Any Natto fans out there?

So, I LOVE natto…or ooey-gooey stringy fermented soybeans.. I suppose, strictly, it’s not raw since it is made by steaming soy beans for 6 hours. But then it is mixed with a bacteria (bacillus natto) and set to ferment for a couple of days in a warm place. The result is semi-digested soybeans with loads of enzymes, vitamin b-12 and easily assimilatable (is that a word?) protein. I buy frozen at asian markets and defrost one little packet at a time and blend in some nama shoyu and some scallions and devour it. Anyone think this is a bad habit? I’m torn on whether I should give it up… it’s like miso…and people here eat that, right?


  • I personally stay away from anything soy as it has been linked to many diseases. If you would like more info., I have a website that has pages of studies on soy. Alot of the danger has to lie with the lack of preparation time by mass production, but if the soy is steamed for 6 hours and them fermented, it might be o.k. However, I still would probably stay away from it.

  • Tried to make it once, but was unsuccessful. I have made tempeh many a time though. Mmmmm… A thousand times better than the stuff in the stores. Anyway, you can get starters here:

  • oh, thanks! I’ve been looking to try making it..what do you think went wrong when you tried? I know everything needs to be sterilized..and I was planning on using the dehydrator to ferment..

  • Well, whereas the lightbulb in the oven kept the tempeh at a good 90 F, natto needs to be kept warmer. At the time I didn’t have a dehydrator, so I had to keep switching the oven on and off its lowest setting and monitoring it with a thermometer. So, I’m pretty sure I just failed to keep it in its happy range. It is also possible to fail if the beans are too moist. I wonder though whether a dehydrator would, well, dehydrate it. :) But, the starters are inexpensive for how much they produce, so you’ve little to loose in trying. Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

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