Natto Rice Bowl with 8 Toppings (Best Japanese Breakfast)

5 from 5 votes

If you’re curious about eating natto, try the Natto Rice Bowl! I’ll guide you on how to enjoy it and suggest delicious toppings that pair well!

Looking for natto recipes? Try my Natto Sushi RollsNatto Cheese Toast, or Natto Chahan!

2 bowls of natto gohan (over rice).

Natto rice bowl offers a simple and healthy way to enjoy this Japanese superfood. While its unique taste may not be for everyone, take the first step in learning this recipe and explore the amazing world of Natto!

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This natto recipe is a traditional Japanese breakfast, simple and packed with nutrition.
  • This recipe is a satisfying option for when you want something healthy without the hassle.
  • Explore eight toppings! Create your perfect natto rice bowl—easy, tasty, and tailored to your liking.


Natto is fermented soybeans with a unique flavor profile and an intense aroma and texture. Some compare its acquired taste to that of aged cheese. If you’re open to trying new flavors, natto can be a nutritious addition to your diet. To learn more about natto, you can explore these articles:

Natto Rice Bowl: The Best Breakfast!

Natto rice

The Natto rice bowl, known as Natto Gohan in Japanese, is a staple of our daily breakfast in Japan. Place natto seasoned with soy sauce on a bowl of steamed rice, and it’s ready in just 5 minutes.

It offers a quick, easy, and nutritious way to start the day, and you can personalize it with various toppings to match your taste. Whether you’re a natto enthusiast or new to natto, the natto rice bowl comes highly recommended!

Recipe Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

pack of natto and cooked rice in a pot
  • Cooked rice: Japanese short-grain rice is the best choice for an authentic flavor that complements natto perfectly. If you’re not familiar with cooking it, you can learn how to do so in our guide on ‘How to Cook Japanese Rice on the stove.’
  • Natto: If you buy a Japanese natto brand, it’s typically packaged in individual styrofoam containers and includes natto sauce and karashi (Japanese mustard). These packages are designed for a single serving, making the individual portion size perfect for a natto rice bowl.

How To Make Natto Rice Bowl: STEP BY STEP 

Here are some quick visual instructions! For the video and all the detailed ingredients and instructions, go to the printable recipe card below.

How to make natto rice bowl.

Step 1

Open the natto package, and the sauce and karashi are on top.

How to make natto rice bowl.

Step 2

Take the film and pour the sauce and karashi over the Natto.

How to make natto rice bowl.

Step 3

Mix with chopsticks until smooth, about 10 to 20 times.

How to make natto rice bowl.

Step 4

Prepare a bowl of rice and place Natto over the rice.

a bowl of natto gohan (natto rice)

Enjoy the delicious, savory taste of natto right away! If you want to explore some delightful toppings, I’ve got you covered with a list of topping ideas below.

Topping Variations

Natto rice toppings variations.

Natto rice is delicious on its own, but it becomes even more enjoyable with a range of toppings. From the spicy kimchi to the creamy avocado, you will find various topping options below!

1. Scallions

Natto with scallions.

Finely chopped scallions are a classic topping for natto. They bring a fresh and aromatic element to Natto rice and add a touch of vibrant color. Green onions and spring onions work well too.

2. Kimchi

Natto with kimchi.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean pickle made from fermented cabbage or other vegetables, and it is also popular among Japanese people who appreciate fermented foods. It adds a tangy and spicy flavor to Natto rice.

3. Boiled Egg

Natto with boiled egg.

The boiled egg is a simple and protein-rich topping that complements the flavors of Natto rice. You can slice or chop the boiled egg before adding it to your dish.

4. Okra

Natto with okra.

Okra, known for its unique slimy texture when cooked, adds a distinct freshness to Natto rice. You can top it with katsuobushi (thin shavings of dried bonito flakes) for an extra layer of flavor.

5. Daikon

Natto with daikon oroshi.

Grated Daikon, or daikon oroshi in Japanese, provides a refreshing flavor that complements the savory natto.

6. Avocado

Natto with avocado.

Creamy and rich, avocado adds a smooth, buttery texture to Natto rice. Adding a bit of salt on top further enhances the overall taste.

7. Umeboshi

Natto with umeboshi.

Umeboshi is a salty and tangy pickled plum that gives Natto rice a burst of flavor. It is commonly used as a condiment in Japanese cuisine.

8. Nagaimo

Natto with nagaimo.

Nagaimo is a Japanese mountain yam, a starchy root vegetable that can be grated and added to Natto rice for a creamy and slightly slimy texture.

Which topping do you like?

natto gohan with kimchi

My favorite is Natto rice with kimchi! The spice adds more flavor to the Natto.

