Updated: Feb 20, 2021
Stinky beans or bacillus subtilis (Hay bacillus) fermented soybeans is called natto 納豆 in Japanese. There's a very nice write-up about it on LiveJapan.com that explained its name as possibly originating from “beans for the general” (将軍 に 納めた 豆) /Shōgun ni osameta mame/. While its smell is as subjective as durian or blue cheese, it tastes really delicious and most importantly, it is sooooo healthy! Natto has one of the highest vitamin K content (important to prevent blood thrombosis) and the protein dissolving enzyme nattokinase is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular illness and even promoted in reducing endometrial adhesions. Do your own research as well to discover more about the health benefits of natto. I really miss the traditional breakfast in Japan that always has natto and mustard to go with the fluffy fragrant rice. We have natto abundantly in Singapore but unfortunately in single serving portions packed in styrofoam boxes and plastic packs of soy sauce and mustard.
I have been getting my natto fixes at a local Japanese restaurant but I don't know if they make their own natto or if they serve it from those little styrofoam packs. So I plucked up my courage to extend my fermentation repertoire from yogurt, pickled vegetables, kombucha, now to natto.