Nattō 納豆

It’s the pungent smell, the distinctive flavour, and the slimy texture that is either putting people off or enticing to some. Nattō is a traditional Japanese breakfast food. It needs to be stirred with soy sauce, mustard, and green onions to produce sticky strings before being served over a bowl of hot rice.
Nattō is being produced by first washing and soaking soybeans in water from 12 to 20 hours. Then the soybeans will be steamed for about 6 hours, then a bacteria (Bacillus subtilis) is introduced and mixed in to the cooked soybeans. The soybeans need to be fermented at 40°C for up to 24 hours, cooled, then refrigerated for up to a week to develop stringiness.
There are many theories as to how nattō would have come about in the first place, but the underlying hypothesis is for the cooked nattō to have ended up nesting in a bed of rice straw that had rested for some time before being discovered. Rice straw was plentiful back in the days in Japan, when it was being used heavily as floor mats, as horse feed, as roofs for houses, as materials for straw bags or bales, for sacred braided ropes, and to make sandals etc. Rice straw happens to contain a truck-load of the nattō bacteria naturally. It may appear as an accident that nattō came about, but with the abundance of rice straw in the environment, the naturally occurring bacteria in rice straw, and a diet rich in soybeans, nattō is destined to come to life.

大家好,我是黏糊君-納豆,喜歡跟不喜歡我的人都反應極端,我沒有在說誰對誰錯,其實我的身份角式都不過是配菜,身世還依然是個謎,有說我被蒸熟後放在稻草中不自覺地發酵了;又有前輩告訴我的出現是因為聖德太子用作餵飼馬匹的馬糧因為潮濕而變質了;更有份量的說法是人們用煮熟了的黃豆奉神,將之放在神龕上,經過神明的指導下,我就這樣出現了。在這大約1000年以來,我不斷出現在日本人的飯餐裡,陪伴著我的有白米飯和味噌湯,由於在下經歷過發酵,渾身充滿著營養和蛋白質 (對呀,我本是黃豆),在素食的寺廟中僧侶們要增強的抵抗力和營養,都要依靠在下和味噌呢,從前日本社會沒有太多肉類,我們都充當了重要的角色,現在社會改變了,有些製造商將我變成小食和補充劑,雖然留不住風味但總算留得住營養,在時代轉變下我們都要盡力演好每一個小角式。

IMG_20160218_193723