Sometimes, natto does best when it is not the main ingredient in a dish, but on equal footing with others. And what if we used ginger, sriracha and balsamic vinegar, no oil, since natto contains plenty of fat already? Let’s give this a try.
This spicy beet arugula salad over natto, rice and ginger tastes and looks vibrant. It is made with golden beets, brown rice, balsamic vinegar and no oil.
This salad came from a large batch of brown rice, which gave wonderful opportunities to pair with various vegetables. In addition, I also had a batch of baked beets to use for multiple purposes, and fresh natto from the store. In essence, the dish’s main components were in front of me, and the question was: what to add to make it taste good?
I feel like natto benefits from spices. You get a lot of gooey beans, and traditionally these soybeans come together with mustard. The Japanese already thought about the spicy combination. In the case of this salad I boosted this with fresh ginger, plus hot sauce. The balsamic vinegar has a neutralizing effect and enough acidic strength that it goes well with brown rice, as it absorbs it.
So here we have it: a base of ginger, brown rice and natto mixed together, topped with arugula for extra freshness, golden beet slices, and vinegar and hot sauce on top.
The visual aspect also felt pleasing, which is not the least when looking at a plate. I hope you enjoy the colors and the milder natto flavors. It’s still fermented soybeans, they don’t disappear, but I think this dish works.
Spicy beet arugula salad over natto, rice and ginger
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 6 oz natto (1 pack per person, or less if you prefer)
- 1 oz fresh ginger
- 1 oz arugula
- 6 oz golden beets (red beet is fine too)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- hot sauce to taste
- Cook the brown rice and the beets.
- In a large bowl, mix the rice, peeled and finely chopped ginger, and the natto.
- Place the mix on each plate, add the arugula and peeled beet slices on top.
- Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and hot sauce.
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