Looking for the best natto in the world? Look no further! In this post, I’ll be sharing the top 10 natto brands that have garnered high praise from top Japanese chefs on a TV program. From Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Toro Mame to Tengu Natto Maru-Cup Natto, I’ll provide you with a rundown of the finest natto brands that are worth knowing about. Whether you’re a natto enthusiast or simply curious, this list has got you covered!
What is Natto and Why is it Considered a Superfood?
Natto, a traditional Japanese dish, is made from fermented soybeans. This stringy, pungent-smelling food has gained popularity not only for its unique taste but also for its exceptional health benefits. Let’s delve into the nutritional powerhouse and the rich history and cultural significance of natto.
The Nutritional Powerhouse
Natto is a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential nutrients. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, probiotics, and vitamin K2, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. The presence of these nutrients makes natto a standout in the culinary world, contributing to its reputation as a superfood.
A Glimpse into Natto’s Rich History and Cultural Significance
Natto has a rich history dating back to the Edo period in Japan. It was initially made by wrapping cooked soybeans in rice straw and leaving them to ferment. Over time, natto became a staple in Japanese cuisine, deeply embedded in the country’s culinary heritage and cultural identity. Its significance goes beyond being a mere food item; it represents tradition, resilience, and the art of fermentation in Japanese culture.
The distinctive flavor and texture of natto reflect the Japanese reverence for natural processes and the preservation of food. This traditional delicacy is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Japanese culinary practices, further solidifying its place in the realm of superfoods.
Photo by Bagus Pangestu
How Natto Brands Are Ranked: The Criteria
When it comes to determining the best natto brands globally, several key criteria are considered to establish the ranking. These evaluation factors include the quality of ingredients used, the uniqueness of flavor profiles, and the texture and consistency of the natto.
The quality of ingredients plays a pivotal role in determining the superiority of natto brands. Fine natto production begins with high-grade soybeans, meticulously selected to ensure optimal fermentation. Additionally, the choice of the fermentation agent, typically Bacillus subtilis var. natto, is crucial to the overall quality of the end product. Natto brands that prioritize the use of premium, non-GMO soybeans and adhere to traditional fermentation methods often stand out for their superior ingredient quality.
Unique Flavor Profiles
Distinguishing natto brands often exhibit unique flavor profiles that tantalize the taste buds of enthusiasts. Some variations may incorporate additional ingredients during the fermentation process, imparting distinct savory or umami notes to the natto. Whether infused with fragrant herbs or brewed to achieve a delicate balance of flavors, exceptional natto brands allure consumers with their captivating and unparalleled taste offerings.
Photo by PNW Production
Texture and Consistency
The texture and consistency of natto significantly contribute to its appeal. Sought-after natto brands masterfully strike a harmonious balance, presenting a desirable texture that is neither overly slimy nor excessively firm. Achieving an ideal consistency amplifies the enjoyment of consuming natto, enhancing the overall culinary experience for aficionados.
Photo by Vlada Karpovich
Top Natto Brands You Should Try
Natto, the traditional Japanese superfood, offers a variety of distinct flavors and textures that cater to different taste preferences. Here are the top natto brands you should consider trying to elevate your natto experience:
10. Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Toro Mame
Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Toro Mame offers a rich and creamy natto experience, with a focus on indulgent flavors and a smooth texture. The golden beans produce a delightful umami taste that’s sure to captivate your palate.
Photo by James Wheeler
9. Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Ume Kurozu Tare
Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Ume Kurozu Tare offers a unique fusion of sour and savory, combining the distinctive flavor of plums with the richness of natto. This blend presents a harmonious balance of tangy and savory notes.
Photo by Nana V
8. Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Nama-Shoga Tare Umai Natto
Mizkan Kin no Tsubu Nama-Shoga Tare Umai Natto adds a zingy twist to the traditional natto experience with the infusion of fresh ginger. The spicy and aromatic profile of this natto variety is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Photo by Chris F
7. Tengu Natto Maru-Cup Natto
Tengu Natto Maru-Cup Natto provides a convenient and portable natto option without compromising on flavor. This natto variety is meticulously prepared to deliver a well-balanced taste and a satisfying textural experience.
