What Is Natto and What Are The Ways You Can Eat It?
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Currently, Asian cuisine is trending all over the place, and this highlights various dishes that are very traditional and gather a bunch of mixed feelings from people. In flavourful and light Japanese cuisine, there exists a robust food item that is widely loved and avoided for its smell and texture; it is none other than the slimy Natto.

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Due to the anime or Japanese cartoon culture, Japan came to the forefront and broke the internet worldwide. However, that is not all about Japan; to know a country, one needs to look into the culinary traditions of the place. And Japanese culture holds a very healthy yet flavourful approach to its cooking procedures and even its food habits.

What is Natto?

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, celebrated for its unique taste and health benefits. Its distinctive aroma, akin to pungent cheese, accompanies a sticky texture and stringy consistency. Rich in probiotics, natto promotes gut health and aids digestion. Despite its acquired taste, enthusiasts appreciate its savoury, umami flavour profile with hints of nuttiness. Often enjoyed as a breakfast staple or a side dish, natto is also lauded for its high protein content,  and according to a study published in the Scientific Reports in 2023, it has potential cardiovascular benefits, making it a cherished component of Japanese cuisine and culture.

Natto Gohan

Natto Gohan, a staple of Japanese cuisine, combines steamed rice with fermented soybeans, creating a unique texture and flavour experience. The dish boasts a robust umami profile, with the sticky consistency of natto complementing the fluffy rice. Traditionally garnished with green onions, soy sauce, and sometimes a raw egg, it offers a savoury, slightly nutty taste with a hint of tanginess.


Sushi is a traditional dish in Japan, and you can add natto to it to make a unique Japanese delicacy. It combines the pungent flavours of fermented soybeans with the subtle elegance of sushi rice and seaweed. The dish offers a distinctive texture, with the sticky rice contrasting the slimy yet savoury natto. Topped with a drizzle of soy sauce and a sprinkle of green onions, it boasts a bold umami profile. 

Natto Toast

This savoury dish features fermented soybeans, known as natto, atop toasted bread. The unique taste of natto, with its distinctive umami flavour and gooey texture, pairs harmoniously with the crispiness of the toast. Often accompanied by a drizzle of soy sauce, sliced green onions, or tangy pickled ginger, Natto toast offers a satisfyingly complex taste profile that delights adventurous palates and showcases the diversity of Japanese cuisine.

Japanese Omelette

Japanese Omelette with natto offers a unique fusion of flavours and textures. Natto, fermented soybeans, adds a distinctive earthy taste and a slightly slimy texture, complementing the fluffy and sweet egg omelette. Often seasoned with soy sauce, mirin, and sometimes a hint of dashi, this dish boasts a savoury umami profile. Garnishes like chopped scallions or shredded nori enhance its complexity.

Natto Miso Soup

Natto Miso Soup blends the umami-rich flavours of fermented soybeans with the deep complexity of miso broth. This Japanese delicacy offers a unique texture and aroma, with the distinct tanginess of natto complementing the savoury depth of miso. Garnished with green onions and seaweed, it tantalises taste buds with its earthy, slightly pungent essence. This hearty soup not only delights with its bold flavours but also packs a nutritional punch.