Off-the-Eaten Path Food Experience in Japan. "Meet the People and Places behind your Plates! "

Friday 25 November 2016

[16 Dec 2016] The table of fermentation; making natto 納豆

Table of fermentation 発酵する食卓 is an experimental laboratory for making diverse fermented foods in Kyoto.

Based on the theme each time, we try to make fermented foods by using different combinations and taste the difference.

The next theme will be Natto 納豆, held on 16th December 2016 in a share house kitchen in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto.

What is natto?

We believe natto is fermented soy bean, sticky, with special flavor, and good for eating with rice...

However, it should not be always "soy". We can make natto by using kidney beans, peas, black beans, azuki beans, and even rice, or other grains as well!

In this laboratory, we would like to investigate, what is natto, again.

steaming soy bean
Black soy natto

Nowadays, bacillus subtilis natto, produced for making natto usually sold at market, is cultivated in the laboratory, and not from natural world.

The bacteria, bacillus natto can be found everywhere in this world - banana leave, rice and wheat straw, water oats called makomo マコモ, ferns, and even in the air! 

Natto bacteria is very strong against any other microorganisms, such as aspergillus oryzae. Thus, anyone who ate natto are not allowed to visit sake brewery.
aspergillus olyzae can be cultivated in spearhead of rice grain

We will see how one of the species of bacillus called "hey bacillus 枯草菌", which exist in natural grasses, work for making natto by using different grains.

natto wrapped by organic straw

The table of fermentation so far

Theme: tofu you 豆腐よう

brewing syoyu 醤油
steamed wheat for making koji mold

the art of fermentation: learning how to make koji, for brewing sake

Table of Fermentation Kyoto: Tofu-you 豆腐よう