After fermenting overnight you can check your natto. You are looking for the beans to be stringy, gooey and a little stinky. This what some people love about natto and some people dislike about natto. Read BellaOnline for a story about hating natto then finding out you like it. However, I don’t think you are making natto if you don’t already love it and want your own personal supply in your freezer at all times, am I right?

Let your natto continue to ferment if you don’t think it is quite stringy enough. Some recipes call for 24 hour fermenting. That makes a very strong natto and is not the kind that I like.

When you think your natto is done, put it in the refrigerator overnight, then the next day, enjoy! Put most of the natto into containers and freeze. Take out and defrost when you want it.

Enjoy good health with natto. Even Dr. Mercola is enamored with natto. He has a downloadable report on the health benefits including:

  • How nattokinase (a type of good bacteria found in natto) works better than Aspirin at preventing a heart attack
  • Helps prevents fractures and sustains bone mineral density in women with osteoporosis
  • Keeps your gut running smoothly, keeping your tummy efficient and calm
  • Is a cheaper alternative to cholesterol lowering drugs like Lipitor

Next time: how to eat natto!

Do not let the pot boil over! You’ll regret it.

After soaking 2 pounds of soybeans, drain, then add fresh water and cook until soft. This could be up to 5 or 6 hours, simmering. As the soybeans come to a boil, stand by to skim off the foam and skins of the beans that float up. Careful about boiling over. Soybeans like to do that. The smell of burned soybeans is not pleasant.

When the beans are cooked, drain, let cool a bit. Meanwhile sterilize a stainless steel spoon (boil for 5 minutes). Then pour beans back into the cooking pot and add the Natto starter. From the photo above you will see that this particular starter from MITOKU is a white powder and comes with a tiny tiny measuring spoon. Seriously, you do not need much to get your natto started.

Mix one tiny spoonful of powder with 2 teaspoons of water, pour over soybeans an mix thoroughly with sterilized spoon.

Then, transfer the inoculated beans to 2 shallow pans for fermentation. You want the beans to be less than 2 inches deep, so use as many pans as you need. One method I have used is to put a layer of plastic wrap over the beans- pressing the plastic onto the beans so everything is sealed in. OF course, I worry about the plastic ingredients transferring into the beans, so another method I use it so just seal the top very well. I have a container that has a glass lid and another that has a plastic lid that doesn’t come in contact with the beans. Your choice.

Method #1

Methods # 2 and #3

THEN, place covered beans in the oven set at 100 degrees F for at least 12 hours.

See you in 12 hours!

Making Natto #1

August 20, 2010

Wash 2 pounds organic soybeans

Soak overnight

Stay tuned for Natto #2, tomorrow!