Photo by Reynaldo Yodia
6. Takano Foods Okame Natto Marudaizu Natto
Takano Foods Okame Natto Marudaizu Natto is renowned for its authentic and robust natto flavor, showcasing the essence of traditional natto preparation. The uncompromising dedication to quality ensures a truly satisfying natto experience.
Photo by cottonbro studio
Where to Buy the Best Natto
Before diving into the delightful world of natto, it’s essential to know where to purchase the best quality natto. Let’s explore the options available to satisfy your natto cravings.
Supermarkets vs. Specialty Stores
When it comes to purchasing natto, one can typically find it in both supermarkets and specialty stores. Supermarkets offer convenience and accessibility, making it easy to pick up natto during regular grocery runs. Specialty stores, on the other hand, cater to enthusiasts seeking a wider variety and higher quality of natto. These stores often stock artisanal or organic natto, providing a unique and premium natto experience.
Online Options for Natto Lovers
For those with a penchant for online shopping, there’s a plethora of options to buy natto online. E-commerce platforms and specialty food websites offer a diverse range of natto brands and flavors, providing the convenience of doorstep delivery. Online shopping opens up a world of natto varieties that may not be readily available in local stores, allowing natto aficionados to explore and indulge in unique offerings from different regions.
Photo by Matheus Cenali
How to Enjoy Natto to Its Fullest
Natto, a traditional Japanese dish, can be enjoyed in various ways, enhancing its unique flavor and nutritional value. To fully savor natto, consider pairing it with the right foods and exploring simple yet delicious recipes to elevate your dining experience.
Pairing Natto with the Right Foods
Pairing natto with complementary foods can balance its intense flavor and sticky texture. Freshly steamed rice, pickled vegetables like cucumbers or radishes, and crisp, leafy greens make delightful accompaniments to natto. The contrast of textures and flavors creates a harmonious dining experience.
Photo by makafood
Simple and Delicious Natto Recipes to Try at Home
Experimenting with natto in your home kitchen opens up a world of culinary possibilities. Consider whipping up a quick natto and avocado sushi roll for a creamy and savory bite. Alternatively, try incorporating natto into a flavorful stir-fry with colorful bell peppers and tender chicken, adding a delightful twist to a classic dish.
In addition, creating a nourishing natto salad with fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and a zesty citrus dressing can introduce a refreshing contrast to the dish. Embracing natto in diverse recipes allows for a truly immersive culinary journey, showcasing the versatility of this traditional Japanese ingredient.
Photo by RDNE Stock project
The Future of Natto: Trends and Innovations
Natto Goes Global
In recent years, the appeal of natto has transcended its traditional boundaries and gained recognition on a global scale. With an increasing number of individuals embracing diverse culinary experiences, natto has carved its niche as a sought-after superfood, celebrated for its unique flavor profile and health benefits. As Western cultures continue to explore the culinary landscape of Asia, the popularity of natto is expected to soar, making its mark on international menus and households alike. The global embrace of natto not only signifies a shift towards adventurous eating but also serves as a testament to the evolving tastes of a food-savvy world.
Innovations in Natto Production
As the demand for natto continues to surge, the production landscape has witnessed remarkable advancements. Modern technologies have revolutionized the traditional process of fermenting soybeans, ensuring greater efficiency and quality control. From automated fermentation systems to sustainable packaging solutions, the natto industry is undergoing a significant transformation. These innovations not only streamline production but also uphold the authenticity of natto, preserving its rich heritage while meeting the demands of a contemporary market.
Beyond its traditional preparation, natto has become a canvas for culinary experimentation, giving rise to an array of innovative flavor profiles. Chefs and food enthusiasts are infusing natto with a myriad of ingredients, ranging from spicy condiments to fragrant herbs, creating an enticing fusion of flavors. This shift towards diverse flavor experimentation has opened doors to new gastronomic experiences, appealing to a broader audience and redefining the perception of natto as a versatile and dynamic ingredient.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
In conclusion, natto is a versatile and nutritious superfood that has gained popularity globally. With its rich history and the variety of flavors and textures available, natto offers a unique culinary experience. Whether enjoyed as a topping for rice or incorporated into various dishes, the best natto brands mentioned in this article provide excellent options for natto enthusiasts looking to savor the authentic flavors of this traditional Japanese delicacy.