Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

Nori brands

Buying nori

We are very fortunate that nori can be found throughout the world. Nowadays, many brands compete in this nori retail space offering a variety of products. Selecting nori can be tricky if you donft have your own favourites and donft know the brands. Here is a snippet of thoughts regarding how to approach buying nori in the shops.


To be honest with you, there are so many nori companies out there so the nori you can purchase from supermarkets or Asian groceries are all different. In Japan too, it depends on the region you live in as to the type of nori you generally get so unless you buy it from particularly famous nori company it does not really matter. One piece of advice though, try to keep with Japanese nori when making Japanese food as it really is the most authentic and compared to Korean nori which is also delicious but covered in sesame oil and Chinese nori, it offers the best taste to health balance in my opinion. Basically, you can buy Korean and Chinese nori from Korean and Chinese grocery shops but itfs just different to Japanese nori and perhaps better used with food from their countries. So try not to buy Korean and Chinese nori if you are going to use nori for Japanese dishes.


Because there are so many competitors, nori brands in the shop keeps changing. Of course shops want to take the cheapest offer. If you are not sure if the nori you bought is a good one or not, you could follow the instructions below to find out. It may help;)


Touch it and check how dry and smooth it is with your hand.


See if you can smell a grilled smell and check the flavour in your mouth.


Bite on the nori and taste the flavour on your palate and see how easily it melts in your mouth. If it sticks then itfs not a good one.


Check the colour
Blacker is better, the poor quality ones are light black and brownish in colour.


Check the gloss levels
Glossed black is perfect. Change the angle and see how the light reflects off it, a high brightness is good.


Check the thickness
Check how even the thickness of the sheet is, there should be an even distribution of seaweed throughout the sheet. Also, check if there are holes or other things in the nori.

It gets easier in time

Of course if itfs your first time then you wonft know the proper smell or taste to compare it to but holes and colour are probably easy to see. Once youfve tried a few brands and types and have developed an idea of what is good and bad, it will get easier. If you can see a few different products in different brands in the same section then pick them up and compare them. Which was darker? Which was see through? Although it may not always be the case, price is often a big giveaway too, generally, the more expensive it is, the higher the quality.


All kinds of nori have substantial health benefits. Here is just a little information about how nori is good for you below and why we should have it on a regular basis. Nori contains a lot of vitamins and minerals such as B1, B2, calcium, magnesium, iodine and niacin to name but a few. One sheet weighing 3 grams has the same amount of calcium as the same amount in milk and is equivalent to that found in one fifth of an egg. It is also rich in amino acids and is a great source of protein just like soybeans and rice. Amazingly, it contains three times the carotene of carrots and norifs carotene changes to vitamin A in your body, this vitamin A is good for your skin, corneas, mouth and stomach and keeps your mucous healthy. It has twice the vitamins of lemons! Itfs tasty too, it has seven times the flavour of root vegetables. Itfs also believe to help prevent cancer and arteriosclerosis. Nori is easy to digest, in fact itfs fibre is mild compared to vegetables so itfs good for your stomach.



Nori is easy to find and itfs cheap. Nowadays, nori distribution is so widespread around the world that we can find a variety of brands in all Asian supermarkets and almost all domestic supermarkets in reasonably large city. Fortunately, itfs not usually too expensive and it can work out very cost effective if we buy it in bulk and use it on dishes at home. When you go shopping for nori, youfll find many shapes, sizes and numbers of sheets per packet. For example, for onigiri, youfll find long nori rectangles that are just right for making it. Generally, the more sheets to a pack, the more expensive the pack but the cheaper it works out per sheet just like general commodity items. Generally, youfll find square sheets in packs of 10,25, 50 and 100, this size is particular useful as it can be broken down to what you want.



Many of the brands create a variety of nori products nowadays to appeal to new customers, compete with each other and of course offer customers a great selection. One of the more recent developments in the last decade was flavoured nori. Nowadays, itfs very easy to find nori that is flavoured in common foods such as teriyaki, chilli and even curry. Nori is of course not strong in flavour and for some people the slightly fishy smell could be off putting. Putting some common and delicious flavours on certainly does make them pretty tasty and it can make it easier for kids to eat also. Nowadays, when you go to the nori section in the supermarket, youfll be able to find brands of nori with varying quality level, nori in all shapes and sizes with tastes varying from authentic through to more contemporary flavours.


I hope you can find your favourite. To be sure, you should probably go to a Japanese grocery store though as they should only be buying in good quality products and brands. They shouldnft sell bad quality ones as Japanese people always buy them anywhere in the world and they are generally very particular about this as it is such an important ingredient for them. If you have Japanese friends in your region, please ask them for their advice on where to go and what to buy in your area, thatfs the best way to go!!