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Unveil the Fermented Mystery: What Does Natto Taste Like?

Do you know about the traditional Japanese food, natto? We’re going to talk about it today, so if you haven’t heard of this cuisine, pay attention.

Natto is a popular breakfast item in Japan.

So now you might be guessing it’s a delicacy enjoyed by many, but it’s a 50-50.

Half of the people enjoy this food, while the other half dislike it.

So what makes it so popular yet disliked? What does natto taste like?

If you haven’t tried this food yet, you’re probably curious about how it tastes.

We’ll tell you all about it.

What is Natto?

Natto is a Japanese cuisine made by fermenting soybeans and is widely eaten during breakfast in Japan.

It’s considered very healthy but is not for everyone as it has a slimy texture and pungent odor.

If you’re an adventurous eater, you may be able to taste it without any problem, but if you’re picky about food, its smell might turn you away.

This food is made with cooked soybeans by allowing it to ferment, which uses the bacteria Bacillus subtilis during the process.

It’s then kept for a week, which changes color to brown, developing sticky strings and a mushy texture.

Traditionally, this food is served with steamed rice, topped with green onions, and some people pair it with a raw egg.

Though it has a weird texture, there’s no harm in trying out this food because it’s packed with various health benefits.

You can try visiting your nearest Japanese restaurants or Asian supermarket as it’s likely to be available.

What Does Natto Taste Like?

The only way to find out what natto tastes like is to try it out yourself.

But if you’re unsure whether to give it a go, we’ll tell you what flavor to expect from this dish.

Natto is a type of food that can be off-putting for people sensitive to smell as it has a strong aroma, and even people who enjoy this dish are no big fan of its odor.

It’s not the taste but the aroma most people can’t stand.

But leaving aside its smell, the flavor of natto is slightly salty, a bit bitter, and has an earthy undertone.

Some say it tastes like aged cheese or salty cottage cheese.

Overall, it has a unique taste and is gooey.

Also, when you eat natto without side dishes, you might be able to taste the sweetness of soybeans.

Although a traditional Japanese dish, natto is now becoming famous, and more people are trying this cuisine.

Also, you might think that natto and miso taste similar, but they have different flavors.

Though both these dish comes from fermented soybeans, miso has an umami flavor, and natto is a bit salty and bitter.

Besides, this traditional Japanese cuisine is super healthy and boasts several nutrients that work wonders on your body.

It has Vitamin C, K12, zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and fiber.

Moreover, it improves digestion, helps build stronger bones, strengthens the immune system, and keeps the heart healthy.

How to Cook and Serve Natto?

After knowing what it tastes like, you might want to try this food regardless of its odor.

But the best option is to visit a Japanese restaurant to taste its original flavor.

Still, you can always try preparing it at home as long as you do it right.

All you need is soybeans and water.

Here’s how:

  • Wash the soybeans and soak them overnight. Or you can also let them soak for at least 5 to 7 hours.
  • Next, drain the water using a colander and let them boil for 2-3 hours or until soft.
  • Once cooked, drain the water and pour them into a casserole dish. .
  • Preheat the oven to 100 degrees.
  • Mix 3 tablespoons of natto powder into cold water, stir them well, pour them over the cooked soybeans, and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the beans into a casserole and cover tightly with aluminum foil and poke tiny holes.
  • Keep the casserole in a dehydrator or oven at 100 degrees for 20-24 hours.
  • You’ll know that the fermentation is done once you notice a white substance and ammonia-like smell,.

To enjoy this dish, add sauces like mustard sauce and dashi, sprinkle with sesame oil, and serve with rice.


Although natto might not look appetizing, this dish is worth trying because it can benefit you with numerous nutrients as well as vitamins and minerals.

If you’re a picky eater, it might be challenging to make up your mind.

But if you love trying new cuisines, you can add natto to your list.

Of course, its odor is overpowering, but it still has a unique flavor, so don’t let the smell stop you from trying out a new dish.

Who knows, you might like it.

What Does Natto Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Delve into the taste of natto, a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. Natto has a strong, pungent aroma and a unique, savory flavor with hints of nuttiness and earthiness, which may not appeal to everyone.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Natto
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  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Keyword What Does Natto Taste Like
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