Should you be chatting with someone Japanese and the conversation turns to food, there’s one inevitable question you should always be ready for… “do you like natto?” Natto is simply fermented soy beans packed with vitamins and nutrients, but this innocent bean has a strong smell, sticky texture and a taste somewhat comparable to blue cheese. Like Marmite, you either ‘love it or hate it.’
Although natto is traditionally eaten as part of a Japanese breakfast, we’re going to show you how you can easily incorporate it into other meals with this Natto Pasta recipe. Using spaghetti, natto, a healthy smattering of seaweed and a splash of Japanese tsuyu sauce on top for good measure, this Natto Pasta recipe is a simple and delicious fusion of both Japanese and Western flavours and super healthy to boot.
Let’s begin with the obvious, boiling the spaghetti in a pan. We trust your spaghetti boiling ability, but just in case, add 200g spaghetti to a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt and boil until al dente (not mushy).
Next, cut your onion into small pieces and fry it with the natto in a frying pan. Once the onion is translucent and cooked and the natto is warm, add the drained boiled spaghetti with a knob of butter and continue frying and mixing.
Finally add the tsuyu stock and mix well before taking the pan off the heat. Garnish with nori sprinkles, and fujikko to serve and you’re done. You can even try cracking a raw egg over the top for extra taste and protein.
• Shred a savoury Japanese shiso leaf over the top for added depth of flavour.
• Alternatively you could garnish your natto pasta with some crunchy Japanese pickles for added Japanese flavour.
• You can add your selection of mushroom such as shimeji mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and/or enokitake mushrooms. They all work very well with natto.