Natto With Rice

Natto With Rice

The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
419 Calories
11g Fat
57g Carbs
24g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 419
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 301mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 13mg 65%
Calcium 235mg 18%
Iron 11mg 59%
Potassium 807mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Natto is a traditional Japanese food of fermented soybeans. Natto soybeans are steam-cooked and then fermented with a healthy bacteria known as Bacillus subtilis. The fermentation process yields food that is high in nutrition and protein.

At first glance, natto appears to be light to dark brown, with beans that are quite small. The texture of the beans is medium-firm but soft in the center. Due to the beans' fermented nature, they are slimy, with long stretchy strings that take some maneuvering to eat.

To round out your meal, consider serving any or all of these optional condiments and garnishes alongside the natto and rice: dried bonito fish flakes, kizami nori (thinly sliced dried seaweed), karashi (hot Japanese yellow mustard), wasabi (fresh hot horseradish), sliced green onions (negi), and sliced fresh shiso leaves (perilla).


  • 1 cup cooked short-grain white rice

  • 2 (50-gram) packets fermented soybeans (natto)

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Natto With Rice ingredients

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Place the hot cooked rice in a large bowl.

    rice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. In a small bowl, combine two packets of natto. If the package comes with packets of seasoning sauce and karashi (hot Japanese yellow mustard), add the contents to the bowl. Mix vigorously with chopsticks.

    mix natto with seasonings in a bowl

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Add in favorite garnishes to the natto. Additional soy sauce may also be desired, to suit individual taste. Any number and combinations of the above-suggested garnishes may be added into the natto mixture.

    add soy sauce to the natto mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Next, top the steamed rice with the mixed natto, and add extra garnishes as desired.

    Natto With Rice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Variations of Natto

One variation is chopped natto, marketed as hikiwari natto, where the soybeans are chopped before fermentation. Another variation is kotsubu natto, which are fermented soybeans that are smaller than what is considered typical.

Prepackaged Natto

Natto is sold prepackaged into small 40- or 50-gram packets and sold in packs of three to five packets. It is available for sale in the refrigerated section of Japanese and other Asian grocery stores. Unopened natto packages may be stored in the freezer for a short period of time.

In Japanese cuisine, the most basic way that natto is enjoyed is served over hot steamed rice. This way of eating natto is quite traditional, and it is often eaten for breakfast. Other times where natto over rice is enjoyed is as a snack, side dish, or even as a quick and easy meal.