Something better than Nattō

I love Nattō, a Japanese food of fermented soybeans. Trouble is, it’s expensive, can be hard to find in New Zealand if you’re not in Auckland, Christchurch, or Wellington, and – like a lot Japanese products – comes packaged in heaps of unnecessary plastic which spoils just a little of the pleasure of the eating.

I also love barley and today, in a moment of supine inspiration, I combined cooked barley with tahini, sesame oil, and a little salt and found it gets pretty close to the texture and pleasure of Nattō. Of course, it isn’t Nattō, it foregoes all of the fermentation that gives Nattō much of its unique (and divisive) essence. But it’s bloody good, and fills the need for me without all the palaver and plastic of the real thing.