How to use nori sheets for sushi & more
Nori is a superfood which is more than worthy of the title. It’s ultra-nutritious, so it’s beneficial to incorporate it into your diet in different ways. Nori sheets are used to make sushi rolls, but other forms include flakes, shredded, strips and powdered.
How to use nori sheets for sushi
When rolling sushi, you can use nori to wrap around rice, or you can put the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside.
To use nori sheets to make sushi with the nori wrapped around the rice:
- Place the nori sheet on top of a bamboo mat (if you’re wondering what side up the nori goes, it’s the shiny side of the nori, sheet facing down).
- Evenly spread the cooked sushi rice over the nori sheet.
- Put your chosen sushi fillings on top of the rice.
- Use your bamboo mat to start rolling, using firm pressure to tighten it up and press the mat gently around the roll.
- Remove the mat and cut the large roll into small, even bite-size pieces.
To avoid eating chewy nori sheets, ensure that you purchase authentic high-quality nori (Kelly Loves nori sheets are restaurant quality, the same as used by our Sushi Daily chefs). Air and moisture can also make nori chewy so make sure your hands and the countertops are dry, use a bamboo rolling mat (the bamboo absorbs moisture), and roll and eat the sushi promptly. If you have to store an open pack of nori sheets, ensure minimal moisture by re-sealing the packet or moving them to an airtight container.
4 ways to use nori besides sushi
Nori sheets can also be used to roll Korean gimbap (aka kimbap), which is similar in appearance to sushi. However, Japanese sushi rice is seasoned with vinegar, while gimbap rice is mixed with sesame oil, so it tastes a bit sweeter.
Nori sheets also make a great wrap alternative to tortillas or lettuce. You can wrap up rice, salads, sweet potato, tofu, tuna and salmon. For a flavoursome and nourishing tuna wrap:
- Put a few spoonfuls of tuna into the bottom left corner of a nori sheet.
- Add cucumber, avocado and grated carrot.
- Add chilli flakes or wasabi if you like some spice.
- Sprinkle a little cress over the filling.
- Roll into a cone by lifting on folding in the bottom left corner, then taking the top right side to fold over the top.
And, it’s not really ‘wrapping’, but we just love the look of Asian fusion crispy tacos which are taking the internet by storm. Making up your own edible container of food, bursting with flavour — we love it! And using nori sheets is a much more nutritious alternative to flour wraps and corn tacos.
If you toast the sheets of nori it provides a crisp texture and adds more flavour (a delicious nutty taste). Simply spray both sides of the nori sheet with oil or moisten a paper towel with oil and gently wipe onto the sheet. Then either toast the sheet under the grill or over a gas stove using tongs.
For a toasted nori dip:
- Pop some torn up toasted nori in a food processor and whizz it up until finely ground.
- Add 125g Greek yoghurt, 250g mayonnaise, one tablespoon white miso, one tablespoon rice vinegar and two tablespoons of minced chives and blitz in the food processor until smooth.
- Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
This dip is perfect for dipping crisps and crudités, but is also great for adding to wraps, sandwiches or seafood.
Nori is packed with flavour, so it makes the perfect seasoning for just about any rice dish, stir-fry, soups or salads. In fact, ground nori mixed with sesame seeds and other seasonings make Japanese furikake. Furitake can be used to sprinkle over rice to add flavour and texture.
You can also add nori to salad dressing. Grind nori in a food processor and then add soy sauce, oil, vinegar and mirin and blend together.
Shredded nori is an optional topping to Korean rice balls. Rice balls go especially well as a side dish to spicy Korean dishes. Some Korean restaurants serve the rice ball ingredients at your table (sticky sushi rice, onion, sesame oil, shredded nori) so that you can make up your own rice balls while the meat is being cooked by a chef at your table. To coat the rice balls in the shredded nori topping, simply roll them on a plate of nori flakes.
You can really add crispy nori flakes as a topping to (just about) anything you like. Sprinkled in hot dogs, burgers and chips it gives a seafood twist to some American classics. Or how about a topping for a good old British jacket potato? And we hear that nori-topped popcorn is a fun alternative too..!
As there are so many health benefits of nori, it makes sense to investigate all the many ways you can incorporate it into your diet. Have fun in the kitchen experimenting. And don’t forget the snacks — Koreans love to snack! Some crispy nori snacks are just the thing when you are craving that rich umami flavour.