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How Long Does Natto Last In The Fridge

How Long Does Natto Last In The Fridge? Solved

Last Updated on February 18, 2024 by Shari Mason

Being an experienced food enthusiast, I’ve partaken in quite a number of gastronomical experiences. An element that has intrigued both my interest and palate is natto, a vintage Japanese meal prepared from fermented soybeans.

Now, you might wonder, “How long does natto last in the fridge?” 

Read on to find out.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Freshly Made Natto?

Natto on a Pan

The shelf life of freshly made natto [1] is relatively short, typically lasting for about 1 week to 10 days when stored in the refrigerator.

During this time, the flavors of natto are at their peak, offering a unique blend of earthiness and umami. 

Its texture is delightfully sticky and stringy, making it a pleasure to eat. However, as with many perishable foods, natto’s freshness gradually diminishes. 

Therefore, consuming freshly made natto within a one-week window is recommended to experience its exceptional taste and texture fully.

Read: Does Soy Milk Need To Be Refrigerated?

How Should Natto Be Stored In The Fridge?

Proper storage in the refrigerator is crucial to maintain the quality and prolong the shelf life of natto. After bringing home a package of natto, it should continually be refrigerated. 

“There’s no such thing as soy milk. It’s soy juice.”

Lewis Black, American Comedian

Choose the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the back or the bottom shelf, to store the natto. This ensures a consistent temperature and helps slow down the fermentation process. 

It is also advisable to keep the natto tightly sealed in its original packaging or transfer it to an airtight container if opened. 

What Are The Signs Of Spoiled Natto?

  1. Excessive Sliminess: Fresh natto has a naturally sticky texture but may indicate spoilage if it becomes excessively slimy or gooey. The sliminess may be accompanied by a change in color, typically turning darker or brownish.
  2. Foul Odor: Another telltale sign of spoiled natto is a strong, unpleasant odor. While natto does have a distinct aroma, it should not have a foul or rotten smell. If you notice a sharp or off-putting odor, it’s best to discard the natto.
  3. Mold or Discoloration: If you spot any signs of mold growth or discoloration on the natto, it indicates that it has spoiled. Mold [2] can appear as fuzzy patches or greenish/blue spots, and discoloration may manifest as dark spots or an overall color change.
  4. Abnormal Texture: Pay attention to the texture of the natto. It could be a sign of spoilage if it feels unusually hard or grainy. Fresh natto should have a soft and sticky texture, with the beans holding together cohesively.
  5. Off-Taste: Lastly, if the taste of the natto is noticeably different or unpleasant, it may indicate spoilage. Fresh natto has a distinct, slightly nutty, and fermented flavor. If the taste is bitter, sour, or otherwise unpleasant, it’s best to avoid consuming it.

Can Natto Be Frozen For Longer Storage?

Natto on a Bowl

Yes, natto can be frozen for longer storage. Freezing natto can extend its shelf life by several months. 

However, it’s important to note that freezing may alter the texture of natto. Once thawed, it may become slightly mushy or lose some of its original stringiness. 

“The essence of natto’s allure lies in its delicate dance between time and preservation. Like a symphony of flavors, it reveals its truest form within the confines of the refrigerator, beckoning us to savor its transformative journey.”

Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Despite the texture change, frozen natto can still be used in various dishes like soups or stir-fries, making it a convenient option to preserve natto and enjoy its unique flavors even beyond its regular shelf life.

Read: How Long Does Onigiri Last In The Fridge?

How Should Thawed Natto Be Handled?

  1. Thaw in the Refrigerator: Transfer the frozen natto from the freezer to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly. This gradual thawing process helps preserve the flavor and texture of the natto.
  2. Avoid Microwaving or Hot Water: Avoid using the microwave or hot water to thaw natto, which can negatively impact its taste and texture. The sudden heat can cause the natto to become watery or mushy.
  3. Use Within a Few Days: Once thawed, it’s best to use the natto within a few days. The quality and taste of natto tend to decline over time, so consuming it sooner rather than later ensures the best experience.
  4. Incorporate in Dishes: Thawed natto can still be used in various recipes and dishes. Add it to soups, stir-fries, or even use it as a topping for rice or noodles. Experiment with different culinary creations to make the most of your thawed natto.

FAQs

u003cstrongu003eDoes natto go bad if not refrigerated?u003c/strongu003e

Yes, natto will go bad if not refrigerated. Without proper refrigeration, natto is susceptible to bacterial growth, leading to spoilage and potential foodborne illnesses. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eRefrigeration helps slow down the fermentation process and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, ensuring the safety and quality of the natto.

u003cstrongu003eWhat temperature kills natto?u003c/strongu003e

The temperature at which natto is typically killed or deactivated is around 176°F (80°C).u003cbru003eu003cbru003eBut u003ca href=u0022https://eatpallet.com/how-long-does-sashimi-last-in-fridge/u0022u003ecan sashimi last in the fridgeu003c/au003e?

Key Takeaways

Natto, the traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, has a relatively short shelf life when stored in the refrigerator.

Freshly made natto is at its best within the first week, offering peak flavors and a delightful sticky texture. 

Proper storage in the fridge’s coldest part helps slow fermentation and maintain quality. Signs of spoilage, such as excessive sliminess, off-putting odor, mold, or abnormal texture, indicate that the natto has gone bad and should be discarded. 

However, if you find yourself with surplus natto, freezing can be a viable option to extend its shelf life by several months, although it may alter the texture.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the unique taste and experience of natto while ensuring food safety and quality.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/natto
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm
Shari Mason

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