Learn how to Make Natto at home three ways with this easy step-by-step recipe!

Ways to Enjoy Natto (COMING SOON!)

  • How to Eat Natto
  • Natto Monjayaki
  • Natto Kimchi Don
  • Natto Bibimbap
  • Natto Mochi
  • Natto Jiru

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How to Make Natto

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5 from 9 reviews


Learn how to Make Natto at home three ways with this easy step-by-step recipe!


Units Scale

Natto from scratch (bacteria starter)

Natto from frozen pack

  • 1 pack of frozen natto (or 60g from previous natto)
  • ~380g dry soy beans
  • 1 tbsp filtered water

Natto from previous batch 

  • ~400g cooked soy beans
  • 60g natto from previous batch


  1. Soak the soy beans overnight– it should expand and look plump. 
  2. Discard the water and then cook the soy beans in an instant pot, pressure cooker or over the stove until tender. 
  3. Lay cling wrap on a tray or shallow tupperware (this step is not essential but helps immensely with the clean up process). Sterilize any utensils and bowl with hot water to remove any bacteria. Drain the soybeans well and then add the soy beans to the tupperware.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of filtered water into the pack of natto and mix to loosen. Then spread the natto over the soy beans and mix well. If using the starter, sprinkle the starter over and mix. If using previous batch, add the natto and mix well. Cover with paper towel, cling wrap and then elastic bands to secure.
  5. Place in a yogurt maker, fermentation box or a warm area at 40 C for 24 hours. The next day, place into the fridge and continue to ferment for another 24 hours.
  6. The natto is complete! Store in the fridge for up to 2 days or transfer to portioned size freezer safe reusable bags or tupperware. When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge and enjoy!
  7. You can repeat this process maximum 3 times with previous natto. Then you must use the frozen store bought natto (because the bacteria is stronger). 


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: basics
  • Method: fermenting
  • Cuisine: japanese


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (60g)
  • Calories: 120


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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Hi Lisa! Is there a non plastic/cling wrap alternative to cover the beans with during the fermentation process?

  2. I am super excited to try this, question is it says wrap paper towel over it. Isn’t natto sticky, so won’t paper towels stick to it?
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. So good!! I used the frozen pack and I love that the beans are so plump. The beans imported or from the store can be a bit tiny and dried by the time it flies in from Japan and hits my grocery store 😭 thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

  4. worked great, used a powdered natto starter and a yoghurt maker and turned out really slimy and yummy just how I wanted 🙂

  5. Hi Lisa, I love your recipe and wanna try out as soon as posible!!
    But where I live is very hard to find those ingredients. It’s possible to make a batch from natto that is bought in the store? Like those that are industrialized?

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

  6. Could I use the yogurt setting on the instant pot to keep it warm for 24hrs or is that too high of a heat?

    1. Please follow the instructions for cooked beans for the instant pot in the manual! 🙂 There should be a ‘beans’ setting.

  7. So good and so easy!! Best recipe on the net! I have tried several different Recipes for Natto. Lisa’s is the easiest and best tasting one. The natto has a light nutty flavor and not overly pungent like others.
    I love this blog as well as her IG platform! Thank you again! Aloha, Glenn

  8. I made this using a frozen pack and it turned out soooo good! I already liked the store bought natto but the homemade version is so much creamier and flavorful 🙂 Also a big plus for me: I have a big batch of natto without all that packaging! 😀

  9. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for your recipe. I would like to clarify if we should be using one of these sets of recipes i.e. natto from scratch, natto from frozen pack or natto from previous pack, OR do we use all of them in your recipe?

    Thank you!