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Get stinky with it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 1:03 am     English  |  日本語

There’s absolutely no doubt that smell is a very essential factor in food experience, and I often find surprising that there exists a lot of food in which their smell can be almost too intense to be food. For instance, blue cheese – some of my friends say they could never enjoy eating it because of its smell. And I’m no exception when it comes down to a few unique food from different culture, such as Taiwanese stinky tofu. (I can’t help thinking that must be what BO tastes like…) I guess we generally process fermented or smelly food as alarming stuff to eat, of course unless it’s publicly recognised and known to be edible, like cheese or fruits like a durian.

In Japanese food, we do have a range of stinky food as well. (btw, these days it’s popularly accepted, but I remember that Miso (Fermented soybean paste) used to be treated as ‘exotic smelly food from Japan’) But the most popular stinky food from Japan must be Natto (Fermented soybean) Not only its smell (which is often referred as dirty socks..), how you eat is rather interesting. It’s so sticky and gooey that it produces sticky spider-web like strings as you mix – The more you mix, the stickier it gets. Natto is usually mixed with soy sauce and chopped spring onion, and pour over steamed rice.

So today, I bought a few pack of Natto from Japanese grocery shop and make something with it. I assume many of you would not like Natto, but there’re some recipes that reduce the smell of Natto yet bring out other flavour. To be honest, I’m not particularly a big fan of Natto – though I can eat. But I find myself enjoying it in this dish. Natto fried rice!

1 Natto pack
Chopped spring onion
Soy sauce
Steamed rice (Preferably not freshly cooked one. Leftover rice is better in fact.)

With a little bit of olive oil in the pan, place natto and stir fry until slightly brown. Natto shouldn’t be pre-mix nor seasoned with soy sauce. Add chopped spring onion and rice, and continue to stir fry. When the rice grains are no longer sticking each other, add soy sauce right before you take the pan off the stove and evenly distribute.

How simple is that?
I’m not going to lie, it still got the Natto smell but much less intense. stirfrying Natto actually cuts down alot of stickiness and makes the flavour more mellow & milder. I know Natto is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you are “i’ve tried it before, not my favourite but I can eat.” type of person, you might enjoy this little easy & simple dish.

I just need to remember to open my window when I cook Natto though. ;p


11 comments for “Get stinky with it.”

  1. HAHAH So right about TW stinky tofu! Me no likey… but I love natto ^^! Very healthy and tasty. Always reminds me of the grandpa from Yakitate Japan! hee hee

    Posted by FFichiban | May 15, 2010, 12:00 pm
  2. oooh look at the alien like strands…

    Posted by chocolatesuze | May 15, 2010, 6:02 pm
  3. Wasn’t too fond of the smell of stinky tofu as a kid but somehow grew to like it as an adult. Perhaps I really should give natto another try…

    Posted by mademoiselle délicieuse | May 16, 2010, 12:32 am
  4. “…unless it’s publicly recognised and known to be edible…”

    Yes, but think about the first human who ate that stinky fruit. You have to ask yourself WTF was he thinking?!

    Posted by Xerxes | May 17, 2010, 8:09 am
  5. OK you know I’m usually with you but natto I cannot do! I’ve tried and tried…

    Posted by Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella | May 19, 2010, 3:39 pm
  6. mmmm am quite interested to try this out but am not sure as to where to get some. Which Japanese Grocer did you find these at?

    Posted by ToanIsAnIdiot | May 22, 2010, 5:59 pm
  7. I love natto!! 😀

    Posted by Maria | May 24, 2010, 4:29 am
  8. hehe i love natto! i miss japanese supermarkets and natto taste testings! :(

    Posted by AY | May 25, 2010, 9:21 am
  9. I’ve tried natto three times now. I keep trying to like it but my tastebuds rally against me. Sigh. I think it is one food type that has defeated me.

    Posted by Forager | June 4, 2010, 3:38 pm
  10. @FFIchiban
    Hehe someone needs me to explain how to enjoy that stinky tofu!! Natto must be equally gross to those who can’t like it, there must be a way!

    it gets stickier and stickier and smelly. Gimme a hug *natto breath*

    @Madaemoiselle délicieuse
    Oh you like the stinky tofu?? I sort of want to like it, it must be enjoyable once you figured out how, hey? LOL

    first anything fermented – you must be damn starving to death!!

    Hahahaha I knew you’d say that! LOL Have you had Japanese fermented marinated fish called Kusaya? It stinks 10 times more than Natto!

    @ToanIsAnIdiot (hahaha)
    Natto can be found pretty much any asian grocery shops in the city!

    Me too! haha

    hehe I’m quite surprised that there’re just so many kinds of Natto! Natto tasting test sounds like an interesting thing to do!

    Hahaha I know I know, I feel the same way about the stinky tofu LOL

    Posted by admin | July 29, 2010, 10:14 pm
  11. I love natto…with prawns! 😉

    Posted by Kym | November 24, 2010, 1:54 pm

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