If you’re looking for the best nori for sushi, the three most important factors to consider are the color, texture, and taste of the nori. With those in mind, I did the hard work for you and found the best nori as rated by seaweed fans and sushi lovers.
In this article, I will talk about each product and its flavor profile. I’ll also address the health benefits of nori, how to use it, the different types of seaweeds, and more.
Sushi is more than just a dish to satisfy one’s cravings. It is more than simply spreading the ingredients together, rolling, then calling it a day; it is all about freshness, wellness, and creativity.
If you enjoy this Japanese rice dish, you know that good sushi does not restrict its deliciousness to what’s wrapped in the vinegared rice. Aside from the garnishes, sauce, and wasabi, high-quality sushi calls for the best nori.
It is true that mastering the art of making beautiful but savory sushi rolls requires expertise. But with a little practice, you should be able to make them at home. After all, who wants to get an often-expensive rice dish from a fancy Japanese restaurant?
Choosing the right seaweed is a good starting point. You’ll come across a range of types and grades at your local Asian stores, but nori sheets are your best choice for making tasty, firm sushi rolls. They are the best for sushi because they are easy to use as they come in sheets.
The best nori for sushi blends with the Japanese rice dish to produce a rich and flavorful creation. And since there are so many different varieties of nori available, finding the best product can get a bit overwhelming.
After hours of research and reviewing consumer reviews, I was able to narrow down my selection of the best nori sheets for sushi. But before we get into the reviews, let’s talk about nori and its different health benefits.
What Is Nori?
Also known as zicai in Chinese or gim in South Korean, Nori is probably the most well-known seaweed. It is an edible seaweed pressed into thin sheets and is commonly used in making sushi. This seaweed is made from the red algae Porphyria. And yet it takes on green and black hues.
It is as important as rice in sushi making since it wraps the ingredients together, turning them into rolls. Nori is the first ingredient that comes in contact with your taste buds when you’re eating sushi, offering that wonderful salty taste that goes well with the raw fish and rice.
This seaweed we all love is not only great for making sushi, but it also improves the flavor of different soups and seafood recipes. In Japanese cuisine, nori goes well with many other delicacies. This includes takoyaki, onigri, okonomiyaki, and more.
Health Benefits of Nori
Besides being so versatile and delicious, nori packs an abundance of healthy nutrients.
Nori is made from algae, which is a true super food. Algae has up to 50 percent protein by dry weight and contains all nine amino acids, putting it along with tofu and eggs as a vegan source of protein.
And why is it packed with protein?
It is all because of photosynthesis—the mechanism through which algae turn direct sunlight into energy. Its capacity to make its own food, along with algae’s inherently rapid growth cycle, results in higher protein production than other plants.
Nori is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, and E. As well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine. On top of that, it provides your body with omega-3 fatty acids that your heart will love.
I could go on and on about the health benefits of consuming nori. But, there are two significant benefits that stand out above the others.
Sushi nori seaweed is an antioxidant
Carotenoids are one advantage. Algae, plants, and other photosynthetic bacteria contain carotenoids as pigments. In the marine environment, carotenoids are found in abundance in seaweeds like nori.
Carotenoids are antioxidants that help combat the effects of oxygen on muscle groups. The beta-carotene aids in the formation of vitamin A. Nori is high in beta-carotene and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). So, besides heart disease, consuming food containing high beta-carotene can lower the risk of cancer.
Sushi nori contains very few calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, nori is a great seaweed snack to munch on. It contains lots of fiber with a very small amount of calories that help promote weight loss.
Nori also contains fucoxanthin. It is a natural substance derived from seaweed. This substance has the power to boost your body’s metabolism while also promoting fat loss.
Fucoxanthin’s capability to decrease fat is due to more than just its power to reduce belly fat. But, it can also help your body control your hunger level.
Aside from losing weight, consuming nori is also great for maintaining healthy skin, treating metabolic symptoms, and fighting arthritis.
What happens if you over consume nori?
Consuming an excessive amount of dried seaweed over time may result in a surplus of iodine. And this will overstimulate your thyroid gland, leading to swelling or goiter.
While it is a highly nutritious edible, a 2021 study found that eating a variety of whole food seaweed or food items with high levels of iodine might result in an excess of iodine that is not good for human consumption. This could harm your thyroid health.
How much nori can you eat per day?
