Tag Archives: japanese

The Other Lazy Vegans: Natto!

This is my second time trying natto and Brent’s first. Natto is a traditional Japanese preparation of soybeans that has been around for several thousand years (up to 12, depending on which historical reference you lean toward). There are several compounds in natto that make it a dietary source of unusual bioactive compounds. First on the shortened list is pyrazine which has been studied as a known antibiotic and diuretic with anti-tumor activities. Second spotlight goes to vitamin PQQ which has been studied extensively for its antioxidant and neuroprotective effect. That means it has been implicated in preventing neurodegeneration. Who doesn’t wand that? Last but not least is nattokinase and enzyme with properties suggesting it may be helpful in treating heart disease and neurodegenerative disease by preventing clots and preventing hemorrhage in the brain. Okay… that was a lot of talking, let’s get to the food. Here it is in our freezer. It comes frozen in nifty little polystyrene containers with little packets of sauce. I have no idea what the packaging says… except for that little part in English. Be careful when you buy it because several varieties contain fish sauce.

The bottom line is that it’s soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilus resulting in beans with a strong cheesy odor, burned hair/plastic taste all stuck together with gooey snot.

Now… why would anyone eat something that they just describe the way I just described that? It’s certainly an acquired taste. There was a time when I didn’t eat Brussel’s sprouts because I thought they tasted like tire rubber.

It comes with sauces: mustard, soy, hotsauce and other typical options that you mix into the natto until it gets extra gooey.

Often, once it’s mixed up with whatever sauces people prefer, they’ll transfer it to hot rice. Brent and I threw ourselves on it headlong. Here’s a shot of Brent trying to like it. Just kidding… he did.

We’ve kind of got a bunch, as you could see from our freezer so we’ll be trying it again and maybe we’ll both acquire this acquired taste. Personally, I’m surprised to say that I really like it… with enough hot sauce and soy sauce. I’m looking forward to trying it with green onion and hot quinoa!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Domo Arigato Blu Fish Bistro

Japanese restaurants are among the safer places for vegans to choose when dining out. Miso soup, salad with citrus-ginger dressing, tofu and/or veggie makis, udon, etc… all goodies to choose from. When I’m at work and am craving sushi for lunch, I’m glad that I can hit up Blu Fish Bistro.

Blu Fish has a Vegetable Bento for $10 at lunch, which includes your choice of soup or salad. The miso soup is very good: let’s face it. It’s kinda hard to screw up miso soup. If you choose salad, you won’t be sorry. The house dressing is very fresh and tasty.

The bento includes veggie tempura (traditional tempura is vegan but egg is sometimes used; ask if you want to be sure), fried rice, your choice of 3-piece mushroom or asparagus roll, and fried tofu with a sweet/spicy sauce served over a bed of vegetables. Unlike most tempura sauces I’ve had, the tempura dipping sauce at blu fish is thick and flavorful. I love it. I don’t know what secret sauce they use for the tofu, but it’s perfectly sweet with a little kick. The paper-thin slices of avocado and tomato between the tofu slices are a nice touch.

Non-vegans should be happy about the quality of the food and the freshness of the fish. I’ll also say, for the record, that they have one of the best California rolls I’ve ever had. But those were in the pre-vegan days. If we ever go to Blu Fish together, I will watch you eat a California roll.

I love it when I can enjoy a vegan restaurant meal! Domo arigato! –Melissa

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