Saturday, August 28, 2010

Making the Magical Food, NATTO

About a year ago I had Natto for the first time (in this life). I tried it because I had read about Nattokinase, a substance made from Natto that is sold in certain health food stores and I think as medicine in Japan. Nattokinase has been shown to support normal blood pressure, dissolve blood clots and prevent them from forming in the first place!
Natto is a fermented cheese-like food that has been used in Japanese culture for more than 1,000 years , it's made by inoculating Soybeans with a certain Bacteria called Bacillus subtilis.  Nattō contains large amounts of vitamin K, which is involved in the formation of calcium-binding groups in proteins, assisting the formation of bone and preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin K1 is found naturally in seaweed, liver, and some veggies, and vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods like cheese and miso.  Nattō has very large amounts of vitamin K2, about 870 micrograms per 100 grams of nattō. It is also a non meat source of B12 so it's a good thing for Vegans and Vegetarians to eat. Nattō contains many chemicals alleged to prevent cancer and recent studies show nattō may have a cholesterol lowering effect.Nattō is also said to have an antibiotic effect, and its use as medicine against dysentery was researched by the Imperial Japanese Navy before World War II.
But basically it a a Slimy stinky, stringy mass of strong tasting Heaven.
Anyway I developed a taste for it, and now so has Taryn, and it's good food for the baby inside I decided to find out how to make my own.
So here we go.
Stuff you need:
A bunch of cooked organic soybeans (4 cans or equivalent) It's best to start from scratch (dry beans) but I couldn't find any in town so got canned organic beans.
A way to keep the inoculated beans at about 108 F.and moist ( I'll give you a tip how I did it).
A tad of salt, maybe a teaspoon
couple tablespoons of sweetener to feed the culture ( I used molasses).
and a couple containers of packaged Natto from your local Asian store (or the culture/bacteria from a place online like Gemcultures).
So the most important part is to keep it about 108 F. and fairly moist, with s fair air supply for 24 hours.
So here is what I did.
I got a big pot that our dehydrator top fit on, ran an external thermometer which I just hapenned to have (see honey, it's good I save all that stuff).
Then is a bowl I mixed the 2 packages of store bought Natto (the seed). With the salt and soybeans and molasses. I put  a plate on top of the bowl and then put the  bowl down in the pot and set the temp to around 108. You don't want it to go under 100F..... a little higher isn't as big of a deal cuz it's gotta be really hot to kill the Natto bacteria.  ( I played with the controls beforehand so I knew where to set the knob on the dehydrater). Then I put a towel I soaked in boiling water down in there too.  Now I just let her rip, checking to see if there was still water in it....and I let it go for 24 hours.

TA DAA.  See the strings...that means it worked.  Now you can age it in the fridge for from a day to a week....

Or if you are like me and can't wait you will put it on top of a nice lamb curry that you made for lunch, and are now having for dinner...

1 comment:

  1. So yummy! How nice it is to have a husband who is such a good cook and fermenter-extraordinaire! :)



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