You know what they say, too much of a good thing (even great food like nori) doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for you. While seaweeds have strong therapeutic properties, you may also encounter issues with high levels of iodine and other heavy metals.
Also, while the high vitamin K content of seaweed is beneficial, it may react with your blood-thinning medicines if you’re taking any. It’s worth noting that too much potassium in your body causes nausea. Some people with kidney problems can’t simply eliminate the high potassium levels.
Sure, a sheet of nori can’t hurt. But think about the impact of bioaccumulation through time. Metals that are harmless in small doses can turn into toxins as they accumulate.
Adults who are not pregnant or nursing should consume 150 micrograms of iodine each day. Keep in mind that 5 grams of nori provide more than 57 percent of your daily needs.
Does Sushi Nori Seaweed Cause Cancer?
While there are some actual side effects of consuming sushi nori, developing cancer is on a whole other level. The cancer-causing ingredient isn’t in the sushi itself. It is in the type of nori called Hijiki, an uncommon kind of edible seaweed harvested mainly from seas off Japan and Korea.
Hijiki is rich in minerals. But according to the Center for Food Safety, this seaweed has high levels of arsenic. It is a toxic element that has been linked to cancer. Arsenic levels in other types of seaweed like kombu are substantially lower than those reported in hijiki.
Additionally, neither of the types of edible seaweeds contain significant levels of inorganic arsenic. In conclusion, seaweed other than the hijiki is safe to eat in terms of arsenic concentration.
The Best Nori for Sushi
There is a wide selection of nori brands in many Asian stores. So, I dove into the sea of sushi nori and picked the best products based on color, texture, and taste.
Not that some sushi nori products contain ingredients or allergens that aren’t necessarily beneficial to your diet. I suggest that you read the label first before buying.
|DAGAGAM Roasted Seaweed||– 50 sheets|
– Double roasted
– Certified organic and gluten-free
– Restaurant quality
|One Organic Store Sushi Nori||– 50 sheets|
– Fresh and roasted
– Certified organic
|Daechun Sushi Nori||– 50 sheets|
– Roasted twice for crispy texture
|KIMNORI Sushi Nori Seaweed Sheets||– 10 sheets|
– Certified organic and gluten-free
– Restaurant quality
|Kimnori & Kwanggcheonkim Sushi Nori||– 100 sheets|
– Certified organic and gluten-free
|gimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed||– 9 full-size sheets|
– Certified organic and gluten-free
– Premium restaurant quality
|Hime Seaweed Sushi Nori||– 10 full-size sheets|
– Fresh and roasted
Harvested from the clean sea and twice roasted for freshness and best taste, the DAGAGAM Organic Roasted Seaweed allows you to make delicious, restaurant-quality sushi rolls at home. It has a beautiful crisp consistency and great flavor profile. And, it has the perfect thickness, and it doesn’t smell fishy.
This organic premium sushi nori comes with 50 full-size sheets, doubly packaged to keep the nori sheets from damage. I appreciate double packaging since it also helps seal the freshness of the nori, preserving its flavor and quality. It’s great for sushi, onigri, gimbap, or as a garnish in your soups.
Besides being praised for its quality, one of the best reviews I’ve read about this nori is the amount of creativity in the packaging. It comes in a sleek black box with gold letterings, making it ideal for gifting.
If you’ve been preparing sushi for a long time, you’ve probably tried different nori sheets from other brands. In comparison to other nori on the market, this one appears to be in a lighter or brighter green color. However, the sheets look awesome and are pliable, making sushi rolling a smooth process.
• High grade
• Thick and pliable
• Comes in a pretty black box
• Double packaging seals freshness
• Lighter sheets
• Can get brittle
The One Organic Store Sushi Nori is one of the crowd’s favorites. This is a silver-grade organic sushi nori brand that still meets restaurant quality standards, making it an ideal sushi partner. It comes in 50 full-sized sheets of organic, premium seaweeds that are roasted to perfection.
I’ve read some reviews about this brand and one of the things I appreciate about it is that it prides itself on authentic seaweed cultivation in natural seawater and manufacturing without the use of any added substances.
The nori is a bit thinner and less chewy. If you are an at-home roller, this could definitely make preparing sushi that isn’t chewy or too fishy flavored simpler. But if you intend to use the sheets for your sushi bar, keep in mind that they have a lighter taste and are flakier than gold-graded nori.
