Nori no Tsukudani is a popular food in Japan that is perfect as an accompaniment to rice, providing a rich, savory taste of the sea. Although you may not be familiar with the black color of nori seaweed, you will be pleasantly surprised by its deliciousness once you try it.
What is Nori no Tsukudani?
Nori no Tsukudani is a food made by simmering nori seaweed with sweet and savory Japanese seasonings. Nori means nori seaweed, no indicates possession (modifying the word following it), and Tsukudani is a food cooked with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings until the cooking liquid has almost completely evaporated. Instead of eating it alone, it is typically enjoyed in small portions with rice, similar to how one would spread butter on bread.
Simmering nori seaweed enhances its flavor, and the addition of sweet and savory Japanese seasonings makes it a perfect match for rice. Recently, it has become popular not only to eat with rice, but also to spread it on bread or use it as an ingredient in pasta sauce. Both pairings are delicious!
Nutrients in nori seaweed
Nori seaweed is a staple ingredient in Japan, and in recent years it has become popular outside of Japan as an ingredient in sushi rolls and other dishes. In Japan, nori is known as the "vegetable of the sea," and it is so rich in nutrients that it is said, "eating two sheets of nori a day keeps the doctor away." The primary nutrients found in nori include the following:
- Dietary fiber
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
Nori no tsukudani not only provides these nutrients in a delicious way, but also allows you to enjoy the flavor of nori to the fullest. In my opinion, it is one of the most delicious foods made with nori as the main ingredient.
Benefits of making Nori no Tsukudani at home
Since nori no tsukudani is a classic Japanese food, you should be able to find it in Asian grocery stores. While the taste may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer, it should be delicious.
Making nori no tsukudani at home has the advantage of allowing you to adjust the taste to your preference without unnecessary additives such as thickening or stabilizing agents. The taste of homemade nori no tsukudani is rich and extremely delicious.
Another benefit of making nori no tsukudani is that you can use leftover nori that may have become damp over time. Therefore, it is an ideal way to use up any nori you have left from a previous purchase.
Suitable dashi for Nori no Tsukudani
Nori no tsukudani is typically made by simmering nori seaweed in seasonings and dashi broth. In Japan, dashi is usually made with a combination of kelp and bonito flakes, but I recommend using shiitake dashi for this dish. While kelp and bonito dashi also work well, shiitake dashi allows you to taste the umami flavor of the nori without interference.
Making shiitake dashi is very simple - just soak dried shiitake mushrooms (0.88oz./25g per 2cups/500ml of water) in water in the refrigerator for about 10 hours. If you find making dashi to be a hassle, you can use water instead, although the flavor will be less intense.
🕒 Total 15 mins
Tear the nori seaweed into pieces and put them in a pot. Add the dashi, sake, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, and let it sit for a few minutes until it softens.
Heat the pot over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally with chopsticks or a spatula until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
Tips on how to make
- When simmering ingredients, heat them while stirring occasionally with chopsticks or a spatula. This will prevent the pot from burning.
- After finishing the nori no tsukudani, transfer it to a storage container while it's still warm. If it is left in the pot, it may stick to the bottom.
Nori no Tsukudani (Nori Seaweed Paste)
- Tear the nori seaweed into pieces and put them in a pot. Add the dashi, sake, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, and let it sit for a few minutes until it softens.
- Heat the pot over medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally with chopsticks or a spatula until almost all the liquid has evaporated.
- You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.