Welcome to “sticky food” world!

By Yoshi, December 3, 2010

Today, I introduce some of “sticky foods” in Japan.

Entry No.1 “Okra” (おくら)

“Okra” is a vegetable, it might be known as lady’s fingers or gumbo in your country. We basically eat “Okra” with Bonito flake and soy source after boiling.
The inside is a little bit sticky, isn’t it? It’s for beginners.
Entry No.2 “Nagaimo” (ながいも, 長いも)

“Nagaimo” is “Japanese mountain yam”, dioscorea opposita, a type of yam that may be eaten raw.
In Japan, it is eaten raw and grated as a side dish. “Nagaimo” is used in the Japanese noodle dish tororo udon/soba as well. The grated nagaimo is known as “Tororo” (とろろ), not “Totoro” :)
The last Entry is “Natto”! (なっとう, 納豆)

“Natto” is a fermented food made of soybeans and can be an acquired taste because of it’s powerful smell, strong flavor, and sticky consistency. Eating “Natto” is popular in the eastern “Kanto” region (include Tokyo), but less popular in the western “Kansai” region (include Osaka, Kyoto).

It’s said that “Natto” was accidentally made. In 11th century, a lot of wars happened in Japan. Soldiers were attacked while boiling beans for their horses. They packed the beans into straw bags in a hurry. A few days later, they opened the straw bags. Though the beans were already fermented, soldiers ate it and liked the taste.

“Natto” is most commonly eaten at breakfast with rice and used in some dishes, Sushi Roll, Udon/Soba, pasta. Recently, “Natto” is sold in small plastic packages with soy source and mustard. Stir it with chopsticks. and pour the soy sourse and mustard.

“Sticky” is “Neba-Neba” (ねばねば) in Japanese.
It is said that “sticky foods” have many medical benefits!
Do you wanna try them for your health?