Can you guess what kind of fried rice is in the bento box?
A few days ago I bought two packets of natto (Japanese fermented soy beans) from my local Asian grocery store. I was curious with its infamous slimy, sticky texture and pungent (and many people say 'repulsive') smell. I was ready to pinch my nose when I opened my first ever natto packet, expecting strong, unpleasant odour. Strangely enough, I didn't find the smell to be repulsive at all, it didn't smell that strong either. I actually thought that it smelled like roasted peanuts...;). The texture is but a whole new different level. After I stirred the fermented beans several times together with the soy sauce and mustard included in the packet, the beans got very gooey and slimy - which certainly didn't look very appetising at all, but I had expected this, since I had been doing some research on natto beforehand.
I know that natto is a popular accompaniment to steamed rice usually eaten for breakfast in Japan. I wasn't ready to try it as it was though, the texture was quite a turn off, but I could somehow imagine that it would taste great when the gooey texture is gone.
And boy was I right! I found some natto recipes while browsing the net and the idea I l liked most was Natto Fried Rice. If you're a vegetarian, I strongly recommend you to give this natto fried rice a try. I am usually quite carnivorous, but I was able to enjoy this natto fried without adding any kind of meat or fish.
Natto Fried Rice
Adapted from Just Bento
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 packet natto (mixed with soy sauce and mustard included in the natto packet)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce (alternative: Worcestershire sauce)
- 2 Tbsp chopped scallion
- White pepper to taste
Sitting on top of the natto fried rice a dragonfly made out of cheese, purple potato, nori and takuan. The side dishes include four baby carrots, two ham flowers, soy sauce egg, radish, two cherry tomatoes and one takuan rose.
It's public holiday in Germany tomorrow. I hope I'll be able to come up with another bento :).