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Natto: Japan's Fermented Superfood

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, there's a culinary gem that has been delighting palates for centuries, and it's called natto. While its strong aroma and unique texture might initially catch you off guard, this fermented soybean dish has won over countless fans with its bold flavor and impressive health benefits.


What is Natto?

Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. To create natto, soybeans are cooked, then inoculated with a specific strain of bacteria known as Bacillus subtilis var. natto. These bacteria produce enzymes that break down the soybeans' proteins and create a sticky, gooey texture.


Flavor and Texture

One of the defining characteristics of natto is its pungent aroma and slimy consistency. The fermentation process gives natto a distinctly savory and slightly nutty flavor, with hints of umami that linger on the palate. The texture is somewhat akin to melted cheese or sticky rice, making it a unique culinary experience for those willing to give it a try.


How to Enjoy Natto

Natto is commonly served as a breakfast dish in Japan, where it's paired with steamed rice and various condiments. Popular accompaniments include soy sauce, mustard, chopped green onions, and sometimes raw egg. Mixing these ingredients together creates a flavor explosion that complements the rich and earthy taste of the natto.


Health Benefits of Natto
Beyond its culinary appeal, natto is also celebrated for its impressive nutritional profile. Here are some key health benefits associated with this fermented superfood

High Protein Content: Soybeans are a complete source of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. This makes natto an excellent plant-based protein option for vegetarians and vegans.

Probiotics: The fermentation process involved in making natto results in the production of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, which support gut health and digestion.

Vitamin K2: Natto is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin K2, a nutrient that plays a crucial role in bone health and cardiovascular function.

Nattokinase: This enzyme, produced during the fermentation process, has been linked to potential cardiovascular benefits, including improved blood circulation and reduced risk of blood clots.


Culinary Versatility

While natto is most commonly enjoyed as a breakfast dish, it can also be incorporated into a variety of recipes. From sushi rolls and salads to pasta dishes and stir-fries, the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with natto. Its bold flavor and unique texture can add depth and complexity to any dish, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.


Natto may not be for everyone, but for those willing to embrace its distinctive characteristics, it offers a culinary adventure like no other. With its rich flavor, impressive nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility, natto continues to captivate the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts around the world. So why not give it a try and experience the magic of Japan's fermented superfood for yourself?


Freeze-Dried Crushed Crunchy Natto


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Here are some recipes for sesame tofu arrangements.

(1) Cut sesame tofu into bite-sized pieces, dust with flour, and coat generously with tempura batter.

(2) Quickly fry (1) in oil at 180-190℃.

(3) Serve in bowls and top with soy sauce, grated radish, grated ginger, etc.


Nukazuke Pickles, the Super Food!

Nukazuke: Japanese Rice Bran Pickles

Have you ever heard of Nukazuke pickles?

The Nukazuke in the photo is what our boss pickled in the kitchen at our office.

Nukazuke pickles are vegetables pickled in a nukadoko, a fermented rice bran bed, for more than one or two days. It’s comfortably salty-sour, and you can taste good umami flavor. The longer the vegetables are left in the nukadoko, the richer the flavor will be. Nukazuke is a fermented food, so it’s believed to contribute a lot to your better immune system. It’s literally a natural probiotic super food!

Nowadays it’s getting easier to find rice bran or even an easy nukazuke kit from Amazon or other online stores. Let’s start living a healthier life by eating Japanese nukazuke pickles!
Japanese famous Ramen

These are lists of Japanese famous Ramen.

We export these ramens to more than forty countries in the world.

Ramen TARO in Kobe
It's getting warmer and warmer in Japan! The rainy season will start in a few weeks, and after that, we'll expect that very, very hot summer coming!

What do you like to eat on a hot summer day??
I love to eat hot ramen noodles!

The photo is a famous ramen restaurant in Kobe.
It's called 'Ramen TARO'.

The greasy Chashu pork (it's a very popular ramen topping!) on the noodles tastes great with the noodles!

Have you ever tasted ramen noodles??
If you have, where did you eat it?






You can purchase Japan's local ramen noodles here:

Click to know more about ramen noodles:

This looks like the perfect Japanese breakfast!


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Have you ever tried Japanese 'TSUKEMEN'?
This mean 'dipping noodles'. Cold noodles are served seperately with tasty hot soup, and you dip the noodles in the soup to eat.

Ramen noodles are popular of course, but Tsukemen is also popular Japanese noodles loved by lots of people around the world!

'Shingetsu' is my favorite Tsukemen restaurant in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka!



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This photo makes me real hungry!!
Have you ever tried Japanese ramen?
There are lots of different flavors, and every area in Japan has its original taste, which is known as 'local ramen noodles'.

This one is from Kyoto, and the name of the restaurant is 'Shin-Fukusaikan', which is a very popular ramen restaurant.

Thank you, Hiroshi Abe for the great photo!



阿部 洋さま、素晴らしい写真をありがとうございます〜!

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Hiroshima-yaki with oyster topping!!

Hiroshima-yaki looks just like a typical Osakan style okonomiyaki, but it's actually very different!

The sauce is different, and the way to cook is totally different!
To make Osakan okonomiyaki, you mix all the ingredients together and cook like a thick pancake.

But for Hiroshima-yaki, you make a crepe (a thin pancake) first, put the other ingredients on it, and sandwich them with another crepe.

Do you want to try it? Or you've tried it before?





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Kaisen Don!!
Kaisen Donburi!! (bowl of rice topped with seafood)
The restaurant called ’Okamoto’ in Shimonoseki City is run by a fish shop, so every fish is really fresh!

The donburi was sooooo delicious!!



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