Homemade Natto

Recently I took a stab at making my own natto. The big-beaned natto you see above is my third attempt, and first success. The smaller-beaned natto is the store-bought variety.

It's actually quite easy to make, and though it tastes different than the store-bought, it aint half bad. It does have a little bit of a stronger smell. I guess they add something to the packaged natto to supress the oder.

If your interested to try making it yourself...

  1. Soak your soy beans over-night.
  2. Cook the beans. I use a pressure cooker to speed it up.
  3. Use boiling water to sanitize anything that will come into contact with the pre-fermented natto.
  4. In a shallow, sanitized dish, add a little packaged natto (I used a whole paper-cup serving) to some hot water, and melt the goo so that it is a thick liquid. This will add the bacteria you need to ferment your beans.
  5. When the beans are done, add them to the melted goo, and stir well with a sanatized spoon.
  6. Let the natto sit for 24 hours in a warm place. I placed mine on a plate heater for my birds, and wrapped it in a blanket for insulation. The first attempt, we put it in the rice cooker and kept the cooker on the "keep warm" setting, but that seems to have been a little too hot. The bird-heater plate is warm, but not hot, and combined with the blanket, it seemed to be perfect.
Comments about Homemade Natto

Hey Kevin,
Gotta say that that homemade natto looks bloody disgusting!! But it does look like you have done a good job at making it. More power to you if you can eat it with a smile on your face and not a grimace. I hate the stuff so much i made a 'i hate natto' t-shirt. Check it on the following link http://www.bondibooks.com/T-shirts/index.html

Posted by: Bondi Books at March 10, 2004 11:13 AM

I never understood why people don't like it. The store-bought natto doesn't have an oder, and it just tastes like beans. The falvor is so subtle, that it can't really be bad, and again, the store bought natto comes with the sauce and mustard to kill the natto flavor. (I hate the sauce and mustard)

I guess the texture is what turns most people off, but once you get used to that, you're in for a real treat!

Posted by: kevin at March 11, 2004 03:22 AM

Smells foul, and the texture is a cross between glue and rubber.
Absolutely revolting stuff - just looking at your pics makes me want to throw up. I will be visiting again only when those photos have been relegated to the archive pages!!!

Posted by: Gary at March 11, 2004 08:30 AM

i studied abroad in Tokyo for a year last year, and my host parents and roommate all had natto for dinner every night. somehow, it grew on me too by association, i guess. great pictures, kevin. think i'll be stopping by more often--a twinge of nostalgia.

Posted by: Ji Eun at March 12, 2004 06:26 AM

that's great! i wish i had time for some homemade natto. i try to make everything homemade, but waiting so long, i'd probably forget about it.

i may have time when we go to japan, though!

it looks lovely :)

~wyn ^_^

Posted by: wyn at July 13, 2005 12:42 PM

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