As far as Japanese food characteristics, umami gets all the glory. But nothing says delicious like the distinctive slimy texture of a lot of my favourite traditional foods: tororo and natto, specifically. Much has been made of the legendary stickiness of natto– it’s eaten more as a dare by non-Japanese people than actual enjoyment. Whatever. It’s not even an acquired taste; you either like it or you don’t. It’s the durian of Japanese food. But growing up, it was a very rare treat. Luckily, it has become much easier to get in Edmonton, thanks to T&T Supermarket. I get a bunch and keep it in the freezer.
Anyhow, lately we have been trying to eat healthier : Aaron has been diagnosed with high cholesterol AND borderline Type 2 diabetes! Steel-cut oats is on the menu for most breakfasts these days for its cholesterol-fighting powers, as is barley. I keep a big tupperware of cooked oatmeal in the fridge to make this easier. So one morning in a moment of great hunger and laziness, I decided to try and combine two very healthy and already-made foods. I made the natto in the usual way, with the provided sauce and mustard, a splash of soy sauce, and a raw egg. Poured it over a bowlful of reheated oatmeal. Guess what? IT’S DELICIOUS! Mind. Blown.
The sliminess of the natto combines with the sliminess of the oatmeal, plus the nutty taste of the Scottish staple matches really well with the savoury natto. I know that most of you find the idea disgusting, but for those of you who are natto fans, you really should try this for breakfast sometime.