May 24, 2010
There are quite a few breakfast sandwich recipes in Japan that uses natto. The natto & cheese on toast sounded pretty good. Put natto and cheese on bread or an English muffin and toast it, I guess. But it is too straightforward and not my style. I wanted to push natto’s culinary limit.
When I was researching around for what I could do with natto, I found this horrifying sandwich in Tokyo. The place is called Kurama, and they are pretty crazy/awesome. I’ve never been there, but their signature sandwich is a natto/coffee jello/whipped cream sandwich. Sounds disgusting, right? To those who tried my Natto MOffin, you should have found it surprisingly mild, as mixing natto with strong flavored ingredients, such as red bean paste or coffee removes the distinct smell of natto. So mixing natto with coffee jello is a smart idea.
So I finally went to a Japanese grocery store, and found coffee jello, and made them, to see if it’s edible. Since Kurama is a legit sandwich shop, and their most popular item is this very natto/coffee/whipped cream sandwich, it must be good. I am sure there are a lot of people who buy the sandwich out of curiosity or a dare, but every business is conscious about what they sell, and no one wants a bad reputation, right?
The recipe is pretty simple.
Heavy cream (200ml)
White bread (14 slices)
Coffee jello (3 packs)
Natto (2 packs)
4 tbsp sugar
Whip cream with sugar, break down coffee jello into small pieces.
Cut crusts off the bread, and spread about 1tbsp of whipped cream on each slice of bread (about seven slices). Don’t worry about being precise, since it will spread out nicely when you press the sandwich together.
Put about 1tbsp of coffee jello on top.
And then, put about 1tsp (you want to divide one package of natto into 5 sandwiches). By the way, don’t mix natto beforehand in this recipe. You should just take it out of the container and slather it on top of the cream/coffee jello. Try to spread it as best you can, even though it’s pretty slimy.
Add a dollop of cream on top of the natto, and cover it with other piece of bread.
Wrap each sandwich individually and put in fridge for at least an hour. Apparently this process will “marinate” all the flavors together.
I brought these to a party, so no final pictures, but it looks just as you imagine in your head. Yes it is sticky and cutting it in half was hard. Eating it was even harder since it’s very sticky. The taste? I am not surprised it is the most popular item at Kurama. You don’t taste the natto, other than the fact that you taste soy beans. The coffee totally hides natto flavor, and the whole mixture tasted oddly familiar. I can’t tell exactly what it is, but it is like something we ate when we were kids. Maybe cheap cream and coffee mixture reminded all of us of something from childhood.
Having written all this, I feel it’s a bit too unrealistic of a recipe. I don’t see any Umamimart readers willing to try this. But if you are going to a potluck party, and wanted to impress/gross out/being talked about throughout the evening, this is something you might consider. It looks just like a tea sandwich since I cut them up into fourth, and the only difference is that: 1. It’s dessert; 2. It’s sticky; 3. It has natto inside. The rest is nothing out of the ordinary.
I dare Yoko to try this with your homegrown natto.
I think I am over my natto exploration with this post.