Zenzai, natto, etc…

Without a doubt, one of my all time favorite sweets…
Zenzai, that is…
Put simply, boiled red beans sweetened lightly with brown sugar and accompanied by shira tama dango (white plain dumpling) and yam…
Strange as it may be, it is wise not to consume this stuff in the evening before bedtime…
Reason is, red beans have a diuretic effect and you might just pee uncontrollably during your sleep…
My missus warned me and I said, ‘only a small bowl of zenzai, so should not be any problem’…
That particular occasion, in the deep of the night, I found myself literally blasting out of my futon and dashing towards the toilet…
My missus still enjoys a good laugh over that incident…
Noodles for one of our lunches in the weekends…
Lots of vegetables and just a little meat with a slice of whole grain brown colored o-mochi (rice cake)…
Just what my body yearns for in this winter cold…
Natto or fermented sticky soy beans…
Many non-Japanese are not very fond of eating this sticky stuff…
An acquaintance from Italy once mentioned that the natto reminds him of how a cat feline that has been dead for two weeks, smells… (apologies to cat feline lovers…)

[Update: Of course, I do not agree that the natto smells like a dead cat… (my wife asked me to add this comment after she read this post… ;)]

These days, I like to tell my friends that it took me 15 years to ‘like’ this dish… 
Maybe not precisely 15 years, but it does take quite a while to get used to this dish as even some Japanese folks do not take it…
Anyway, why natto
Depending on our diet (especially the consumption of meat and animal fat), our blood vessels may get clogged up, thus obstructing the smooth flow of blood through the system…
This is one cause for heart attacks or strokes…
Here is where the natto comes in…
Apparently, the fermented sticky elements in the natto have the ability to ‘dissolve’ the blood clots that accumulate in the vessels…
On normal days, I take a pack during my lunch at work and sometimes, I share a second pack for dinner with my missus…
Aside from the so-called benefits, I think the natto actually taste quite good…
And fresh sardines… yes…
We are fond of ao-zakana 青魚 or ‘blue-back’ fish as opposed to ‘white’ fish…
‘Blue-back’ as in fish with a bluish back, such as the sardine, mackerel, yellow tail, salmon, and tuna, among others…
Ao-zakana is supposed to be a rich source of 
EPA and DHA n−3 fatty acids… and ‘supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA [n−3] fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease’ (source)…
Yes, sardines laced with ginger, garlic, and chillies, and boiled in a dash of soy sauce and Japanese sake… a bit too much on the bony side, but we like the taste of it…
Happy Lunar New Year to folks who celebrate it…
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18 thoughts on “Zenzai, natto, etc…

  1. Happy Chinese New Year Lrong & missus. Thats why man have to listen to their wife.. 🙂 Anything that smells like dead cat can clear clogged arteries I think..:):):)…Lrong….dead cat tofu, sardines,..no, no, no….I don't think we can dine out together…. :):):)

  2. You sure are enjoying good, healthy food, Lrong. :)Natto – glad to say it didn't take me 15 years to love it. Love, love, love natto. ^^

  3. You certainly are eating a healthy diet. While it may be good to me, I'm not sure I could get past the dead cat smell!I hope you had a wonderful Lunar New Year.

  4. Happy Lunar New Year to you and missus. GongXiFaCai. Btw do the Japanese celebrate Lunar New Year like they did in the earlier olden days or became modernised celebrating 1st Jan as their New Year? Huat Ah!

  5. There is a very hilarious men's club here in Japan, whose motto with regards to arguments with the wifey:Cannot win…Will not win…Do not want to win…

  6. The bosses in my office kept joking that I'm like being married to a Japanese, needing to "return" to Japan every year, like going "balik kampung". LOLI like natto and I like tempe too. Should we say, I have a diverse tastebud? ^^

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