Overall, this nori has the right toasted scent that makes every bite enjoyable. Although thinner than other options, it doesn’t break easily when you roll your sushi. It melts in your mouth easily, though.
• Silver grade guarantees quality
• Doesn’t smell fishy
• Nice roasted scent
• Breaks easily in your mouth
• Flakier than gold-rated nori
• Lighter taste
A savvy online shopper knows how to spot a good product by looking at customer reviews. The Daechun Sushi Nori has thousands of reviews and is perhaps the most-rated sushi nori on the market right now. It comes in 50 full-size sheets that are not too brittle nor too chewy.
Produced and harvested organically on the west coast of Korea, this gold-grade nori has a crispy texture. Which makes it an excellent fiber-rich snack as well. The seaweed sheets are in perfect thickness but still allow you to easily cut through the rolls without crushing them.
One delighted customer described it as a very tasty nori with a deep and nice roasted flavor—all thanks to the double roasting process. However, the crispy texture might make the sheets hard to handle. So, rolling can get particularly hard if you’re new to sushi preparation.
• Doesn’t fall apart and melts in your mouth
• Double roasted for extra crispiness
• Gold grade guarantees premium quality
• Might break apart while rolling due to enhanced crispiness
• Has relatively high iodine content
For the very good price tag, the KIMNORI Sushi Nori Seaweed Sheets include 10 sheets. It might get you hooked on its delicious flavor and low amount of fat, so you might want to get a few more packs. But if you’re new to sushi rolling, the quantity can suffice.
These seaweed sheets boast natural roasted seaweed laver with a unique salty flavor and crisp texture. Many consumers love the rich and natural umami flavor and are sure to provide you with an amazing sushi experience at home.
One of the biggest deal-breakers for me is the fishy taste that comes with seaweeds. But this doesn’t have that icky fishy flavor at all. It has a fresh, perfectly-salty flavor that takes you to the ocean. It’s easy to cut and a little chewy. However, a seasoned sushi chef might want the sheets to be a bit thinner.
Overall, I think it makes an excellent partner for raw fish, as a tasty snack, and garnish for your hearty soups.
• Affordable price
• Has a unique salty flavor
• Doesn’t have an unpleasant fishy taste
• Crispy but easy to cut through on sushi
• Others might find the sheets thicker
Made with only the freshest and finest ingredients, the Kimnori & Kwanggcheonkim Sushi Nori is another product from Kimori that has such a unique salty flavor and crispy texture that many sushi fans love. And the best part? This pack includes 100 sheets so you get the best bang for your buck!
The sheets are just a little bit brittle, but many consumers don’t mind. It goes well for preparing your sushi roll and you can easily split the sheets up for adding nori to your noodle soups or rice bowls.
However, the nori sheets taste a bit fishy. Some of the reviews I’ve read recommend roasting the sheets for a few seconds on each side over an open flame. Roasting them again imparts a smokey flavor and makes them brittle enough to bite.
But one of the biggest concerns of many consumers about the product is the Proposition 65 warning, which is a label that informs Californians of high exposures to chemicals like lead which is found to be linked to cancer and birth defects.
Seaweeds contain trace amounts of lead. The warning is meant to be seen on all seaweed products in the US. So, warnings on the back of sushi nori packaging are common. Which I think is actually a good thing so you’ll know what’s in your food.
• Includes 100 sheets; offers the best value for money
• Has a unique salty flavor
• Crispy texture but a bit brittle
• Goes well with many dishes
• Has a fishy taste to it
• Lead warning (although this is common with many seaweed products)
The gimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed is one of most sought-after sushi nori due its delicious flavor and versatility. I just don’t get why it includes 9 sheets instead of 10. But the sheets are thicker, so I think that compensates for that one missing piece? I’m not sure.
There are conflicting reviews about this sushi nori, though. Some consumers find this organic nori a bit fishy, while others appreciate the deliciously toasted flavor. Some say it’s not too salty but others find it a bit saltier to their liking.
What I like about this is that it has extra-thick sheets that are easy to use for even novice sushi-makers. But if you’re a professional sushi chef, you might prefer it to be thinner. I would savor this straight out of the bag as a snack, or as a garnish for other creative dishes.
