Types of Nori: Nama vs Kansou vs Yaki vs Ajitsuke

Chinese food vs Japanese food
Chinese food vs Japanese food

“Nori (のり, 海苔)” is one of Japan’s favorite seafood whose history can be traced to ancient times. As you can see in sushi and onigiri, the seaweed often comes in dry sheets.

Unlike flakes or powder types of nori such as Aonori and Aosa (which are processed from green algae), those sheets of nori are usually made with red algae like “Susabi Nori (スサビノリ)”.

Types of Nori 

As you can guess from the above, in Japan, the seaweed nori is available in various forms. But among others, Nama Nori, Kansou Nori, Yaki Nori, and Ajitsuke Nori are basics.

So today, let’s find out what kinds of nori these are.

Nama Nori (生海苔)

Nama Nori (Nori no Tsukudani)

First off, Nama Nori is raw, unprocessed, wet nori as “Nama (生)” in its name means “raw” in Japanese. Nama Nori is the ingredient of Kansou Nori or Ita Nori, so the material is red algae such as Susabi Nori.

Nama Nori can be eaten as it is. It has slight saltiness accompanied by a pleasant aroma of the sea. Like Sashimi, Nama Nori is eaten with soy sauce or Sanbaizu vinegar sauce. 

Kansou Nori (乾燥海苔)

Ita Nori

Kansou Nori, literally meaning “dried nori”, is a thin rectangle sheet of nori made by drying Nama Nori. Kansou Nori is also called “Ita Nori (板海苔)” as it has a shape like a board or “Ita (板)”.

Kansou Nori can be eaten as it is but has some moisture and is pliable compared to Yaki Nori. So before using, this type is often roasted over the fire to give it a crisp bite and fresh flavor. 

Yaki Nori (焼き海苔)

Ramen with Yaki Nori

Yaki Nori, literally “roasted nori”, is a ready-to-use Ita Nori that’s been pre-roasted. Because of the convenience, this is the mainstream nori carried by supermarkets in Japan.

Yaki Nori is convenient and used in a wide range of dishes, including ramen, tempura, salad, and mochi dishes. But Yaki Nori is generally inferior in flavor to freshly roasted Kansou Nori.

Ajitsuke Nori (味付け海苔)

Ajitsuke Nori

Ajitsuke Nori, literally “seasoned nori”, is a Yaki Nori that’s been pre-seasoned. This type is made from Yaki Nori brushed with a Tare sauce made with soy sauce and sugar, and then dried and cut into small sheets.

Ajitsuke Nori is easy to eat and favored even by children who don’t like nori very much.

Ajitsuke Nori and Yaki Nori are both products first invented by “Yamamoto Noriten (山本海苔店)”, a long-established food company based in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 海苔 )


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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