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How To Eat Natto - Enjoy Japanese Fermented Soybeans The Right Way

How To Eat Natto - Enjoy Japanese Fermented Soybeans The Right Way

Translated by EC

Written by Mako Hayashi

2019.01.20 Bookmark

Natto is a traditional Japanese food with a distinct flavor, aroma, and sticky texture. Available in supermarkets and eaten commonly with rice, learn how to eat this healthy fermented food properly.

What is Natto? All About This Traditional Food

Graduate from Your Dislike! Learn to Eat Natto from Step One!

Sticky and with a strong smell, natto is a food made from fermented soybeans. Because of its appearance and smell there are a lot of people do not eat natto who live in Japan.

However, natto is renowned for its nutrition and is considered to very beneficial to beauty and health. Once you get used to its taste, you will grow to like this unique food. This is the reason why there are as many fans as there are critics.


In Japan, most natto is sold in packages shown above. Because of this, there are many people who don't know how to start to eat natto.

In this article, we will give a lesson on how to eat this packaged natto found commonly in supermarkets. After mastering how to enjoy this healthy food, please try to go ahead and try it for yourself!

How to Eat Natto

1. First, Open the Pack


Look for the arrow at the corner of the pack. Open the lid where the arrow is pointing to.

2. Tear Off the Film


After opening the lid, you will find a plastic film on the top of the natto. This film is not edible, so please remove it. The natto is sticky and will adhere to the film, so please take it off carefully.

3. Add Sauce and Mustard


Natto sold in the markets comes with sauce and mustard. Open the small packets and put as much as you want on the top of natto.

Since the packets are very small, be careful that you don't squeeze them out forcefully.

There are people who prefer to add sauce and mustard after step four. The natto will taste different depending on the timing you add in these condiments. We suggest trying both to find which method you prefer.

4. Mix the Natto Thoroughly

Mixing the soybeans is the final step left before you can enjoy the natto.


First, insert your pair of chopsticks in the middle of the pack and try to mix the beans gently in order to loosen the hard natto.


When the texture of natto looks like it has softened, add more force and mix in a circular movement for up to fifty times. Please be careful not to spill natto out of the pack!


As you continue to mix, the natto will become white. This is normal. When you lift the natto up and it resembles the above picture, it's ready to eat!

If you mix the natto further, it will become more white in color and softer. Try to find your favorite way of eating natto.

If you choose to add sauce and mustard in now, we recommend mixing it in for around 10 times If you mix the condiments in too hastily, though, you may make a mess.

You can eat the natto directly after the mixing is done.

Try Natto Rice

The most popular method to eat natto is on top of cooked rice. This is known as "natto rice."


Use chopsticks to transfer the natto from the pack to the top of the rice. Be careful not to spill the sticky natto on the table or on your clothes.


Natto rice

There are many other ways to eat natto. You can add chopped green onion, egg to the natto to modify the flavor. There are also many people who have natto on their toast. In addition, natto rolls are offered at most sushi restaurants in Japan.

Try Natto in Japan

Natto is a nutritious dish with a distinct taste and texture that people are divided on. If you are in Japan, make sure you try this unique food once to decide how you feel about these fermented soybeans for yourself.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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