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Are You (Natto) Experienced?

April 8th, 2015 No comments

So, I’ve had this little tub of natto defrosted since Monday, but tonight was the night I swore I would eat it.

The traditional way is to make rice, put natto on top, add the flavouring packets from the natto package, top it all with a raw egg, and dig in. I am not feeling quite hardcore enough to do the egg, but I do make some good Japanese rice.

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The package. It comes with a small packet of soy sauce, and an even smaller packet of mustard. And, of course, the delightful clump of fermented soy beans.

Also traditionally is the stirring up of the natto before you put it on the rice, which is supposed to bring out its flavour. But before that, I cautiously sniff the natto. People do say some nasty things about its aroma.

But for me, honestly, the main thing I got was a smell of coffee beans. MAYBE I’M GENETICALLY STRANGE IN MY NOSE SNIFFER CELLS

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Before mixing. Look at those succulent strands, eh?

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After mixing. The strands have gotten more numerous.

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Well, enough avoiding the situation. Time to fix this up for eatin’. The yellow blob at the top of the photo is me not really doing a good job of pouring mustard from a tiny packet. The picture being sideways is the Internet reacting to the power of natto.

The soy sauce is, well, Japanese soy sauce. If you know Kikkoman, it’s very similar. The mustard is good, and a bit hot. Very much like any hot mustard you can buy off the shelves here.

So, the taste?

I won’t say it’s not strong flavoured. But, it’s not disgusting, either. It reminds me of another fermented soybean product, tempeh. In fact, I like it better than tempeh, because the fermented bits are smaller, there is seasoning and rice mixed in to make it more palatable, and I really do like this taste better than that of tempeh.

Would I eat it every night? No. It’s not a flavour right now that makes me want to do that. Would I buy it again? Sure would. It makes a quick, simple meal.

And the damn things do taste a bit like coffee beans, too. MY TASTE BUDS AND NOSE SNIFFER CELLS ARE OUT TO GET ME HELP

P.S. If you have a mustache, then wash your face after to avoid the embarrassing questions that would arise of why you smell like that.

Categories: Food, Non-Western Food Tags: ,