Thursday, November 03, 2005
Natto is a controversy. Many Japanese people claim breakfast is not breakfast without natto while others proclaim these beans as pure evil that would destroy any fine morning. I happen to LOOOOOVE natto and eat it regularly, while my sister opposes to its presence around her.
Natto is basically fermented soy beans and we usually eat it with mustard and a really strong dashi-based sauce. This one that the Papa Bear brought home this past week was an outlier and came with daikon gratings instead of mustard. Whatever sauce it comes with, I stir it into the beans and stir and beat and stir and beat and stir and beat and stir and beat and stir and beat until it looks like this:
The more I stir and beat, the more deliciously gooey it gets. This bubbling goo is the best part of natto, so I beat the heck out of my natto. The slime is full of fermented umami, complex saltiness, delicate bubbles that pop as the goo slides around in my mouth, and that primordial satisfaction of licking gooey things.
This stuff is so gooey and so deliciously satisfying! I don't get how anyone could oppose to it, but that is how all things controversial are. The power of natto - makes the two camps go "How could they?"
Interestingly, I don't care a whole lot for the beans themselves. I'm more into the goo than in the beans, so I like my small bean or pre-chopped (hikiwari) style natto better. And you know what? I added natto into tuna salad recently and it was a big hit at a pot-luck party!