4 Must-Try Classic Japanese Seaweed Snacks
Japan has a culinary culture of using seaweed. We often eat seaweed in daily life which includes wakame, kombu (kelp), nori (laver), mozuku, and mekabu.
These edible seaweeds are not only used in Japanese cuisine but in Japan, even snacks using them exist.
Japanese Seaweed Snacks You Should Try
For example, when I think of Japanese seaweed snacks that are available in the snack and candy section of supermarkets, what comes to my mind right away is the following 4 classics that have been long-time favorites in Japan.
First off, let’s start with Noriten. Actually, its name can be divided into 2 words, “Nori (のり)” meaning “(seaweed) laver” in Japanese and “Ten (天)” that stands for “Tempura (天ぷら)”.
So Noriten is a seaweed snack made by deep-frying tempura batter-coated laver in oil. It is a kind of lightly salted tempura featuring its crispy bite from the deep-fried flour batter. It also has a nice fragrant aroma of seaweed.
Su-Kombu is a seaweed snack made of thin sheets of edible kelp flavored mainly with vinegar, as the word “Su (酢)” means vinegar in Japanese.
As you can see in the picture above, the kombu sheet is coated with white seasoning particles consisting of vinegar, sweeteners, and umami extract of fish.
Su-Kombu is soft and tender, featuring an addictive umami taste like a cross between vinegary and sweet.
Kuki Wakame (茎わかめ)
Kuki Wakame is a quintessential Japanese seaweed snack made of wakame. It uses the core part of wakame leaves as the word “Kuki (茎)” means “stem” in Japanese.
Kuki-Wakame is lightly salted and flavored with umami-packed vinegar sauce. Compared to others, this seaweed snack is easy to eat with a pleasant crunch.
Oshaburi Kombu (おしゃぶり昆布)
In contrast to Su-kombu, Oshaburi Kombu is a pretty salty, quite hard tough seaweed snack, as suggested by the Japanese term “Oshaburi (おしゃぶり)” meaning sucking on something.
However, thanks to the hard-to-eat texture, you can savor the umami taste of the seaweed treat for some time by sucking on it.