Love it or hate it, nori is so versatile!
Nowadays you can find nori sushi practically everywhere.
Those popular freshly made lunch and dinner sushi boxes have taken the world by storm since quite a few years now.
Are you a fan?
There is no doubt about its healthy benefits and nutritious value, everyone highly agrees on that.
But what is it exactly?
What is nori?
Nori (海苔) is a dried and roasted edible seaweed that is used a lot in Japanese cuisine.
It is called sushi nori or yaki nori and has a strong and distinctive umami seafood flavor.
It is mainly used to wrap nori sushi rolls, onigiri rice balls, temaki nori cones or onigirazu sushi sandwiches.
Do you often buy a pack of nori sheets in the supermarket or Asian store?
Then I bet you love to make nori sushi or temaki with it at home from time to time.
But I often end up with a couple of sheets of unused nori seaweed after a sushi meal. And because an opened pack of nori tends to loose its crispiness and flavor after a while if it is not stored properly, I often slice it up and add it to soups, cooked rice or gooey omelettes.
What do you do with it?
Keep it until you plan another nori sushi dinner?
How about trying something different?
Here are 5 surprisingly creative ideas with nori that are not nori sushi!
Nori is more than nori sushi
1. Nori crisps
Cut the nori into squares and place them on a sheet of parchment paper.
Lightly brush the pieces with olive oil or sesame oil and sprinkle them with a little salt or sesame seeds or both.
Bake the nori crisps in a hot oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 12 to 15 minutes.
Don’t want them to curl up and shrivel?
Place an extra sheet of parchment paper followed by a light baking sheet on top of the oiled nori.
These crisps are not only a delicious snack or surprising appetizer: you can also use them as a garnish for a tuna or salmon tartare and nori sushi!
2. Nori herb crust
Whether you want to give salmon, a lamb rack or a good steak an extra flavor kick: a crust of nori is a great idea.
Put some dry nori, sesame seeds, freshly ground pepper and a little pinch of salt in a blender and grind everything into a powder.
Coat the fish or meat with it and bake it in a non-stick pan or in the oven.
3. Nori pesto
You should really try this one out.
I regularly make a nori pesto and here at home we are totally addicted to it!
It is so easy to make.
Soak some nori in cold water for a couple of minutes until it is completely soft. Then let it drain on some kitchen paper for a minute. Put the soft nori in a blender together with some pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, a fresh garlic clove and olive oil and blend it all into a thick pesto like sauce.
Add extras of the ingredients until you get the texture and flavor that you like.
Make the nori pesto pasta with it, or use soba noodles for a change. This nori pesto is also a delicious addition for stir fried shrimp and rice.
4. Nori butter sauce
Do you often cook scallops at home?
Then this nori butter is something that you can experiment with next time scallops are on the menu.
Cut the nori finely and toast it in a warm pan.
Add a tablespoon of butter and stir the nori and melted butter well for a couple of minutes (don’t burn it).
Let it cool off and then add the melted nori butter to soft butter cubes of butter that you kept at room temperature. Stir well, shape the butter in a nice log or scoop it in a ramekin.
And let the nori butter set again.
Add slices of the nori butter to your scallops – it is also perfect for cod fish or haddock.
5. Nori omelet or scrambled eggs
Think of a Japanese omelet and you will think of a classic tamagoyaki.
Not here, I am talking about a gooey and creamy omelet!
And it couldn’t get any more easier to do.
Gooey omelet or scrambled eggs: just don’t overcook the eggs.
Cut or snip the nori into thin strips and add them to the beaten egg.
Once your eggs are creamy and cooked, take the pan off the heat and transfer the eggs to a plate. I love to serve my nori omelet over boiled rice, and to finish: a sprinkle of sesame seeds and light soy sauce!
Is nori the same as seaweed? What is nori made of?
Nori sushi seaweed is probably the most well known algae in the world.
It is a dried and edible red algae that is frequently used in Japanese cuisine.
This specific red seaweed is most commonly pressed into thin dried sheets that are dark green or even black in color. Nori is used in nori sushi rolls and onigiri, where it is tightly wrapped around sushi rice and other ingredients.
Nori sushi seaweed is also used in Chinese and Korean cuisine.
Is eating nori good for you?
Nori is a great source of iodine which helps to keep your thyroid in check.
Eating nori weekly may help reduce cholesterol levels, according to a Japanese study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Seaweed also contains a high lever of antioxidants which prevent oxidative stress and reduce inflammation at a cellular level.
Is nori also good for weight loss?
Yes absolutely, because it contains very few calories, filling fiber and fucoxanthin, which may increase your metabolic rate.
Is nori vegan? Is nori seafood?
In earlier times there was a scary myth going around that vegetarian vegans couldn’t eat seaweed because it was considered a living organism and therefore seafood – which is prohibited in veganism.
Seaweed is a plant, guys.
Lettuce from the sea.
It is vegetarian and vegan friendly, even more so seaweed is considered to be an excellent source of plant-based vegan protein.
You can consume seaweed without any hesitation.
How is sushi nori made?
Nori as we all know it is made by shredding edible seaweed algae and pressing it into thin sheets.
Thinking of making nori sushi yourself? You can find packages of nori at any Asian grocery store and more frequently nowadays in local grocery stores.
How about you?
Do you often eat or make nori sushi home?
Perhaps you have another creative recipe to turn leftover nori into a splendid idea?
Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to try it out!