Ever had sushi? If so, then you’ve probably had nori (Porphyra spp.). Also known as laver, this delicious high-protein sea vegetable has become coveted on the world food market. The photo above is of some Tangy Korean Nori, in memory of the nice Korean woman I met out on the rocks, who was also harvesting sea vegetables on the Oregon Coast. The recipe comes from a great little cookbook, just published, The New Seaweed Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Discovering the Deep Flavors of the Sea, by Crystal June Maderia. Maderia recently opened Kismet as well, a restaurant and catering business located in Montpelier, VT.
I believe this photo shows Porphyra perforata. It was found attached to rocks in the mid and lower intertidal zones. I used a scissors to cut about 2-3 inches above its holdfast, allowing it the opportunity to regenerate itself. Although it is preferable to harvest nori during spring and early summer, what I’ve gathered has been quite delicious. I’m guessing that specimens harvested earlier in the season contain higher levels of nutrients. Have fun harvesting, but please don’t take too much. There are plenty of other wonderful sea vegetables just waiting to gain in popularity as well.
Tangy Korean Nori
12 sheets nori
1 T ginger juice
1 clove garlic
3 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or 1 T umeboshi plum vinegar
2 T honey
½ t cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Juice ginger and garlic in vegetable juicer, then mix with other ingredients, minus cayenne, in a spray bottle. Spray each piece of nori then sprinkle on the cayenne. Toast two pieces at a time until crisp, remove from oven, and cool. When cool, crumple between your hands, then grind in mortar or spice grinder. Store in airtight container or shaker.
You will need to closely watch the nori as you toast them in the oven. Mine took about 3 minutes, but I had wild-crafted nori, not pressed sheets. I also used 3 T of tamari instead of Bragg’s and upped the amount of cayenne. See what combinations you like. It’s a really tasty condiment that goes nicely on rice, in soups, stir-fry’s, etc.
The next time I make this I plan to try placing the nori with liquid sprayed on into the dehydrator. I think the heat will be easier to control and I’ll lose some of the toasted flavor, but I think improve on the flavors enhancing the nori.