Aonori vs Nori: Japanese Seaweed

Typically used in sushi rolls, ramen, and onigiri, “Nori (海苔)” is one of the most common Japanese seaweeds that often comes in dry sheets. But there is also a type of Nori called “Nama Nori (生海苔)“, which is undried raw Nori.

The Difference: Aonori vs Nori

If you are quite well acquainted with Japanese food, you may also have heard of “Aonori (アオノリ: Green Nori)”. But do you know how the relationship between Nori and Aonori is defined?

What is Nori?

Ita Nori

Actually, Nori is originally the generic name for moss-like seaweeds growing on the rock surface in the water, and the most common edible species used for food in Japan include “Asakusa Nori (P. tenera)” and “Susabi Nori (P. yezoensis)”.

Those seaweeds are typically processed into dried sheets, flakes, or powder, as well as being eaten as they are in the form of Nama Nori.

What is Aonori?


On the other hand, Aonori is a variety of Nori that usually comes in the form of powder or flakes.

While dry sheets of Nori called “Ita Nori (板海苔)“, which is used in sushi and ramen, are typically made of Asakusa Nori or Susabi Nori in the genus Neopyropia of Bangiaceae of red algae, the seaweed for Aonori is usually from the genus Ulva of Ulvaceae of green algae or the genus Monostroma of Monostromataceae of green algae.

As for the usage of Aonori, the green seaweed powder is often sprinkled on Japanese potato chips, Takoyaki octopus balls, Okonomiyaki pancake, or Yakisoba noodles.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 海苔, アオノリ )


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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