Last Updated on November 13, 2021
One of the most used Japanese toppings in my cooking is definitely the Japanese seaweed called Kizami Nori (Shredded Nori.) Kizami nori is just another type of toasted nori seaweed that you often see on sushi. It’s vegan, gluten free and oil free. Whatever you top with kizami nori, it gives a layer of “sea” flavor in the background that works very well with Japanese food!
What’s Kizami Nori?
Kizami nori is basically really thin strips of toasted nori seaweed. The direct translation of kizami nori is kizami (shredded) + nori (seaweed.)
It’s commonly used as a topping which adds a layer of “sea” taste to the dish. The sea flavor is an quintessential Japanese flavor and I personally cannot live without. As a vegan, I no longer eat seafood however with the use of kizami nori, I never miss it!
As a nutrition stand point, kizami nori is not only rich in umami, but it’s also high in nutrients such as vitamin A, B1, B2, vitamin C, iron, calcium, fiber, and amino acid. Vitamin C in nori seaweed won’t be altered by cooking!
Since it’s the same type of nori seaweed as sushi nori, it tastes exactly the same as what you’ve probably tasted once in your life. It has a taste of sea in vegan style!
Kizami nori may not be one of the most common pantry staples for the non-Japanese. However, when I make recipes, I often list it as a “required” ingredient instead as an optional one.
As simple as how it sounds, the dish will taste completely different when it’s with and without! You won’t regret adding kizami nori to your vegan pantry!
How to Use
In Japanese cuisine, you see kizami nori on top of:
- Rice bowl (donburi) dishes
- Cold soba and udon noodles
- Pasta dishes like yuzu kosho pasta and kimchi cream pasta and more.
You don’t need a lot to cover the whole entire dish to appreciate the flavor. A few pinches of a little kizami nori is all you need in each dish.
Why I “Make” My Kizami Nori
First of all, let’s be clear that you don’t need to make kizami nori!
You can buy kizami nori online or at most Asian grocery stores’ Japanese food sections. I started making my own because many kizami nori products are very chewy and good quality kizami nori is hard to come by at least where I live.
I’m pretty sure when you bite into sushi, some seaweed comes off in one long strip and dangling from your mouth or it’s really tough to chew. That’s the sign of low quality seaweed that you want to avoid using!
At least, I can find pretty decent quality sushi nori seaweed for a reasonable price at a local grocery store and shred on my own. Since I use kizami nori very often, I go through a bag of sushi nori every month so I don’t want to spend $20 on each bag for high quality ones. I just have to grab a bag and shred on my own like a ritual. LOL.
Good new is it’s super easy that you can do it, too!
How to “Make” Kizami Nori
1. Take out a sheet of toasted nori seaweed.
2. Fold it in half and cut into two sheets.
3. Fold those sheets in third and cut into three sheets which makes a total of 6 sheets.
4. Gather all the sheets together and shred them thinly using kitchen scissors. That makes kizami nori!
How to Store
When you buy store bought kizami nori, it may comes in a resealable zipper bag. If so, keep in the same bag and store in the fridge.
If it’s not resealable or you shred on your own like I do, keep the kizami nori in preferably an airtight container, an empty jar with a lid, or zipper bag and store in the fridge.
The same goes for when/if you buy toasted nori seaweed to shred, you should keep the leftover nori in a zipper bag and store in the fridge, too.
Here is the tip! I save a silica gel package that comes with the nori seaweed and use it to put it in the container. This will keep kizami nori staying crisp longer.
I’d say keeping in a zipper bag would be the best solution for keeping it fresh longer but I try to eliminate the use of zipper bags as much as possible. So, I just use an empty jam jar which isn’t the best container for nori due to not keeping the air out. However, it works ok and most importantly, I like the fact that I contribute to using less plastic. If you store in a zipper bag, it should stay fresh & crisp for weeks in the fridge!
Where to Buy
You can find kizami nori at most Asian grocery stores’ the Japanese food section. Alternatively, you can find it at major online retailers.
I use sushi nori from Eden Foods (I get mine at a local Whole Foods Market) and shred. Eden Foods’ sushi nori is also a product of Japan.
This is a general tip for shopping Japanese groceries or pantry items which is to get the products that says “Product of Japan” on the back of the package. Often times, what appears to be a “Japanese” product is actually produced in another country like China. Always check the label!
I can attest that the Japanese people truly take pride in the production of the traditional Japanese ingredients. Therefore, the Japan origin products are most likely made to meet at a high standard with a premium quality.