Simple Natto (for breakfast)

Before I was hit with morning sickness, several of you asked about how we eat natto. I promised I would post about it soon,Β  but while I ate natto several times in those early months of pregnancy I didn’t feel up to posted about it (let alone making a video about it!). I am finally fulfilling that request.

Natto is a fermented soy bean product, served traditionally in Japan for breakfast. You can eat it anytime, but we actually eat it for breakfast too. I am amazed that my three year old loves it! She wouldn’t eat it the first few times because the “stringiness” of it bothered her (think of melted cheese). But she got over that, and now thinks it is quite the treat. It’s alsoΒ  fairly frugal, which I appreciate, as it only costs about 2 dollars for three servings.

The most important thing to do is not eat it plain. It will be bland and boring. We serve it very simply with just soy sauce and mustard. Flavorful without a lot of trouble.

And why bother? Well, natto is the highest source of vitamin K2. It may prevent cancer and prevent heart disease . Vitamin K2 is believed to be what Dr. Price called the “X” factor, which he thought was vital to good bone and teeth health. Natto, being a fermented food, is also high in healthy bacteria. Always a plus in my mind!


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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. says

    Interesting Kimi, this is the first time I’ve heard of Natto.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Your daughter is such a sweetie.


  2. Jan says

    wow, so you also make your own soy sauce? is the recipe posted on your blog? i have been using namu shoyu….

    thanks for all your wisdom and for sharing it!

    • KimiHarris says

      Oh my no! When I said my “own soy sauce”, I just meant the soy sauce I bought and approved of. πŸ™‚

  3. debbie says

    Your daughter is precious! I love her little voice. My daughter is 24. Life goes so fast. Enjoy every yummy minute of it. I never heard of natto. I will give it a try though I must say I don’t know if I could do it for breakfast. Will let you know.
    Peace and Good Health,

  4. says

    I have never heard of this. I’m surprised I haven’t seen this at health food stores. I guess it pays to visit cultural shops. Thinking that trying it will make me a brave soul πŸ™‚ What does it taste like, is it similar to edamame or just mostly flavorless?


  5. Kathy says

    I have been curious about natto…thanks for preparing me to enjoy it.
    I loved seeing your daughter dig in! It is joyous to see little ones eating well!

  6. kathygrace says

    Hi! The video is precious. Strangely, I lived in Japan for 11 years and never once heard of natto. There was a lot I didn’t learn unfortunately. Since I love oriental foods, I might want to try this. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  7. Jessie says

    Kimi – maybe you could link your video post of your trip to the Asian market to this one? I think you showed natto in the freezer case & showed what symbol to look for to show that it’s organic. At least I think I remember this.

    I have two boxes of natto in my freezer & need to try this.

    Also – it’s important to note that natto usually comes with seasoning packets. You should throw these out because they usually have msg.

    • Jessie says

      ooh – I’m so sorry – I made my comment before looking at the video – I had read all the comments first and added mine. So sorry!

  8. Melinda says

    Thank you for letting us know about Natto. I have never heard of it, and I’ll be picking some up at the Asian market next time I go. I appreciate you posting about interesting Asian products, because I love to go to the market, but frankly I’m a bit intimidated because I just don’t know what I’m looking at. Natto for nexttime!

  9. says

    I studied in Japan for 9 months and gotta say, I’m impressed! Natto is one of those “you know you’re truly Japanese when…” foods. Actually, it’s one of those “you know you’re a gaijin (foreigner) when you can’t handle this” foods. I’d say almost half of the Japanese people I know can’t handle the texture either. I personally like it quite a bit and mix it with rice. I haven’t thought much about natto since Japan. I *might* just have to try fermenting my own…

  10. yumi says

    Hi Kimi — our family is Japanese American and my grandmother told me to always stir the natto with chopsticks (not metal) and only stir minimally so it doesn’t get so gooey and stringy. We also put chopped raw ginger or scallions in for added flavor!

  11. lg says

    Hi — I LOVE Natto! I ate it all the time in when I lived in Japan and also in Boston. I miss it so much and wish we could get it where we live here now…. I would love to know how to make my own…..but am having a hard time finding real recipes for this. Like msio, most people jsut buy the packages?

    The video blog is fun! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Tom Clark says

    I found natto in the freezer section of my local Asian store. I couldn’t read the label because it was in Japanese. I assume it was made and packaged in Japan but how does it arrive half way around the world (to Maryland in my case) and not thaw? It’s hard to imagine the product traveling such a long distance in a refrigerated container the whole way.


  13. Annie says

    Hi Kimmi,
    Can you tell us the symbol to look for to know whether or not it is organic? I can’t seem to access your video of the Asian Store trip. Thanks!

  14. Kylie NZ says

    I just searched for the video to the asian supermarket, found it, but unfortunately it won’t play as Annie found also? It says it’s for private viewing only? I would love to watch it!


  15. says

    Thanks for the video, Kimi! Always full of good information…it is much appreciated. So glad you were feeling up to it, as we know things have not been easy for your family as of late. Thank God for little sweet ones like Alana (sorry if I spelled it wrong!) to keep us smiling!

  16. Julie says

    Thanks for the info. on Natto. I had only heard of it before, but had no idea what it looked it, ways to eat it, etc. Your daughter is sure a good advertisement for it! She eats with such gusto and without distraction you know it’s got to be good. She sure has good command of her fork. Very impressive.

  17. RG says

    I’ve heard that soy isn’t really as good for you as a lot of people tout. Can’t it cause fertility issues and a load of other health problems? Is this better because it is fermented?

    • KimiHarris says

      I don’t think that soy is good for anyone to eat any large amounts. I think that the Weston A Price Foundation’s take on it is that it should always be organic (to avoid GMO’s), fermented, and eaten in small quantities. The natto packages are really small, so you are only eating a small amount. πŸ™‚

  18. Jenny L. says

    I really enjoyed that informative video and thought you did a great job – when I could manage to pay attention and not focus my attention entirely on the little cutie in the corner of the screen. Looks like the person with the video camera had the same problem. So cute! I am going to try natto the next time I am in the asian store. And since I was distracted by the cutie, do you just thaw it out and eat it or is there some other preparation?

    • KimiHarris says

      LOL, yes, she’s the little star of the video, I think. πŸ™‚ We just thaw it out in the fridge overnight.

  19. says

    Maybe I need to give it another try… maybe. πŸ™‚

    When we lived in Japan, so many of our adult students told us to try natto, about how delicious it was, how nutritious it was. Knowing what I know now about traditional foods, I believe them. At the time, I just couldn’t get into it.

    You’re brave, my friend, LOL! And I miss you and that sweet little girlie of yours. Glad you enjoyed your breakfast!

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