What is Natto Kombu? and How to Use it
As you know, natto (納豆) and kombu (昆布: also known as kelp) are different things.
But what I introduce here, natto kombu (納豆こんぶ), is not a combination of fermented soybeans and kelp seaweed.
Natto Kombu (納豆こんぶ)
Natto kombu is shredded dried kelp, which becomes slimy like natto beans when water is added and stirred.
The reason why these kelp shreds take on a slimy consistency is that gagome kombu (がごめ昆布) from the Donan region (southern part) of Hokkaido is used.
The kelp variety gagome kombu can also be the ingredient of tororo kombu, and unlike ma-kombu (真昆布), it has a strong stickiness.
In Japan, natto kombu is available at supermarkets, and this one from Yamanaka Foods is priced at 140 yen or so (about 1.1 USD) per 21 grams.
These dried kelp strips need to be rehydrated before use. The preparation is easy.
Add twice the amount of water compared to the prepared natto kombu and give them a good stir until slimy. That’s all you have to do.
Natto kombu is a rich source of minerals and fiber.
Specifically, based on the nutrition facts label on the back of the package, the nutritional values are as follows.
|– Sugars||16.6 g|
|– Dietary Fibers||25.8 g|
|Salt Equivalents||6.48 g|
How to Use
The prepared natto kombu has a pleasantly crunchy texture and goes perfectly on a bowl of white rice.
It is often seasoned with soy sauce, but this time I used the sweet and umami-rice Kaki Dashi Shoyu I introduced in the previous post.
Also, these kelp shreds make a good pair with natto (literally), nametake mushrooms, okra, tororo grated yam, or daikon-oroshi grated radish.
(Reference Page: Macaroni )