• Delicious and flavorful
• Thicker sheets
• Has the right saltiness
• Has a fishy taste
• Some find it a bit salty
For devoted sushi lovers, the ingredients inside the rice are simply not enough to satisfy the palate. The Hime Seaweed Sushi Nori might complete your sushi rolls, offering one of the freshest nori you could find.
It provides your maki rolls and other forms of sushi a restaurant-like beauty and flavor. Which is something that many novice sushi rollers never thought could be achievable. It has a wonderful flavor and is lovely and crisp, and you can wrap just about anything in these sheets
This nori also works well for soups. Just fold a whole sheet several times, cut them into small strips with scissors, and then add them to your beloved soups. Some customers even enjoy this one organic nori with an egg drop soup with daikon radish.
• Delicious, thick, and has a nice crisp to it
• Wraps sushi nicely without breaking
• Works well for soups
• Includes only 9 sheets
• Some find it tasting and smelling a bit fishy
Things To Consider in Picking the Best Nori for Sushi
Just because they all look green doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same. Nori seaweeds look similar on the outside, but they all differ greatly in color, texture, and taste. Keeping these factors in mind will have you savoring the sweet and delicate flavor of your sushi.
The color of sushi nori is a good indication of its quality. If the nori sheet is brownish or green with brown patches, this suggests poor quality. The best-roasted seaweed for sushi is jet black in color with consistency in thickness across the whole sheet.
You can also tell high-quality nori based on the texture of the seaweed sheets. If you find holes and uneven thickness in them, it means that the seaweed is of lower grade. The best seaweed for sushi should be thick and not fragile. Shiny and reflective. Low-quality seaweeds are just dry, tasteless, and hard to work with.
Nori is the very first thing that your tongue touches when you take a bite of mouth-watering sushi. So, its flavor is equally as important as the other sushi ingredients. The nori should taste good.
Of course, if you buy nori online, you won’t know what the sheets taste like. That is why it is always a good idea to read customer reviews.
The best nori for sushi is neither overbearing nor mellow, but rather delicate to melt in your mouth. And as you eat your sushi, you should feel this explosion of umami flavors and have the sense of the ocean without overpowering the other ingredients.
It should also have a natural sweetness, is crispy, and good enough to consume as snacks straight out of the bag.
Types of Edible Seaweed
If you didn’t know, there are hundreds of various species of seaweed. The kinds of seaweed accessible to you may vary depending on where you are. Here are some of the most common edible seaweeds you can find in the market.
This type of seaweed is the most common among sushi bars and restaurants. It is also most commonly used in seaweed in Japanese cuisine. Nori is pressed into sheets like paper, making it the best choice for rolling sushi.
This type of seaweed is also known as green nori and is pressed into sheets like sushi nori. They are also great for sushi, although it is more often marketed in bite-sized chunks that are ideal for salads. Sea lettuce is high in nutrients and has therapeutic and health-promoting properties.
This is a dark green seaweed with a velvety texture and a sweet flavor that is widely used in miso soup. Wakami is very nutritious and may supplement your diet with a multitude of vitamins and minerals while using few calories.
This is a red seaweed that is highly valued by restaurateurs for its distinct flavor. It’s also praised by alternative health enthusiasts for its nutritional advantages. This seaweed is typically used as a snack or as a flavoring booster.
Dulse, like other edible seaweed, is high in fiber and protein. As well as vitamins, essential minerals, healthy fatty acids, and antioxidants.
This seaweed is a type of edible kelp that is mostly used as a natural flavor enhancer. It is the major ingredient of kombucha. It imparts a savory umami flavor to meals.
Kombu is also high in nutritional value including iodine, which is essential for thyroid function. As well as iron, calcium, and trace minerals. It’s also a great source of vitamins A and C.
Hijiki is a type of wild seaweed that grows on rocky shores in Japan, South Korea, and China. It resembles dried tea leaves but is longer. It is a brown edible seaweed high in dietary fiber and minerals including calcium, iron, and magnesium. Hijiki has been a staple of Japanese cuisine and nutrition for centuries.
Despite its name, it is not a moss. Despite its name, it is not a moss. It is a tufted seaweed with a high amount of carrageenan, which is sweet and great as a thickening agent. Irish moss is commonly used in sweets such as ice cream. This seaweed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
How To Use Nori for Sushi?
Preparing your sushi requires skills and close attention to detail. If you’re new to sushi rolling, you must understand how to effectively use your nori to avoid wasting any of your precious seaweed sheets. You can use the few steps I curated below on how to use it.
