Hoshi Natto : The Healthy Dried Fermented Soybean Snack

Natto (納豆) are slimy sticky fermented soybeans with an unpleasant smell, which is actually known as one of the stinkiest foods in Japan. The Japanese soy food is famous as a superfood rich in nutrients, even though many people dislike it.

Natto is known as a specialty of Mito, Ibaragi Prefecture. In fact, the city in Japan is very famous as a production area of the fermented soybeans.

In addition to the fermented soybeans commonly eaten in Japan, actually Mito has another Natto specialty.


Hoshi Natto (干し納豆 : Dried Natto Snack)

Hoshi Natto Dry Natto Beans made in Mito

 It is “Hoshi Natto (ほし納豆)”, literally “dried Natto”, that is well-known as another Natto specialty of Mito.

The dry Natto beans, Hoshi Natto is made by drying the fermented soybeans Natto in the sun after they are coated with salt and wheat flour or Katakuriko flour (Japanese potato starch).

We Japanese enojoy Hoshi Natto as a snack food. Although many Japanese can’t eat Natto because of its bad odor and unpleasant sliminess, many of those who hate the fermented soybeans can enjoy the dried Natto snack.

The dried salted soybeans are chewy and easy to eat compared to sticky slimy Natto and known as a healthy snack food in Japan.


Image : store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp

Thanks to its saltiness and savory flavor, Hoshi Natto goes perfectly with “Sake (酒)” rice wine. Not only that, but the Japanese soy snack is also a recommended treat for children since it is packed with nutrients. Here are good points of the Hoshi Natto snack, compared to regular Natto beans.

The Good Points and Health Benefits of the Dried Natto Snack

  • Drying Natto fermented soybeans in the sun, that enhances their savory flavor and nutritional value. Besides compared to Natto, Hoshi Natto can be preserved for a long time.
  • Generally, it is said that Hoshi Natto contains 1.5 times the potassium, 1.8 times the iron, and twice the zinc that Natto has. What is better, the total amount of the minerals that the dried Natto snack contains is also larger than that of Natto.
  • Even if Natto is dried, the bacillus subtilis natto that brings various health benefits doesn’t die.

The Recommended Way to Eat the Dry Natto Beans


Image : tengunatto.com

Hoshi Natto can be eaten as it is, so you can easily enjoy the dry Natto beans as a healthy snack food whenever you want to eat. In addition, as I wrote above, the dried Natto snack makes a great pair with alcoholic drinks, such as Sake and beer.

Other than these, you can enjoy Hoshi Natto in various ways. Here are recommended examples of how to eat the dry Natto beans.

As a Furikake rice seasoning

Just sprinkle the dry Natto beans over steamed plain rice, and you can enjoy the Japanese soy snack as a Furikake rice seasoning.

As Ochazuke (the rice soaked in soup)

Hoshi Natto is recommended as a main ingredient of Ochazuke. The recommended way to make Ochazuke with the dried Natto is as follows.

  1. Sprinkle a proper amount of soy sauce over the dry Natto beans and let them sit overnight.
  2. The next day, put the seasoned Natto on steamed plain rice in a bowl, and pour hot Japanese green tea until the rice is entirely soaked.
  3. Add chopped green onions and grated ginger to the bowl, and sprinkle white sesame seeds over the rice as you like.
  4. Enjoy Ochazuke with Hoshi Natto!

As a Topping

Hoshi Natto is neither sticky nor slimy. Therefore, the dry Natto beans are suitable as a topping for salads, curry, pasta, and pizza. As a matter of fact, the dried Natto snack works well with almost any food.

Related Products
Japanese Dried Fermented Beans – Hoshi Natto, 240g Japanese Dried Fermented Beans – Hoshi Natto, 70g
Amazon.com Amazon.com


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. LINDA says:

    I love this Natto product but cant find the nutrional content in english. Japanese Dried Fermented Beans – Hoshi Natto, 70g
    by sasanuma goro shoten. Its on Amazon. Can you help?

    • Tomo says:

      Thank you for the comment.
      As you say, there is no description on nutritional contents on its package, which only says that the dried Natto is made with Natto beans, salt, and wheat flour.
      According to this Japanese website, it seems that the maker, Sasanuma Goro Shoten hasn’t analyzed the nutritional content of their dried Natto. They only say that the Hoshi Natto (70g) has about 140kcal and its salt concentration is less than 7%.

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