Sheets of dried nori
Nori seaweed being cultivated
Credit: 上島町 観光写真提供サービス
A fusion dish, Italian spaghetti with a Japanese twist!
Some ready-to-use nori sheets
Credit: 挪威 企鵝
The perfect bento for Halloween!
Seaweed with many benefits
Nori, whose culture developed during the Edo era (1603-1868), is one of the ingredients that contributes to the legendary longevity of the Japanese people.
Nori is regularly used in Japanese cuisine, and simply means "seaweed" in Japanese.
A popular seaweedIf today it is almost impossible to find a Japanese dish without nori, this hasn't always been the case: before the Edo era (1603-1868) and the development of cultivation nets in the Bay of Tokyo, only nori found on the rocks at low tide could be gathered. Nori was a rare commodity back then, reserved only for the nobility.
The Japanese are masters in the art of cooking edible seaweed. However, nori is the most commonly used seaweed: it's impossible to miss! It's used everywhere, in all kinds of dishes, in all its forms. While it's red at the time of harvest, it becomes black or green after being dried. It is most famously used for making maki zushi rolls, as well as for wrapping onigiri.
However, it is also a condiment in its own right: cut into strips, it often accompanies ramen, okonomiyaki and even Western dishes like pasta, giving them a Japanese twist! It's a very popular element of Japanese cuisine: not just used by chefs but available in supermarkets everywhere, and its relatively low cost makes it a key element of family cooking.
Read: Japanese seaweed
While a nori sheet has only seven calories, it contains vitamin A, anti-oxidants, B2 vitamins for growth, B9 vitamins for the immune system, and vitamin C to limit infections.
Read also: Japanese breakfast
Add to this its high content of copper, iron and manganese which promote the formation of collagen, better transport of oxygen around the body, and reinforcement of the bones respectively, and it's better than a sip of water from the fountain of youth!
Pimp my bento!
Not only is nori is very good for the health, it's also a very practical item to decorate your bento; an art form in Japan! The nori is cut and placed delicately on the food, and can take various forms: animals, landscape, characters from films or even emojis. The only limit is your imagination!