【 ねばねば・neba neba 】gooey, slimy
ねばねば (neba neba) describes the texture of natto (fermented soy beans) or anything gooey or slimy.
The ねばねば slimy component in neba neba foods is what makes them the superfood they are. It protects the stomach lining, aids digestion, and helps you recover from fatigue.
The most widely known neba neba food is natto.
*○○といえば△△ is an expression when you associate ○○ to △△.
Natto is an acquired taste, and many may be put off by the smell, but with some of semi-sweet dashi soy sauce, scallions, and Japanese 薬味 condiments (ginger, shiso, and myoga), natto becomes much easier to try. By mixing it all up until it’s slightly white and foamy, you bring out the maximum neba neba, and you’ll get maximum umami.
Other ねばねば foods are:
▪️長芋 (ながいも nagaimo) a type of yam that is neba neba but also has a crunchy texture.
▪️なめこ (nameko) a type of slimy mushroom, a popular ingredient for miso soup.
You can even add these as a topping for the natto and get double the neba neba and health benefits.
Natto is a staple in the fridge for many households and is also a regular on a 食堂 (diner) menus.
If you’re interested in learning more about Japanese superfoods, hop over here.