Mode of rolling. First, you must decide on the shape you want and how much nori you need. You have the option of using half or the entire sheet. If this is your first session, you can use the full sheet to avoid issues when sealing the roll.
Divide the sheet then spread your sushi rice. Gently divide the nori in half carefully, ripping along the ridge in the sheet. Then, put the sheet on a dry, level surface and carefully lay the cooked sushi rice over it. This should create a uniform layer and keep the sushi rice from covering the entire sheet.
Start rolling. You can now start rolling it with your hands or using a bamboo mat. While rolling with your hands, make sure to do it from the rice-filled side to the empty side. This way, it does not come into touch with the roll.
Carefully press the nori. Your goal here is to seal the sushi roll. If you want to use a bamboo rolling mat, you must align the edge of the nori with rice with that of the mat. Then, carefully roll with your fingers. Focus on the part where there’s no rice and use it to carefully wrap the roll.
Best Nori for Sushi FAQs
What type of nori is best for sushi?
The best nori for sushi is pure, dark green or black, glossy, and not fragile or doesn’t get easily damaged. It should also be easy to use.
If you know exactly what you need, it is much easier to navigate the market and obtain the best sushi nori.
Which type of seaweed do I need for sushi?
The best seaweed for sushi is nori. Also known as the dried laver seaweed, nori is likely the most well-known seaweed outside of Japan. It has a salty and savory taste that is typically consumed dried.
Nori is available in ready-to-use sheets or sticks. It is great for not just making sushi rolls, but also for wrapping onigiri (rice balls), or for eating as a snack.
Can you use untoasted nori for sushi?
Nori that has not been toasted is ideal for salads, rice dishes, and stir-fries. For sushi rolls, however, you need a toasted nori sheet. The nori you use to roll your sushi with should be crispy so it can melt in your mouth as you bite it.
Are nori chips healthy?
Consuming fresh seaweed is generally safe. However, if you eat them in large quantities, you may experience some side effects.
Nori chips are beneficial to your health since they include a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. Iodine, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, and calcium are all found in many seaweed snacks. They also contain a lot of fiber. Nori chips are also a good source of vitamins A, B, and E.
What is the difference between gold and silver nori?
Gold-graded nori is of the highest quality and is produced from the very first harvest of seaweed. It is extremely soft and has a strong umami flavor. Gold grade nori has an almost black-green color.
Sliver-grade nori is the second best. It is sourced from the second seaweed harvest following the gold harvest. Silver nori has a darker green color in comparison to lower-grade seaweed.
Do you want toasted or untoasted nori for sushi?
For sushi, yes, it should be toasted. You’ll find nori sheets that are pre-toasted and you can use them to roll your sushi. But, quickly toasting the nori can improve its flavor and texture in various ways. You can do so on your electric stove using tongs to place a nori sheet above your burner.
Some evidence suggests that the nutritious value of dried, raw seaweed is higher than that of roasted sushi seaweed. But it is just not as convenient to handle for sushi.
Roasted nori is also more difficult to break and will fall apart when you pick up your sushi using your chopsticks.
Which side of the nori does sushi rice go on?
The golden rule is that the glossy side of the nori seaweed should be on the outside of the sushi. You can spread around 110 grams of sushi rice equally on the nori seaweed. Then, put the dill sprig on top of the rice, and turn the nori sheet and sushi rice over so the sheet faces upward.
How do you choose nori for sushi?
Choosing the best nori for sushi means finding high-quality sheets. Higher grade ones, like gold, have a jet black color to them, whereas lower classes have softer colors. You can also tell better-quality nori sheets by their glossy surface.
The thinner the nori, the lower quality it is. Also, low-quality nori usually contains different types of seaweed.
Sushi wouldn’t be complete without delicious nori that is also easy to roll with. And whether you’re preparing maki rolls and temaki, gourmet food, or simply want to add some ocean goodies to enhance your soups, seaweeds like nori are an awesome accent.
The best nori for sushi is one that you and your family can enjoy. You may want to explore the different options available and find the best sushi nori that you can add to your favorite dishes.
I hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best sushi nori for your needs and budgets. Most of the seaweed products on the list are gluten-free and organically made without the use of genetic engineering.
Make sure to check out the latest prices and feels on these delicious and crisp sheets, so you can start making your mouth-watering sushi rolls at home. Good luck!