Japanese hamanatto is a fermented, intermediate-moisture soybean that belongs to a group of very similar, fermented soybean products that are sometimes called soy nuggets. It is made by fermenting the cooked soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae followed by soaking in a brine or soy sauce, and then dried. It is consumed directly in Japan. It differs from the ordinary natto with its sticky substance on its surface. In Japan, various similar names are used with this type of products such as daitokuzi natto, diyohukuzi natto, and hamanatto, depending on where they are produced. The product is salty and has a black color. A very similar Chinese product is douchi (see below) that is used as seasoning in food preparation or processed with other seasonings such as garlic, and packaged in jars. In this section, the manufacture of hamanatto is discussed.
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