Natto is a specific fermented soybean product. It is umami! A savoury product only recently tried by travellers to Japan. For many Japanese it is as common as Vegemite is for Australians and as familiar as Marmite is for Britons, New Zealanders and South Africans. It is an acquired taste for many and it is "a hate it or love it food". This recipe uses this food as an ingredient mixed with the freshness of scallion to produce a fried sandwich in Tofu.




Ingredients:
  • Scallions (Green onions)
  • Natto (Available at Japanese food suppliers or prepare your own if you dare)
  • Light soy sauce
  • Mustard
  • Chillie
  • *Aburaage, (Fresh; packaged as is; packaged in brine.)
Method:
  1. Finely chop some (lots) scallions and place into a bowl
  2. Add an amount of natto, some Light soy sauce, some freshly prepared mustard paste, a few drops of dark sesame oil and some finely sliced fresh chillie.
  3. Mix it all well to produce a sticky mass.
  4. Prepare the Aburaage: if packaged as is or if fresh simply cut off  the very top edge.
  5. If packaged in brine: Drain the brine then lay the pieces of Aburaage on some sheets of kitchen towel paper. Cover with a similar amount of tissue and press with the palm of your hand. This will expel and absorb out the excess brine. Now cut off the top edge of these pieces.
  6. The next step is to make a pocket in each piece of the aburaage. With a sharp pointed knife, carefully insert the tip of the knife into the cut edge and make a deep pocket.
  7. Fill the pouch with the natto mixture.
  8. Close the pocket by threading a skewer along the open edge. Trim the skewer to size.
  9. Fry the pockets in a pan. You won't need oil if the aburaage is fresh or if they were packaged as is. You will need a little oil if they were packaged in brine.
  10. Fry until crispy and a light brown colour. Transfer to a serving plate.
  11. Cut the pouches in half and serve while hot.
* Aburaage (油揚げ?) is a Japanese food product made from soybeans. It is produced by cutting tofu into thin slices and deep frying first at 110~120 °C then at 180~200 °C again.
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