Natto Donburi is a staple Japanese rice bowl, full of plant based protein, probiotics and dietary fibre. Whether you already love it or just starting to incorporate it into your diet, try these various ingredient combinations to find your perfect natto rice bowl meal!

Natto rice bowls are a staple meal in Japan, enjoyed most commonly for breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner. These fermented soy beans are packed full of protein, probiotics, dietary fibre and other healthy nutrients– making it the ideal topping for a balanced rice bowl meal.

There are so many ways to jazz up natto for rice bowls. My personal favourite pairing is kimchi and avocado— the balance of spicy, sour & creamy really helps reduce the stronger flavour of natto. To make it extra yum add a generous amount of scallions, nori and toasted sesame seeds!

See below for more variations, options and combinations to find your perfect natto rice bowl! 🙂

How to Make Natto Rice Bowls

Ingredients & Variations

  • Natto: store bought (thawed) or homemade natto
  • Japanese short grain rice: I highly recommend Japanese short grain rice because it’s neutral in flavour in comparison to Jasmine or Basmati Rice.
  • Avocado: My personal favourite ingredient to add to Natto rice bowls. It adds a creamy texture that really helps and compliments the slimy texture!
  • Pickled Vegetables: vegan Kimchi is my first recommendation because it hits both sour and spicy flavour elements. However, if you don’t like spice, umbeboshi (pickled plums), takuan (pickled daikon), pickled ginger, pickled soy sauce cucumbers or any pickled vegetable can be added!
  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, lettuce or any fresh, crunchy or juicy vegetables are great add-ins.
  • Cheese: I love adding some of my melty vegan mozzerella cheese or vegan parmesan for a bit of extra tang and creaminess.
  • Sauces & Condiments: Sesame oil, misozuke, miso paste, spicy Japanese mustard, soy sauce and gochujang can help cut down the strong flavour of natto.
  • Toppings: Toasted sesame seeds, furikake, togarashi, scallions, green onions, leeks and nori are great final touches to really bring the dish together.


Rice bowls are one of those quick and easy throw together kind of meals. Simply just chop up the kimchi (or pickled vegetables), cube the avocado and cut up any vegetables you want to add. Toss it all together along with any condiments or sauces with the natto. Then serve it over some rice and add your favourite garnishes! I love kizami nori, toasted sesame seeds, pickled ginger and some scallions.

Here are some more delicious ways to enjoy natto:

If you make Natto Donburi (rice bowls) let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Natto Kimchi Donburi

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


Units Scale

Donburi Rice Bowl

Sauces (optional)



    1. Roughly chop up the kimchi. Cube the avocado. Give the natto a quick mix and then mix in the kimchi and avocado. If adding any sauce, mix that in as well. 
    2. Add rice to a serving bowl and then add the natto kimchi avocado mix on top. Garnish with your favourite toppings, serve immediently and enjoy!


    • *If you do not like spicy, you can use pickled daikon radish (takuan) or other Japanese pickled vegetables of your choice. Use about 1/4 cup. 
    • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Category: entree
    • Method: no cook
    • Cuisine: vegan, japanese


    • Serving Size: 1 serving


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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. Love love love this! Made it for the first time and know already this will become a regular too on my weekly lunch menu. All ingredients I usually have at home anyway. I replaced the rice with riced cauliflower though, trying to be careful with carbs 😉 As always, I appreciate how delicious and nutritious your recipes are, Lisa, and how easy you make it for us to prepare them. Love your videos too! Warmly, Tanja

    2. I love natto and where have I been with this combo with avo?! esp with the furikake and togarashi 👌🏽

    3. I love Lisa’s approachable way of describing and demonstrating recipes. Natto is out of a lot of people’s comfort zone but this recipe is great for beginners because it gives options to customize and adjust the natto to your taste buds!