chef for asking for natto sushi. But American sushi chefs are often happy to make you a natto hand roll, in your editor’s experience.

Natto’s slimy, stringy texture is reminiscent of boiled okra. This sliminess is known in Japanese as neba, says cgfan; extra-slimy is known as neba neba. To get your natto to neba neba consistency, leave it out on the counter for a while. “Pry open the Styrofoam clamshell and perforate the plastic sheeting with a fork—the natto bacillus is aerobic, so it needs air for it to thrive,” advises cgfan. When you’re ready to eat it, “waken [the natto] up with a really aggressive stir.”

Board Link: Any Natto Experts Out There? I Have Questions.

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