Reveal the “original” Japanese Natto Recipes

Japanese Natto is a traditional Japanese food, made from fermented soybeans. It’s very nutritious, and can even be considered a superfood, but its appeal is the opposite. It has a slimy texture and a strong taste, and has not taken off as much as other Japanese exports. However, in Japan, it is a staple breakfast food, served with rice and seasoned with soy sauce. Despite the negative perceptions, natto is still enjoyed by a huge population.

Japanese Natto Recipes

Japanese Natto
Soybeans, bacillus subtilis, and time – the essential trio for natto.
Reveal The &Quot;Original&Quot; Japanese Natto Recipes 1


This traditional Japanese food is packed with a wealth of benefits, including many health benefits. As a superfood, it's easy to see why it's a popular choice for vegetarians. It contains nine grams of fiber per cup, and can reduce cholesterol and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. It also contains high levels of vitamin K2, which is linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease. This is another reason to add natto to your diet.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Recipe
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Cuisine: Japanese
Diet: Low Calorie
Keyword: natto
CookingStyle: Handcrafted Cooking
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 8kcal
Author: James Anderson
Add to Collection



  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 shiso leaves
  • Steamed rice
  • 1 tablespoon Katsuobushi bonito flakes
  • Japanese yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon green onions
  • 1 package Natto


  • Combine all the components, excluding the shiso leaves and steamed rice.
  • Mix very well until it is dense.
  • Place the rice around and line it with the shiso leaves.



It is often difficult to find good Japanese natto. Fortunately, there are many varieties available in supermarkets around the country. While it is widely available, natto is still a local specialty in many parts of the country. Some brands have made natto more western-friendly by fermenting soybeans in a way that reduces their stickiness. This is a great choice for those who are new to eating natto for the first time.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 338mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

Pin Recipe

Alternative Method: Making Japanese Natto with an Instant Pot

Japanese Natto
Classic natto rice bowl, a timeless japanese favorite.


  • 2 cups of soybeans
  • 1 tablespoon of natto spores or 2 tablespoons of pre-made natto
  • 2 tablespoons of water


  • Soybean Preparation: Start by washing and soaking the soybeans for about 12 hours or overnight. This softens the beans and is crucial for proper fermentation.
  • Rinse and Drain: After soaking, rinse the soybeans thoroughly and drain them.
  • Cook the Soybeans: Place the soaked and drained soybeans into the Instant Pot with enough water to cover them. Cook on the “Pressure Cook” setting for 15 minutes, ensuring the pressure release valve is set to “Sealing.”
  • Natural Release: Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for about 20 minutes. Then, release any remaining pressure manually.
  • Cool the Soybeans: Transfer the cooked soybeans to a sterilized container and let them cool to around 115°F (46°C). A food thermometer is handy for this.
  • Dissolve the Natto Spores: In a small bowl, dissolve the natto spores in 2 tablespoons of water, or use 2 tablespoons of pre-made natto.
  • Mix Well: Add the dissolved natto spores or pre-made natto to the cooled soybeans. Gently stir to ensure even distribution.
  • Fermentation in Instant Pot: Cover the Instant Pot with the sterilized container and set it to the “Yogurt” or “Ferment” function, if available. If not, use the “Keep Warm” setting.
  • Fermentation Time: Let the soybeans ferment in the Instant Pot for about 12-24 hours. Keep the Instant Pot’s lid on during this process.
  • Check for Desired Consistency: Check the beans after 12 hours. They should be coated in a sticky, stringy substance, indicating successful fermentation. If needed, let it ferment longer for a stronger flavor.
  • Cool and Store: Once fermented to your liking, remove the container from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
Read  How to make Dragon Roll - Easy Sushi Roll

Tips for making Japanese Natto

Japanese Natto
Soup lovers, meet your new favorite ingredient – natto in miso soup.

Cooking Tips

  • Use high-quality soybeans: Opt for fresh, high-quality soybeans for the best results. Ensure they are clean and free from impurities.
  • Consistent fermentation temperature: Maintaining a consistent temperature during fermentation is vital. For traditional methods, keep the room temperature around 100°F (37-40°C). If you’re using an Instant Pot, ensure the “Yogurt” or “Ferment” function maintains the ideal warmth.
  • Be patient with fermentation: The longer the fermentation, the stronger the flavor and stickiness. Experiment to find your preferred level. Start with 12 hours and adjust accordingly.
  • Avoid contaminants: Keep your utensils, containers, and hands clean and free from contaminants. Any unwanted bacteria can affect the fermentation process.
  • Use proper storage: Store your Natto in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent odors from permeating. This ensures a fresh and untainted flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Japanese Natto
Spicy natto dip – a fusion of flavors that’ll make your taste buds dance.
  • Classic Natto Rice Bowl: The simplest way to enjoy Natto is over a bowl of steamed rice. Add some soy sauce and garnish with green onions and pickled ginger for a classic Japanese Natto rice bowl.
  • Natto Sushi: Get creative by incorporating Natto into sushi rolls. The creamy texture and umami flavor of Natto make it a surprisingly perfect sushi ingredient.
  • Natto Toast: Spread Natto on whole-grain toast and top with avocado slices and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for a healthy and satisfying breakfast or snack.
  • Natto Soup: Enhance the flavor of miso soup by stirring in a spoonful of Natto just before serving. The result is a rich and hearty broth with a unique twist.
  • Natto Salad Dressing: Create a tangy salad dressing by mixing Natto with a bit of vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Drizzle it over your favorite greens for a nutritious salad.
  • Spicy Natto Dip: Combine Natto with some hot sauce and serve it as a dip with fresh vegetables or crackers for a spicy, savory treat.
  • Natto and Kimchi Combo: The fermented flavors of Natto and kimchi complement each other remarkably well. Try them together for a fusion of Japanese and Korean cuisines.
Read  How to make Roasted Carrots with Harissa and Tahini

Frequently Asked Questions about Japanese Natto

 Japanese Natto
Get your natto adventure started with our step-by-step recipe.
  • How long does it take to ferment Natto? The fermentation time can vary, but it typically ranges from 12 to 24 hours. The longer the fermentation, the stronger the flavor.
  • What are Natto spores, and where can I get them? Natto spores are Bacillus subtilis bacteria responsible for fermentation. You can purchase them online or at some Asian grocery stores. Alternatively, you can use a small amount of pre-made Natto as a starter.
  • Can I store leftover Natto? Yes, you can store leftover Natto in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume it within a few days to enjoy the best flavor and texture.
  • What if I don’t like the smell of Natto? The smell of Natto is quite distinct and may be off-putting to some. You can try masking it with soy sauce, mustard, or other strong flavors

Unlock the world of Japanese Natto with our comprehensive guide. Learn to make Natto at home, savor its unique flavor, and explore creative serving ideas.

I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.
Affiliate DisclaimerAbout The Content
As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.
All content published on the website is compiled and edited by the editorial team of Hana Hotel Travel Company. Before publication, each piece undergoes thorough scrutiny and is approved by our Expert Review Board to ensure its quality and relevance. Sir Mark Zoch oversees the entire process and is responsible for ensuring the quality and accuracy of the content presented on the site.
Scroll to Top