Nori - Japanese Seaweed
Nori is the most popular of all sea vegetables, not only in Japan, but throughout the world. Fine-Cut (Kizami) Nori, made from the highest quality toasted sushi nori, makes the perfect garnish for all dishes, in both Japanese and western style meals. No preparation is needed, just sprinkle it freely on whole grains, noodles, soups, salads, or on just about anything! It's a completely natural, tasty, instant food. Used in Japan as an addition to Sui-Mono (Japanese Clear Soups), Sarashi-Zushi (Tossed Sushi Bowl), Sunomono (Vinegared Seaweed salad), Hiyamugi & Zaru-Soba, (Noodles dishes served with a chilled dipping sauce), or add to furikake (Japanese Sesame Sprinkles & Condiments). Nori or flat seaweed sheets are the main ingredient in maki sushi or rolled-sushi. Nori is the most mild of all Japanese seaweed and is a good starter for people new to sea vegetables. Nori, also known as laver, is available in wafer-thin sheets, flakes (kizami nori) and strips. Due to the fact that sushi is rolled in nori, it has become the world's most popular seaweed. In addition to sushi and rice balls (onigiri), nori is used as a garnish for salads, soups, noodles (especially cold udon or soba), rice or casseroles. Nori condiment for rice (noritsukudani) is made by cooking nori into a thick paste with shoyu. Particularly beneficial for the kidneys, female organs and in reducing cholesterol, nori is rich in nutrients, including calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamins A and C. Mitoku nori is produced in the Sendai region in northern Japan where the waters are clean and unpolluted. Recently cheap Chinese nori has been introduced into the market. This nori is primarily grown in heavily industrialized areas of China in some of the most polluted waters in the world. Cheap nori is the last item to economize on; it may contain dangerously high levels of mercury and other heavy metals and other pollutants.
Uses: For a mineral hit add to miso soups, other soup stocks, noodle broth or salads, use in mixing condiments or sauces, rolling sushi or sprinkle on for extra flavor and nutrition.
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Cooking with Nori
Except for sushi nori, which comes pretoasted, just before using, nori should be lightly toasted by briefly passing the unfolded sheet over a gas flame or electric burner. The nori is ready when the color changes to a more brilliant green and it becomes crisp and fragrant. (Be careful when toasting - nori is delicate and burns easily.)
Nori is most commonly used to wrap around rice balls, which are probably the most common and popular addition to Japanese lunch boxes and picnic baskets. Nori is also used to wrap other foods, such as Nori-Maki. Cut into 2-inch strips, nori is delicious when wrapped around mouthfuls of warm rice dabbed with umeboshi paste. Crumbled or cut into strips, nori can be used to garnish soups, vegetables, and grain or noodle dishes.
Recently nori is being used as a party food in a variation of nori-maki called te-maki. Te-maki literally means "wrapping by hand." A quarter sheet of toasted nori is topped with a little sushi rice or noodles along with an assortment of foods such as raw tuna, avocado, or raw vegetables. Condiments such as umeboshi or wasabi may be added, then the nori "package" is rolled into a funnel or cone shape. Te-maki adds an exotic flair to parties, especially when served with hot sake.
Another variety of nori, called ao nori, or green nori, is sold in flake form. Ao nori is used as a garnish or as a seasoning in fried rice. This type of nori is the richest in iron and protein.
Stuffed Nori Cones
Makes 8 cones
Also called te-maki, these cones make an attractive snack, party food, or meal starter.
2 sheets Mitoku Toasted Sushi Nori
1 cup cooked Lundberg Sushi Rice
1/2 cup chopped watercress
1/2 cup grated carrots
4 tablespoons Mitoku Golden Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Brown Mustard
1 tablespoon Mitoku Ryujin Ume Vinegar
Watercress sprigs for garnish
With scissors, cut each nori sheet in half lengthwise, then cut both pieces in half crosswise to make four quarters. Set aside. Place all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Taking one piece of nori at a time, carefully fold into a cone shape. A drop of water will cause overlapping sides to stick. Just before serving, fill each cone with the mix, decorating the top of each with a sprig of watercress. Arrange filled cones neatly on a tray and serve.
Nori Maki (Sushi Nori Rolls)
Makes 2 rolls (12-16 bite-sized pieces)
There is a knack to making good sushi that can be learned easily with a little practice. The key is the quality of the cooked rice, which should be slightly sticky and freshly cooked; it should be fairly cool but still contain some warmth. Take time to spread the rice evenly over the nori and to position the filling ingredients carefully. Roll up the nori slowly so the filling does not spill out.
Sesame or other light vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 cup Mitoku Seitan (wheat meat) pieces
2 sheets Mitoku Toasted Sushi Nori
3 cups cooked Lundberg Short Brown rice, slightly cooled
2 tablespoons Brown Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Mitoku Sakurazawa Shoyu
In a small, deep pot, heat 2 inches oil to 350°F. Squeeze excess liquid from seitan and deep-fry until slightly brown and crisp (about 2 minutes). Remove and drain on absorbent paper. When cool enough to handle, cut seitan into thin strips. Place one nori sheet on a bamboo sushi mat with the stripping of the mat running from left to right. Spread half the cooked brown rice evenly over the nori, leaving a clear 1/2-inch space at the bottom of the mat and 1 inch at the top. With a chopstick, make an indentation in the center of rice running from left to right. Mix mustard and shoyu together, and spread half of mixture evenly over rice. Place half of seitan strips in indentation across rice. Starting at the bottom, roll up the sushi mat around the ingredients, pressing the mat firmly onto the nori. While rolling, slowly pull the leading edge of the mat back so it does not roll into the sushi. Continue rolling until the uncovered end of the nori is reached. Dampen this edge slightly with water and complete rolling to seal the sushi. A final gentle squeeze of the mat around the sushi will ensure a tight roll. Prepare the second roll. With a sharp knife, slice each roll in half, and then cut each half into 3 or 4 rounds. (To prevent sushi from drying out, cut just before serving.) Arrange, cut side up, on platter or individual plates, and serve.
|Fried Salmon with Nori|
2 Tbls Japanese sake
2 Tsp Mitoku Johsen Shoyu
1 sheet Mitoku Toasted Sushi Nori
Powdered green tea
Pinch Masu 100% Sea Water Salt
Mitoku Virgin Sesame Oil for frying
Remove any bones or skin from the salmon. To prevent the fish meat from breaking while frying, cut along the back bone into cylindrical pieces. Sprinkle them with the sake and soy sauce. Cut the nori into 3.5cm X 6cm sheets.
Combine the powdered green tea and salt.
Dry the surface of the salmon and coat with flour. Wrap the nori around each piece of salmon. Fasten the ends of the nori by moistening with water.
Fry the salmon in deep oil heated to 170C. Serve with the powdered green tea mixed with salt.