Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Early Days

I wanted to make natto with what I had at home at first. I used a big pot, soybeans bought at Whole Foods and a ceramic baking dish. I wanted to start with a clean inoculation so instead of using store bought natto as a starter, I ordered Mitoku Natto Spores from Cultures for Health. My heat source for the fermentation was a yutanpo (hot water bottle) with boiling water wrapped in a towel.

I soaked the soybeans overnight and I boiled the soybeans on a weekend, which took foreeeeeever (4-6 hours?). Then I followed the instructions for the natto spores and poured the inoculant on the drained cooked soybeans. I put some tinfoil with poked holes and stuck it in the oven with the yutanpo inside. I replaced the yutanpo water with boiling water before I went to sleep and fermented it overnight.

Next morning I woke up looking forward to what I imagined to be my wonderfully delicious natto waiting to be eaten for breakfast. The truth could not be farther from what I had imagined. The soybeans were well... still soybeans. They looked like slightly drier version of the soybeans I had put the night before with a hint of "what the heck is that smell which I cannot put a finger on???!!". It did not smell rotten, but at the same time it did not smell like natto. Maybe propane gas smell? The natto was not stringy. I proceeded to put it in my mouth with some reluctance. It almost had a crunchy texture and it was flavorless.

With that one bite full of barely edible natto, a got hooked on natto making.

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