More Topping Variations

  • Condiment: miso paste, mayonnaise, wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
  • Oil: olive oil, sesame oil
  • Vegetables: sliced onion, tomatoes, shiso leaves
  • Others: cheese, raw egg
Mixing natto with chopsticks.

Recipe Tips to Manage Stringy Natto

  • To fully enjoy your natto, be sure to mix it well before eating. Stir it around 100 to 200 times to evenly distribute the stickiness throughout the beans.
  • It becomes fluffier and softer, covered in a creamy, white substance. This practice can reduce the sensation of long, stringy strands, making it easier to eat with rice.
  • Moreover, this process enhances the umami (savory taste) sensation derived from soybeans, and you will have a more flavorful experience.


Keep natto in the fridge or freezer. When eating frozen natto, please leave it in the refrigerator for a half-day to defrost naturally. Please do not use a microwave oven, as it ruins the taste.

Tasty Natto Recipes

4 natto recipes with text overlay.

If you are looking for more recipes using natto, check out “Easy Natto Recipes: 10 Beginner-Friendly Dishes“.

Natto goes well with carbs such as rice and bread or noodles. You can eat it straight from the package (I often do), but cooking with other ingredients makes for an even better experience!

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Natto rice bowl with kimchi.

More Natto Recipes You Will Love

Leave a Rating!

I hope you enjoy this Natto Rice Bowl! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating to share your thoughts—I love hearing from you!


Natto Rice Bowl with 8 Toppings

5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 1 minute
Total: 1 minute
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Juri Austin
If you're curious about eating natto, try the Natto Rice Bowl! I'll guide you on how to enjoy it and suggest delicious toppings that pair well!


  • 1 pack Natto, 50g/1.8oz (use attached sauce and karashi)
  • 1 bowl of Cooked Rice, 150g/5.3oz

Toppings (as much as you want)

  • Nagaimo, Mountain yam
  • Umeboshi, Pickled Plum
  • Scallions
  • Daikon
  • Kimchi
  • Okra and Katsuobushi, Bonito flakes
  • Boiled egg, Mayonnaise,
  • Avocado and Salt


  • Mix natto: Open the pack of natto, add the natto sauce and karashi, and mix well.
  • Natto over rice: Prepare a bowl of rice and place the natto over the rice.

How to prepare toppings:

  • Grated Nagaimo: Peel and grate it, place it on the natto, and pour a bit of soy sauce.
  • Umeboshi: Remove the seed, chop it to make a paste, and place it on the natto.
  • Scallions: Chop them and place them on the natto.
  • Grated Daikon: Peel and grate it, and place it on the natto.
  • Kimchi: Place it on the natto.
  • Okra: Boil okra for a couple of minutes, chop them, put them on the natto, and top with katsuobushi.
  • Boiled egg: Mash it, season with mayonnaise, and put it on the natto.
  • Avocado: Cut it into bite-sized pieces, add a pinch of salt, and put it on the natto.



  • Substitute: If your natto doesn’t come with sauce and karashi, you can use soy sauce or make it on your own by mixing soy sauce, dashi and sugar.
  • Storage: Keep natto in the fridge or freezer. When eating frozen natto, please leave it in the refrigerator for a half-day to defrost naturally. No microwave oven as it ruins the taste.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.9g | Protein: 12.2g
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to eat natto, natto rice
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The UMEBOSHI version looks & sounds delicious!
    My favorites are the NAGAIMO & OKRA from your list. Oishii!
    My go to:
    Mixing the natto real well, like you described – very important, more strands, the better. Add 1 egg yolk (raw) for every 2 packs of natto. It adds richness to the rice/natto experience. Lastly, the green onions adds a nice crunchiness to your bowl of hot rice!

    1. Hi Kei! Thanks for sharing your love of Natto! I enjoy reading your comment:) I love Nagaimo and okra too! Your go-to sounds really good!

  2. I love natto but I’ve only ever stirred it 200 times. I have tried natto with okra and natto udon before. Both were delicious. You have given us so many yummy sounding toppings to try I am looking forward to it. I shall definitely try mixing x400 so I get delicious natto and strong arms 💪
    Thank you

  3. 5 stars
    We frequently eat natto over rice topped with chopped long green onion (AKA scallions) for breakfast along with misoshiru and some tsukemono (pickles). Iburigakko from Akita anyone?

    The chopped cooked egg with mayonnaise (Kewpie, of course) topping looks interesting, and I’ll try it soon.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rick! Glad to hear you are enjoying a real Japanese traditional meal! Enjoy various toppings on your natto!