Natto Gohan

A bowl of rice makes a delightful showcase for a lovably slimy Japanese staple.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    5 minutes

Megan Zhang

By Megan Zhang

Published on September 13, 2023

In Japan, many people start their mornings with natto gohan—sticky, stringy fermented soybeans served over rice with different garnishes. This natto gohan recipe tops the dish with scallion and raw egg yolks, two common choices, though grated nagaimo (mountain yam), katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), tsukemono (a category of Japanese pickles), and finely chopped kimchi are popular and equally delicious adornments.

Look for natto at your local Japanese market or Asian grocer, or online, where the beans are typically sold in packs (which often include sachets of karashi—a spicy Japanese yellow mustard—and a soy sauce-based seasoning).

Featured in “There’s a Lot to Love About Natto,” by Megan Zhang.


  • Two 50-gram packs natto (see headnote)
  • Karashi (Japanese mustard)
  • Light soy sauce
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain white rice, hot
  • 2 egg yolks (optional) and finely chopped scallion, for garnish


Step 1

To a small bowl, add the natto and season with karashi and soy sauce to taste. Using chopsticks or a spoon, stir until stringy and viscous. Divide the rice between two serving bowls, then top evenly with the natto mixture, egg yolks (if using), and scallions. 

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