Natto for breakfast, what better way to start the day?

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Natto with a raw egg. A traditional Japanese breakfast.

It does not get much healthier than fermented soybeans for breakfast.

Do you want to eat a wholesome breakfast? Then you may want to look to the Japanese diet for inspiration. A traditional Japanese breakfast has a variety of small dishes of prepared food such as rice, miso soup, pickles and fish, and Natto. Natto is fermented soybeans. And is a popular breakfast dish eaten in Japan, especially in Honshu. These little beans are packed full of protein and vitamins, So why not try eating Natto for your breakfast? And get your day off to a flying start.

In this article, you can find out how the Japanese eat their Natto. And why you should eat these healthy little soybeans.

Table Of Contents

  1. Why do people dislike Natto?
  2. Is Natto healthy?
  3. How to eat Natto for breakfast the Japanese way
  4. The correct way to prepare Natto
  5. Conclusion

The Smell Of Natto Can Send People Running.

Let’s be honest, Natto has a bad reputation, and this reputation is not unfounded. Yes, Natto does have a pungent smell that can be off-putting to many. This smell comes from the healthy bacteria found on the surface of the fermenting soybeans.

Although modern strains of bacteria used in the fermentation process have resulted in milder and less overwhelming odor. The smell is unpleasant for many people. 

For me, Natto smells nutty, and I’d describe the smell as similar to peanuts. But others describe Natto as having coffee tones.

However, if you buy from a small local business, they might be using traditional or naturally occurring strains of bacteria. And this can smell like ammonia. As you can imagine, the smell of ammonia isn’t exactly appealing, especially first thing in the morning.

Natto Is Really Slimy

Natto is so foreign-looking that some people are completely grossed out by the appearance and texture. I must admit it isn’t exactly pretty to look at someone eating these slimy beans.

Japanese like the texture of Natto. But eating slimy food in the West is often associated with food that has gone bad. And it’s hard to get our heads around the texture. However, I wouldn’t let that put you off. Natto tastes great and is healthy.


Why Eat Natto For Breakfast?

Natto Contains A Lot Of Protein.

Beans are a great source of protein, as we all know. And fermented soybeans are no exception. But unlike baked beans, there is little preparation and clean-up. 

Natto, however, contains a whole heap of protein and is often eaten as a stand-alone dish for a quick and easy meal that takes seconds to prepare. Although most Japanese have a rice cooker and eat their Natto with rice. 

This Japanese breakfast is full of protein and carbohydrates and will give you the energy to start the day.

Eat Natto If You Want A Great Source Of Vitamin K.

Natto is full of Vitamin K. How much? Well, the tiny beans are packed full of it. And ounce for ounce, Natto is one of the highest natural sources of vitamin K you can find. 

According to medical studies, vitamin K has been shown to help heal wounds and is beneficial for your bones. Some say Natto can slow down the effects of aging. And there are pharmaceutical companies that make vitamin K tablets, deriving the vitamin from Natto.


How Is Natto Eaten For Breakfast?

Ask five Englishmen how to make a cup of tea, and you will probably get five different answers. However, Natto is often enjoyed with a cup of green tea and a bowl of rice.

Natto is best served cold or at room temperature. Japanese do not eat Natto heated like we eat beans in the West.

How to prepare Natto for breakfast?

Natto is easy to prepare. And it comes in single servings and with sauces to accompany it. Although these sauces vary depending on the brand. Usually, however, a packet of Natto contains two packets of sauce. The first is Japanese mustard, and the other is a special sauce that consists of dashi and soy sauce. 

  1. Open the box and remove the packets of sauce
  2. Remove plastic covering the Natto. Lift the covering and quickly rotate to cut off the strings of Natto
  3. Mix Natto with chopsticks. The beans will become stringy, but this is a good sign
  4. Open and add the small packet of mustard and sauce
  5. Finally, mix mustard and sauce in with the Natto

I have great tips on how to best enjoy Natto. Click the link if you want to learn more.

Check Your Local Supermarket For Natto.

If you have Natto at your local supermarket, why not give it a try for breakfast? You will most likely find it in the refrigerated section. Natto needs to be stored in the fridge. Otherwise, it goes bad very quickly. 

I would also recommend trying the different natto brands. Some companies that make Natto use different sauces. And use different-sized beans. But no matter how you eat it. Natto will give you the energy to have a productive morning. Why not give Natto a try?

References

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10874601/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/natto#section4
  4. https://matcha-jp.com/en/3158
  5. https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m34
  6. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2018/04/28/food/natto-will-change-life-youll-give-try/

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