If you are new to the world of sushi, you must be wondering what nori is and what it tastes like. Nori is a type of seaweed that is often used in sushi with a distinct flavor.
Every cuisine has its own unique tastes. Similarly, the Japanese and other Asian countries’ cuisines have a taste of their own, which they usually refer to as “Umami”.
What Does Nori Taste Like? It has a unique, briny, and ocean-like taste that some people love and others find to be fishy. Again, the taste is also referred to as Umami in Asian culture. Moreover, roasted nori has a toasty and nutty flavor.
To know more about the taste of Nori, what it gets the taste from, and how the taste may be influenced, keep reading this blog post.
Taste of Nori
The taste of nori can be described as ocean-like and briny. This is because nori is made from seaweed named Laver, which lives in salty water and absorbs the flavors of that water.
Laver has a high level of minerals, including iodine and iron. Iodine is what gives Laver its robust flavor, like the flavor of oysters or olives.
Nori has a unique taste that some people love and others find to be fishy. Again, the taste is also referred to as Umami in Asian culture.
Umami is a Japanese word that refers to the fifth taste. Umami is often described as having a “savory” or “meaty” taste.
However, when nori is roasted, it has a toasty and nutty flavor. This is because the nori dries out and the oils in it are released. These oils are responsible for the nutty flavor.
So, basically, the taste of nori is a taste balanced with a sweet and savory taste. It is difficult to find foods having a taste similar to nori.
However, most pre-packaged nori is toasted and infused with flavors such as soy sauce and seasonings, giving it a spicier and more iodized flavor.
LEARN MORE: What Is Nori Maki Sushi?
Types of Nori and Their Tastes
Kizami or Shredded Nori: The flavor of kizami nori is similar to that of sushi nori. It has a strong umami flavor and a taste of the sea. The subtle hint of sea flavor complements almost every type of Asian cuisine.
Nori Sheets: Sushi nori does not have an unusual flavor, nor does it contain any off-flavors. Instead, it has a subtle hint of the ocean with a distinct salty-sweet flavor that distinguishes it from other seaweeds.
Dried Seaweed Flakes: Aosa nori has a milder flavor and is available in flakes or powder form. Its slightly bitter flavor and translucent color distinguish it from other types of nori.
LEARN MORE: What Is Nori Sauce?
Taste of Nori Furikake
Furikake is a Japanese condiment that is made of nori, sesame seeds, and kelp powder. It has a strong umami flavor and a slightly sweet taste.
The taste of nori furikake is similar to that of nori sheets. However, the added flavors of sesame seeds and kelp give it a more intense flavor.
Furikake is often used as a topping on rice, noodles, and salads. It can also be used as an ingredient in soups and stews.
Taste of Nori Snacks
Nori snacks can be of many types. There are various brands and types of nori snacks in the market, each of them having different tastes. This is because of the added flavors to them. Some popular flavors of nori snacks are;
Toasted Sesame Nori Snack: The nori is toasted and then rolled in sesame seeds, giving it a nutty flavor.
Soy Sauce Nori Snack: The nori is flavored with soy sauce, giving it a savory taste.
Sweet Nori Snack: The nori is coated with sugar or honey, giving it a sweet taste.
Hot Chili Nori Snack: The nori is flavored with hot chili, giving it a spicy taste.
Wasabi Nori Snack: The nori is flavored with wasabi, giving it a pungent and spicy taste.
Sweet Nori Chips: These are nori snacks that are made by baking nori sheets with sugar. They have a crispy texture and a sweet flavor.
Nori Jerky: This is a nori snack that is made by drying and then smoking the nori. It has a smoky flavor and a chewy texture.
LEARN MORE: What Is Nori in Ramen?
Does Nori Taste Fishy?
Nori does not taste anything near fishy. But people misunderstand the oceany, salty and briny taste as fishy. Individuals who are not much into seafood might find the taste of nori to be strange and fishy.
Not being able to tolerate the taste of this beautiful seaweed actually feels kind of unlucky. Because it has a unique taste. A taste that once you get used to it, you’ll start loving it.
Is Nori Salty?
Nori is a bit salty because of the ocean water it absorbs. But nori processors remove most of the salt content from it before packaging it.
You can also reduce the oceany, salty taste of nori by soaking it in fresh water for a few minutes. This will help to remove the excess salt from it.
The saltiness of nori also depends on the brand you are using. So, it is best to taste a few brands before settling for one.
LEARN MORE: What Is Shredded Nori?
From What Does Nori Get Its Taste?
Nori gets its taste from the ocean water it grows in and the minerals it absorbs. The algae that nori is made from live in salty water and absorb the flavors of that water.
As nori is made from red algae, it doesn’t have such a high mineral concentration and has a milder taste. The minerals in nori are responsible for the briny and ocean-like taste.
Inosinic acid, glutamic acid, and guanylic acid in nori are responsible for the umami taste of nori.
Factors That Impact the Taste of Nori
The taste and texture of nori can be impacted by a few factors such as-
- The taste of nori can be affected by how it is processed and handled.
- What it is mixed with and if any seasoning has been used will affect the taste of nori.
- The temperature of water and harvesting time also affects the taste of nori.
- Different water types will have different effects on the taste of nori.
The taste of nori cultivated in the Ariake sea is one of the best because of the condition of the water and environment.
The tides current in this area is fast. This makes the seaweeds absorb all nutrients and minerals very well, giving it the perfect taste.
LEARN MORE: What Is Yaki Nori?
How to Reduce the Oceany Taste of Nori
If you find the taste of nori to be too fishy or ocean-like, there are a few things you can do to reduce the taste.
- One way is to rinse the nori before using it in your dish.
- Another way is to soak the nori in water for a few minutes before using it.
- You can also toast the nori before using it in your dish. This will give it a toasty flavor.
- If you don’t like the taste of nori of a particular brand, try switching to another brand
- You can sprinkle some salt and sugar on the nori sheets.
- Lastly, you can also mix nori with other ingredients to balance out the taste.
Why Some People Don’t Like the Taste of Nori?
Some people don’t like the taste of nori because they find it to be too fishy. Others find the texture to be slimy and rubbery. And some people simply don’t like the taste of seaweed.
If you find the taste of nori to be too strong, you can try mixing it with other ingredients. You can also try different brands of nori to see which one you like the best.
If the taste does not suit your palate there are always alternatives for you to try. To get the health benefits of nori you can also go for the different nori snacks in the market.
The snacks are all flavored, so it won’t be a problem for any person who is not ok with the taste of nori.
Conclusion: What Does Nori Taste Like?
Nori is popular worldwide because of its distinctive taste and flavor. It should never taste fishy but a combination of sweet, salty, briny, and savory, in short, Umami. If it does then you might want to check the quality of nori.
So, get going and grab flavor-filled nori and satisfy your palate!