Natto, the durian of Japanese food

11 Jan

This totally not my own photo. Thanks, Preetam Rai!


Okay, I’m cheating today, too, since I grew up eating natto, but I’ve run out of topics today. Posting every day is hard, especially now that I’m back home with familiar foods. You may have heard of natto, the notorious Japanese fermented soybean product. Like durian, it has an aroma that people either love or hate, although I don’t think natto has ever been banned from a public place. Unlike durian, I don’t think it would be much good in ice cream, though someone has tried. It’s very, uh, slippery (some would say slimy), it’s a little bitter — and then there’s that ammonia-rich smell. (Yes, I’m aware that other things that smell like ammonia are cat pee and bat guano. Camembert smells like feet, but no one complains if it shows up on their cheese tray.) I like mine mixed with okra (to up the slipperiness factor) and green onion; there’s nothing better on a bowl of hot rice. Home is all about comfort food, right?

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Natto, the durian of Japanese food”

  1. Preetam Rai January 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    How about ika shiokara? I love natto too. We once had a lot of fun preparing natto in a Singapore public library as a part of a Japanese food culture presentation.

    • rgautz January 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      Thanks again for the great photo! I love ika shiokara. Good idea.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sambal belacan, or: why I’m glad I have a wet kitchen « Straight Out of Kampung - February 24, 2011

    […] comes in. Because holy prawn crackers does this stuff stink. I’m on record as enjoying stinky foods, but I reeled back when I opened this package. You know the way open-air fish markets smell at the […]

  2. Staples « Straight Out of Kampung - March 19, 2011

    […] sell out in the US: water, milk, eggs, bread. And some weren’t: tofu, instant ramen, and even natto. Why natto? I think it’s because it’s a protein that doesn’t spoil and […]

  3. Taiwan, Part Two: Stinky Tofu (With Bonus Duck Blood) « Straight Out of Kampung - August 8, 2012

    […] other fragrant foods, like durian, French cheese, or natto, stinky tofu is an acquired taste — but somewhat addictive once acquired. Take the example of our […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: