Natural Health & Wellness

Nori Sushi? All Your Questions Answered About This Essential Ingredient for Sushi and 4 Tips To Make Sushi At Home

Nori Sushi? All Your Questions Answered About This Essential Ingredient for Sushi and 4 Tips To Make Sushi At Home

Do you love sushi?  What is a key ingredient that you think of when you picture a piece of sushi?  Protein from the sea?  Cucumber?  How about the functional green wrapping inside the rice roll?  What is that called?!

That’s nori!  

Paper made from nori seaweed is that one ingredient that needs to be part of your sushi roll for authenticity, flavor and texture. 

What is Nori Sushi?
What is Nori Sushi?

What is Nori?

Nori is the ingredient used to make the paper thin sheets required in the assembly of sushi.  It is an edible seaweed that is shredded, seasoned and laid out in thin sheets to dry.  

Nori is the seaweed used for the product made for wrapping sushi.  Nori is also consumed in sheets as various types of different snacks are made from it.  It is derived from red algae.  When this red algae is dried, it turns dark green.   

We can thank the Japanese for this wonderful, versatile seaweed product.  It is most commonly sold in sheets that are 8”x7”.  Nori is also used in other recipes, and can be prepared in flakes, shredded, in strips or powdered for all culinary needs.

What is Nori Paper?

Nori’s texture and consistency is ideal for pressing into a fine sheet after it has been shredded, flattened and dried. The sheet that nori is processed into is often called nori paper. It is required to make many different types of sushi rolls, and gives many sushi rolls its authenticity.

What Does Nori Taste Like?

Nori has a distinct umami flavor.  Umami flavor was introduced as the fifth taste that has a deep flavor, one that is savory and provides the feeling of fullness.

Is Nori supposed to taste fishy?

Some nori taste more like fish than others.  This is because the seaweed grows in the ocean.  The varying depth of flavor of nori is a personal preference, and can vary in different nori products depending on where the fresh red seaweed was harvested.

Some people say that a better quality nori will have less of a fishy taste, and more of a umami flavor, coupled with a bit of sweetness. 

Health Benefits of Nori

Nori has some unique health benefits derived from nutrients that are both commonly found in plants and animals.

  1. Rich in iodine, which is required for thyroid health.
  2. Good source of bio-available iron, which is much easier for the body to process and absorb than iron found in land vegetables like spinach.
  3. Rich in vitamin B12, which is a vitamin that vegans and vegetarians are often needing to supplement.
  4.  Abundant in many other essential trace minerals 
  5. Nori can help bind to toxins and heavy metals in the body and help remove them.
  6. Immune system improving
  7. Anti-inflammatory
  8. Vitamins nori contains:  A, B, C, D, E, K

This brand of nori sheets, Daechun’s Gold Grade, comes highly recommended and tastes great.  There is a large quantity in the bag, 50 sheets, which provides good value.

Daechun(Choi's1), Roasted Seaweed, Gim, Sushi Nori (50 Full Sheets)
Daechun(Choi’s1), Roasted Seaweed, Gim, Sushi Nori (50 Full Sheets)

Is nori good for you?

You better believe it!  Yes. Nori is a superfood.  And many of the vitamins and minerals found in nori are more bio-available. This means the body can process and absorb more of the good stuff

How many calories are in nori?

You can eat a ton of nori and not have to worry about it.  10 sheets of nori is about 25 grams and only 10 calories.

Is nori healthier than spinach?

Interestingly enough, this question was posed to The University of Hawaii.  They decided to find out.  A lab study they conducted showed that spinach was a tough contender regarding being a super iron rich powerhouse.  They found that out of all the seaweeds they tested, only nori and a certain sea lettuce was able to provide more bioavailable iron when the same amount of each was consumed.

Can I eat dried seaweed or nori everyday?

The saying “too much of a good thing” may apply here due to the rich iodine content.  Though consuming too much iodine is not the norm for most, there is a small possibility that eating large quantities of any seaweed can cause an imbalance concerning iodine.

Is nori good for skin?

Yes!  The nori seaweed has the ability to tighten skin at the cellular level.  Nori is also high in vitamins and nutrients which can enhance the skin’s natural glow and aid in anti-aging.  It also has the ability to plump up the skin due to the amino acids which also give the skin more elasticity.  These amino acids can smooth out fine lines while it firms.

Does nori contain iodine?

If there was one food that you wanted to consume to ensure you were getting enough iodine, its nori, and other types of seaweed. 

For example, a 10 gram serving of the paper thin sheets of nori, the kind used in sushi, contains around 230 mcg of iodine.  To put that in perspective, that is 1.5X the daily recommended amount.

Does Nori have collagen?

Nori and seaweeds have nutrients that do the same or similar things that collagen does, as the well known elements in both collagen and nori are shared.  Nori is great for tightening and plumping the skin, and is used in all sorts of anti-aging creams and beauty products. 

Is Nori good for hair?

Nori is great for hydration, hair health and mineralization which can lead to thicker hair because of zinc and vitamins A and C in nori.  It also has the ability to tame frizzy hair, as the nutrients in nori have wonderful repairing properties.  Brittle, frizzy hair can be changed into more manageable locks with the regular consumption of nori.

Now that we have seen how good nori is for the body, let’s make some sushi using these tips:

Professional Tips for Nori Sushi Making Frequently Asked Questions for Making Sushi At Home

Sushi Making Tips

1. Pay Attention to the Quality of your sushi mat

Pay Attention to the Quality of y
Pay Attention to the Quality of y

Be sure to use a high quality bamboo roll to prepare and roll your sushi on. This sushi kit comes highly recommended on Amazon with over 12,000 ratings with 4.5 stars.  It is inexpensive and shown to work well, and it includes all sorts of accessories for the price of a mat alone with other options.

Sushi Making Kit, Delamu Bamboo Sushi Mat
Sushi Making Kit, Delamu Bamboo Sushi Mat

2. Use rice intended for sushi, not just any rice, for best results

This gourmet sushi rice is organic and comes with perfect 5 star ratings on Amazon with almost 1000 reviews.

Organic California Sushi Rice, Japanese Style Short Grain Rice
Organic California Sushi Rice, Japanese Style Short Grain Rice

3. Which side of nori goes on the outside?

The outside of your sushi roll gets the shiny side of the nori paper.

Though different rolls may put nori in other positions for artistic purposes.  If you are looking to use the utilitarian purpose of the nori paper to the fullest extent, it makes sense to have it hold everything in from the outside.

4. How do you get the nori paper stick to itself?

Using a little bit of water and applying it with your finger can act as the glue to help the nori paper stick to itself.

5. Nori can become chewy.  How to prevent nori from becoming chewy:

  1.  Use a high quality, often bamboo rolling mat
  2. Try toasting the nori ever so slightly
  3. Use dry rice, not wet or too sticky
  4. Experiment with different nori brands
  5. Prepare the sushi quickly
  6. Store the nori properly, according to package directions.

We hope that these tips will help you make your best sushi yet! If you made sushi recently yourself, we would love to see your efforts.  Send us a pic with a caption of what is in it.

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