Hikiwari Natto & Kotsubu Natto : Types of Natto Beans
“Natto (納豆)” are fermented soybeans with a peculiar odor and slimy consistency which are famous as a superfood with various health benefits.
It is known that the Japanese food delicacy can contribute to having a long life, however, have you ever heard that based on the size there are several types of Natto?
6 Types of Natto Fermented Soybeans based on the Size
|The Size of Soybeans||The Name of Natto|
|Big||O-tsubu Natto (大粒納豆)|
|Middle||Chu-tsubu Natto (中粒納豆)|
|Small||Kotsubu Natto (小粒納豆)|
|Very Small||Gokusho Natto (極小納豆)|
|Super Small||Cho-Gokusho Natto (超極小納豆)|
|Crushed Soybeans||Hikiwari Natto (ひきわり納豆)|
According to the official website of the leading Japanese Natto producer “Takano Foods (タカノフーズ)”, Natto is classified into 6 types based on the size as shown above.
Regarding the popularity, small-sized Natto beans, such as Kotsubu Natto, are much more popular than middle and big ones in Japan, while the fermented crushed soybean Hikiwari Natto accounts for about 7 to 8 % of the entire market share.
Hikiwari Natto and Kotsubu Natto
As I mentioned “Hikiwari Natto (ひきわり納豆)” and “Kotsubu Natto (小粒納豆)” just now, let’s actually compare the Hikiwari Natto and Kotsubu Natto I have now.
These are from different Japanese makers, but the containers are uniform in size, color, and shape.
Besides, each of the 2 Natto products has sachets of yellow mustard and soy-sauce-based sauce in the polystyrene container.
Actually, not only them, but most Natto available in Japanese grocery stores also come with the yellow mustard and soy-sauce-based sauce for seasoning the fermented soybeans.
Hikiwari Natto (ひきわり納豆)
The left one, Hikiwari Natto has a lighter color than Kotsubu Natto. This is because it takes less time to get the crushed soybeans fermented.
What is more, compared to “Tsubu Natto (粒納豆: whole bean Natto)” including Kotsubu Natto, Hikiwari Natto is easy to digest and rich in Vitamin K that helps absorb calcium efficiently.
Kotsubu Natto (小粒納豆)
In contrast, as with other whole bean Tsubu Natto, such as O-tsubu Natto and Chu-tsubu Natto, Kotsubu Natto features a dark brown color.
Generally, the whole bean varieties, Tsubu Natto has a deep flavor and strong smell relating to the fermentation period, compared to Hikiwari Natto, though there is no clear difference in stickiness and sliminess between them.
(Reference Page : Wikipedia 納豆 )