Spicy kimchi natto (fermented soy beans) is a quick and easy Japanese fusion side dish, or appetizer, that can be added to your weeknight meal, or enjoyed as a snack with rice.
Kimchi is a Korean dish of spicy pickled nappa cabbage, and is available for sale at many Asian grocery stores, and also in some American supermarkets as well. It can also be made at home. A simple recipe for kimchi is available on our About.com network here.
Although kimchi is a uniquely Korean dish, it is also enjoyed in Japan in a number of fusion or modern dishes, for example, ramen, fried rice, okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) or eggs. With the rise in popularity of kimchi, it is not uncommon to see kimchi, and dishes that incorporate kimchi on the menus of Japanese bars or tapas style restaurants.
An easy way to incorporate kimchi into an every day Japanese meal is to mix kimchi with natto (fermented soy beans). Natto is often enjoyed simply with rice, but adding chopped kimchi to natto, takes natto to a whole new level, bursting with flavor and spices.
The recipe for this kimchi and natto side dish is extremely simple. Simply add the two ingredients together, and season with soy sauce or the sauce "tare" that the natto comes with. For a hint of freshness, add chopped green shiso perilla leaf to the mixture. Enjoy as is, or on top of steamed rice.
- 1/2 cup kimchi (spicy Korean nappa cabbage pickles)
- 2 40 gram packages of natto (fermented soy beans), with seasoning sauce included with package
- Soy sauce, or seasoned "dashi" soy sauce, optional (if no sauce was included with the natto)
- 4 green perilla leaves (shiso)
- Chop kimchi pickles into small bite sized pieces.
- In a small bowl, combine packaged natto with the seasoning packets, or "tare" that it came with. If no sauce is included with the packaged natto, drizzle a touch of soy sauce, or seasoned "dashi" soy sauce over the natto.
- Mix in chopped kimchi pickles with the natto. Stir well.
- Wash and pat dry shiso (green perilla leaves). Stack the leaves and roll them together, then slice into thin strips (chiffonade).
- Add 3/4 of the shiso chiffonade to the natto and kimchi mixture. Gently stir.
- Serve kimchi natto mixture in small bowls, then garnish with remaining pieces of shiso.