Natto Aburage

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Natto, or fermented soybeans, can be a touch polarizing. Natto is both uber-slimy and sports a pretty strong flavor, which as you can imagine does not endear it to many. However, it's also one of those things that you grow to appreciate, and it's also supposed to be quite healthy for you, to boot. As a fan of natto, I'm not put off by this slimy/smelly combo, but if you've been challenged by natto in the past, this dish might just convert you. The tofu wrapper in this dish is distracting, and the slight cooking of this preparation seems to mellow out the flavor just a tad, so give it a try.
3-4 square or rectangular aburage pouches 2 small packages natto (fermented soybean) 1 leaf napa cabbage (just the leaf part), chopped finely 2 scallions, minced soy sauce, to taste sesame oil, to taste dried chili pepper, to taste cooking oil
Slice the aburage pouches in half, and gently pry them open with your fingers to form a pouch with each half. Set these aside. In a small bowl, mix the natto, cabbage and scallions together. Add a short pour of soy sauce and sesame oil, taste, and add more if you'd like. Season with a pinch of chili pepper. Alternately, you can use the flavoring packet that comes with natto. Stuff each aburage pouch with the mixture, but not overly full (see the photo). Heat a non-stick pan with a little cooking oil and fry until slightly brown on each side. You're not really cooking these, as warming/crisping them. You can also try putting them in a toaster oven.
15 minutes
2
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