The Difference between Kankoku Nori and Nihon Nori

When it comes to “Nori (海苔)”, many people will bring to mind the blackish dried seaweed used for sushi rolls.

Including the dry Nori sheets for sushi, the Nori seaweed produced in Japan is generally called “Nihon Nori (日本海苔)”, literally meaning “Japan Nori” or “Japanese Nori”.

In addition to the Nihon Nori that we Japanese commonly consume in daily life for the staple, rice, “Kankoku Nori (韓国海苔)”, literally meaning “Korea Nori” or “Korean Nori”, is also popular in Japan and widely enjoyed.

Although it seems that, in Korea too, there are a variety of Nori seaweed, the Kankoku Nori widely available in Japan is different in various respects (e.g. ingredients, taste) from Nihon Nori. 

Nihon Nori (日本海苔: Japan Nori)

In Japan, there are broadly 2 types of Nori seaweed.

Ita Nori (板海苔)

Ita Nori

One is called “Ita Nori (板海苔)”, which are the unseasoned dried seaweed sheets that are most commonly eaten in Japan whose main ingredient is the seaweed “Asakusa Nori (P. tenera)” or “Susabi Nori (P. yezoensis)”.

Ita Nori has the basic size of about 21 cm x 19 cm, which is usually cut into easy-to-use sizes and often used in sushi rolls, onigiri rice balls, furikake, and ramen.

By the way, the processed Ita Nori that is seasoned typically with soy sauce and sugar is generally called “Ajitsuke Nori (味付け海苔: Seasoned Nori)”, which has the basic size of about 5 cm x 10 cm or about 3.5 cm x 10 cm.

Nama Nori (生海苔)

Nori no Tsukudani

The other type of Nihon Nori is called “Nama Nori (生海苔)”, which is undried Nori seaweed. By the way, one of the representative Japanese foods made from Nama Nori is “Nori no Tsukudani (海苔の佃煮)“.

Kankoku Nori (韓国海苔: Korea Nori)

Kankoku Nori

The Kankoku Nori widely consumed in Japan as a snack or a topping are the dried sheets of seaweed typically seasoned with sesame oil and salt, which is classified as an Ajitsuke Nori in Japan.

Unlike Nihon Nori, Kankoku Nori is often made from the seaweed “Oniama Nori (Porphyra dentata)” or “Ichimatsu Nori (Pyropia seriata)”.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 海苔, 味付け海苔, 韓国海苔, Olive Hitomawashi)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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