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Natto Time: talk story + demo with Eien Hunter-Ishikawa

$10 tickets available online here:

Natto Demonstration

Eien will talk about natto, the fascinating, delicious, and nutritious Japanese fermented soybeans. In Japan, natto is highly regarded as a ‘superfood’ with many health benefits including cardiovascular health, brain function, bone and teeth strength, and improved digestive system. Because the best Japanese natto is not imported, this is a rare opportunity to taste fresh, organic natto, whether you consider yourself a fan or not. The demo includes a tasting of Eien’s own fresh natto as well as a lecture about the production process, history, nutrition information, and both traditional and non-traditional recipes, followed by an audience Q & A.


“Eien's demonstration of natto was very popular at our annual Mochitsuki celebration. Both longtime lovers of natto and foodies exploring a new aspect of fermentation were fascinated by his deep and precise knowledge of natto and its health benefits that he has honed over years of perfecting his natto making. People enjoyed the samples and many commented that they loved learning about a new food.” - Valerie Otani, Mochitsuki Portland Coordinator


Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician and educator based in Portland, Oregon. He is also a passionate home cook and fermentationist. Born in Japan, Eien grew up in a household with a tradition of gardening, cooking, fermenting, and fishing. One of his earliest childhood fermentation projects was making natto, the Japanese fermented soybeans. Because fresh and delicious natto was hard to find in North America, Eien started making his own in 2010, refining his process for the best flavor, texture, and consistency. Eien has also presented other food-related topics such as Japanese knife sharpening, kimchi making, and bread baking in Portland, Mountain View, Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Honolulu. His website’s popular blog includes many of these and other food projects documented.

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An event co-sponsored by East-West Center