Nori - All about the famous seaweed used in sushi

The seaweed Nori [海苔] is widely used in Japanese foods. Its daily use is of such importance in Japanese culture and in adding flavor to the dishes in which it is used. Despite this, it is little known worldwide.

She composes popular dishes such as rolled in hossomakis and uramakis, sushi, onigiri (rice balls), as toppings on eggplants, in addition to the temakis much appreciated in Brazil.

Nori are simply thin, dry leaves, made from the dehydration process of edible algae of the species Porphyra (Red Algae).

If you want to learn how to make your own sushi and maybe even become a Sushiman, we recommend Click Here and get to know the Sushibilidade Program.

If you want to know some curiosities about Sushi, we also have the video below:

Origin of Nori Seaweed

The term nori, in the past, was used generically and referred to algae in general, including hijiki. The seaweed has a history dating back to the 8th century. The Taihō Code already had taxation on seaweed promulgated in 701.

Local people were assigned to drying seaweed in Hitachi Fudoki province (721-721). While the harvest was mentioned in the province of Izumo Fudoko (713-733).

This all shows that nori is a food that has existed for many centuries. In Utsubo Monogatari, written around 987, seaweed was recognized as a common and everyday food.

The nori it was consumed in paste form for a long time, but it acquired the sheet format around 1750 in Asakusa thanks to the papermaking method.

The word 'nori'first appeared in an English publication in the “CP Thunberg's Trav”, published in 1796. It was referred to as "Awa nori", probably referring to what is now called 'aonori'.

Nori - all about the famous seaweed used in sushi

Nori's decline

Nori went into great decline after World War II, as did many foods. The cause of this was the lack of knowledge of the remaining peoples.

The seaweed goes through a three-stage cycle for cultivation, and this traditional method was not known to many. But the scenario changed with the knowledge of the work of a British psychologist, 'Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker', who was researching porphyria umbilicalis.

She grew up in Wales, which also harvested seaweed as in Japan. The Japanese, knowing of their research, applied new artificial processes for sowing, and cultivating plants, reviving the algae production industry.

Nori - all about the famous seaweed used in sushi

Kathleen Baker was hailed as the “Mother of the Sea” in Japan, having a statue erected in her memory. She is still revered as the savior of the Japanese nori industry.

There is no definite origin, but as we have seen, seaweed has been used for many years by the Japanese, who today use it in many ways and daily in their daily lives.

How is Nori's production?

Nori production uses an advanced agricultural technique. In order to be done in small and large “farms”By the sea, all using networks suspended on the water's surface, these places are just where the Porphyra algae grows.

It is surprising how quickly they grow, about 45 days until the first harvest. A single plantation can yield many crops, in small intervals of just 10 days.

Nori - all about the famous seaweed used in sushi

In addition to the advanced cultivation technique, the harvest also uses mechanical harvesters suitable for the process. After the harvesting process, the collected algae undergo another process for the generation of thin and dry leaves, approximately 18 × 20 cm, weighing only 3 grams.

Most algae are produced in Japan, and also in China, which produces about one third of them. In Japan, the main production takes place in a region called Ariake Bay, on the island of Kyushu.

In addition, algae production also drives the maritime and labor industry in Japan. The algae produced have been responsible for more than 98% of Japan's marine production since 1984. Also, growing Porphyra has employed more than 16,800 workers.

Nori health benefits

Seaweed has many benefits, thanks to its properties rich in proteins, calcium, iron, Vitamin A, B and C, in addition to containing almost twice as much protein as some meats.

It presents an excellent source of iodine for the functioning of the thyroid gland. They are rich in carotenes and can have a protective effect against the mutation of certain cancer cells.

Nori - all about the famous seaweed used in sushi

Nori seaweed is also great for those who are in the process of losing weight, due to low levels of fat and calories, in addition to the high fiber content, good for digestion. All the benefits of algae are only activated by frequent feeding.

It is recommended to eat it because it also helps in the treatment of diseases such as anemia and cardiovascular diseases, as it is effective in reducing cholesterol, in addition to preventing arteriosclerosis and hypertension, as they strengthen the artery walls.

Another positive point is to contribute to the health of the endocrine and nervous systems, resulting in strong and healthy hair, smooth skin and stress tolerance.

Nori - all about the famous seaweed used in sushi

There are a number of factors that define the quality of the seaweed. One of them is the fact that they have an ideal growth in oceans. Because they live in abundance of the nutrients that the sea offers. 

The underwater currents also release nutrients for them and acting in the expulsion of plant residues. As a result, seaweed concentrates more minerals that are rarely found in terrestrial plants.

Cautions when obtaining Nori

In Japan, there are large amounts of algae that are grown with improper methods and processing, which can compromise the quality of the algae, in addition to causing nutrient losses from the natural action of the sea.

In order to have a good source of algae, it is necessary that it be cultivated in its natural habitat, being harvested in deep oceans, which are free of pollution.

In addition, of course, good methods for its completion to be offered for sale. Therefore, always make sure that the seaweed you buy or consume in a restaurant is of good origin.

If you want to buy nori in Brazil, we recommend that you access the konbini store by clicking here. You can find different types of nori at the best price.

Share This Article: