Do you have a craving for Japanese food? Wondering what it tastes like. You must have come across some unique food made from the rarest of materials in nature. If you step into a Japanese restaurant, you find rice served. Nori is one ingredient of Sushi, rice balls wrapped with Nori papers. A red seaweed, Nori undergoes processing into paper-like pieces to wrap around rice balls or to garnish noodles and soups.
Although Nori is not a regular food item, it imparts taste like seaweed. It belongs to the umami group of foods that means delicious in Japanese. The taste of Nori is briny and smoky with intense saltiness.
What is Nori?
Nori is strong-tasting seaweed. The name comes from the Japanese language, which means seaweed. Different seaweed has subtle differences in flavor. It is edible plant seafood eaten fresh or dry. Nori is one of the popular edible seaweed that adorns Japanese cuisine. Nori is red algae, a lower group of water plants having a distinctive strong flavor. The algae are undergoes processing and drying into paper-like sheets. The stored sheets come in use to wrap sushi or rice balls, great for having rice with various kinds of sauces. It is also a product of garnishing noodles and soups.
Nori undergoes processing before being available in the stores in paper-like sheets. It is a culinary item, used especially for preparing sushi a rice item. Nori is subject to absorbing moisture, so requires a desiccant for storage. The color of the nori wrapper is the dark green or black wrapper
How is Nori Made?
The seaweed farmers cultivate nori seaweed in the sea with a net beneath to facilitate collection. They collect the seedlings multiple times during the cool season. The red seaweed is shred and mixed with water into a paste-like mixture. They then spread the pulpy mixture in molds, fan dried, or passed through a drying machine. They pile the dried sheets up in sheets of 10. Ten bundles make up a 100-sheet package for marketing. The sheets are 6 to 8 inches and look the same as paper sheets.
How is Nori Eaten?
There are many ways of eating Nori. The popular uses are in rice ball (onigiri), rice roll (makizushi), and cone roll held by hand (temaki) commonly called ‘sushi’. It is best to have fresh sushi as the nori wrapper absorbs moisture from the rice and makes it soggy.
Besides, the paper-like sheets serve as garnishes for other food or are served with a sauce to have on the own. Ground nori and sesame seed are mixed with bonito flakes to produce furikake to add to bowls of ramen. However, there are more specialties from Nori, see below.
Nori Taco/ Sushi Taco
Nori is a mashup food rolled into flat square pieces and toasted similar to Mexican taco. Add steamed rice on top of the 4-inch square pieces of nori taco and toppings of vegetables like scallions, carrots, bell pepper, salmon or tuna, and chili pepper to taste. Further, add pieces of avocado, sesame oil, Japanese red wine (Mirin), rice vinegar, and Japanese soya sauce (tamari). Toss all the ingredients and serve them as healthy food.
With the help of a food processor, grind two pieces of large nori, until it becomes fine. Add:
ü 1 cupful of mayonnaise
ü Half a cupful of fat Greek yogurt
ü 2 tablespoons of chives
ü 1 tablespoon of white miso
ü Salt and pepper to taste
Refrigerate and serve this dip with chips, vegetable cut-ups, fish sandwiches, and more.
The Nutrition of Nori
Nori is a superfood because it is full of vitamins and nutrients. The chemical composition of nori is close to the blood plasma of humans, making this dried seafood a remarkable blood purifier and regulator. The nutrition of nori is exciting.
Besides vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, the nutrient-rich algae contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium. The vitamin C content increases the bioavailability of iron. Did you know nori has 10x more calcium than milk? In addition, it has amino acids like folic acid, niacin, and taurine.
Nori also contains substantial amounts of polyphenols such as flavonoids and carotenoids, and phytonutrient, which have antioxidant and alkaloid properties. The green chlorophyll of nori is a natural detoxifier aiding in eliminating waste products. Nori is rich in protein and fiber. About 30 to 5% of the dry weight of nori comprises protein and 50 to 70% of fiber. Much more, the unbelievable level of iodine in nori helps in thyroid functioning.
Ways to Add Nori to Your Diet
With all that information about nori, you would surely want to find simple ways of including nori in your diet. These are some ideas.
ü Crush toasted nori and sprinkle over salads and soups.
ü Make rolls with tofu, avocado, and vegetables. Taste great with sushi sauce.
ü Add nori crumbles with cheese snacks with produce low carbohydrate and high protein diet.
ü Blend nori wrappers with any food with little application of salt.
ü Sprinkle over your favorite dip to give and added nutrient value.
A seaweed with all the goods should not missing from the diet. Although, the nori culture originated in Japan sushi and ingredient of nori has reached popularity worldwide. In Asia, this edible green algae symbolizes a healthy and long life. In Korean culture, they serve nori with soup to lactating mothers as an ideal culture. Many elderly people believe nori has to revitalize power.
The taste of nori may need change as it is fishy and smoky, but the food values outweigh this adaptability. Looking at the qualities of nori, the Japanese saying ‘two sheets of nori keeps the doctor away’ holds.