We try a way to stretch our store-bought natto supply, and also make the smelly, sticky dish less intimidating for newcomers.

Natto, fermented soybeans, are definitely a love-it-or-hate-it part of traditional Japanese cuisine. Even within Japan, people are sharply divided on whether it’s an integral part of a healthy breakfast, or an offensive-smelling dish they want neither on their table nor in their stomachs.

However, for those in the pro-natto camp, you might find yourself feeling sad as you approach the end of a pack. Fortunately, our Japanese-language reporter Kg recently figured out a way to easily bolster your natto supply, or ease your way into eating it if your palate is having trouble adjusting, with a new way to make your own natto at home…or, really, half-make it.

We say “half-make” because in order to follow Kg’s recipe, you’ll need not only soybeans, but also some already-made natto, of the kind you’d find at a Japanese supermarket. The process has three stages, and the first is preparing your soybeans.

Kg used 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of soybeans, and after placing them in a bowl, the next step is to cover them with water, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Let the beans soak overnight, and the next day, they should be plump with the soaked up moisture, and you’ll be ready for phase two: cooking the beans.

Rinse the beans in a colander, then put them in a pressure cooker and cover them with water. Let them cook for about 25 minutes.

Once the cooking is done, remove the beans, rinse them off in a colander, and transfer them to a bowl for phase three: fermentation.

If you were making natto entirely from scratch, this is where you’d add in the bacteria for the fermentation. But instead, we’re going to stir in some pre-made natto.

There’s no specific amount of natto to add, but you want enough for the natto to thoroughly mix with your freshly-cooked soybeans, in order to transfer enough of the fermentation agents as you stir them together.

Once you’re done mixing, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place it somewhere in the sunlight, and let it sit.

▼ Kg left his batch out from morning to evening.

And that’s all there is to it!

Though fans say it’s an integral part of the experience, natto’s sticky texture is one of the major hurdles that keeps some people from eating it. However, this sort of hybrid, half-home-made natto has less sticky substance surrounding the beans you cook yourself, which can make it more palatable to natto newbies.

▼ The difference is really noticeable if you separate the two bean sources from each other after the fermentation stage.

▼ Self-cooked added soybeans

▼ Store-bought natto soybeans

Even if you’re a natto veteran, though, this remixed version presents something both familiar and fresh, and having more ways to eat healthy is always nice.

Related: Takano Foods
Photos ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]