Nori: What it is and how to use it


J.M. Hirsch/AP Food Editor



If you've ever had a California roll, you've had nori. Now it's time to learn what else you can do with this ubiquitous, yet always overlooked paper-like ingredient made from seaweed.


Nori -- also called laver -- is a somewhat generic name for a variety of seaweeds cultivated for use mostly in Japanese cooking. I say mostly because the same varieties are added to oatmeal in Ireland. But Americans know nori best as the paper-thin, black-green wrapping used in sushi.


Most grocers sell packages of 10-inch sheets of nori, usually near the sushi or in the international aisle. It also is used in Japanese snack cracker mixes.



Nori sheets usually are sold pre-toasted; use them as is for sushi. But when using the nori in other ways, toasting it briefly can improve the flavor and texture. To do this, simply use tongs to hold the sheets one at a time over a lit burner (or candle if you have an electric stove). About 10 to 15 seconds will suffice.


For ideas for using nori, check out the Off the Beaten Aisle column over on Food Network:





Start to finish: 20 minutes


Makes 2 servings



2 sheets nori seaweed, toasted


6 eggs


Salt and ground black pepper


1 roasted red pepper


1 tablespoon butter


2 scallions, finely chopped


1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese



  • Crumble or cut the nori into small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the nori and eggs. Beat well, mixing in 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Set aside.


  • Use paper towels to blot away as much moisture as possible from the red pepper. Cut it into small chunks.


  • In a medium skillet over medium-high, melt the butter. Reduce the heat to medium and add the egg mixture. Cook until the bottom is firm, about 4 minutes.


  • Scatter the red pepper and scallions evenly over half of the egg. Sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables. Use a spatula to carefully lift the other half of the omelet and gently flip it over onto the fillings. Cover the pan and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes.


  • When the eggs are set at the center and the cheese has melted, cut the omelet in half and season with salt and pepper, as needed.




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