The urge to snack is universal. Humans must possess some primal craving for deliciously crispy, crunchy foods that are too frequently not very good for us.
Here’s a terrific snack that will satisfy your inner caveman – and it’s actually good for you. With only 9 calories each, these crisp & spicy nori chips can tackle your snack attack without inflating your waistline.
Nori, as dried sheets of edible seaweed are known in Japan, are made from a species of red algae that has long been cultivated specifically for human consumption. Historically, this algae was not eaten only in Japan, but throughout the world, including the British Isles, where it is known as “laver.” Nori is harvested, then pressed into thin sheets in a process not unlike that of papermaking. It’s eaten in a variety of ways in traditional Japanese cuisine, but the most familiar to Americans is the use of nori sheets as a wrapper for sushi rolls.
Nori gained popularity in the U.S. beginning in the late 1960s, largely due to increased interest in what was then called macrobiotic or “health foods.” When the sushi craze swept the country a few years later, nori became a familiar foodstuff to adventurous diners from coast to coast. Today, snack foods containing nori are ubiquitous, found in the Asian section and snack food aisle of practically every small-town grocery store.
Nori, like other seaweeds, is a food that is rich in umami, another Japanese word for a taste sensation that translates roughly to “savoriness.” Umami is a quality found in many of our favorite foods, such as cured meats like ham and sausage, aged cheeses, seafood and mushrooms. Nori is also high in protein, iodine and vitamins A, C and B12, but is very low in calories with zero fat and cholesterol.
Most importantly, nori tastes good – savory and satisfying with a fresh flavor deliciously reminiscent of the ocean. This is one snack that vegetarians and carnivores can enjoy equally, especially when paired with a crisp, cold beer. Isn’t it great when we can feel good about eating the food that’s good for us?
Spicy Sesame Nori (Seaweed) Chips
- 10 sheets nori (seaweed sheets), toasted or untoasted
- 2 or more Tbsp hot sauce – we suggest Sriracha, Yuzu Pao or BLiS Blast
- 6 or more Tbsp water
- 4 or more Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 or more Tbsp sesame oil
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 F. Line 1 or 2 sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and water. Fold the nori sheet in half, then open it up. Lightly brush the inside of the nori sheet with the hot sauce mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Fold the nori back together and press to seal. Cut in half perpendicular to the fold and then cut each half into thirds in the same direction. You will have 6 rectangles.
Bake the nori chips for 12-15 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven, lightly brush with sesame oil and sprinkle with salt. Let cool.
Nori chips are at their best when eaten soon after they’re made, but if there are any left, seal them in an airtight container lined with paper towels. Nori chips will absorb moisture from the air, so eat them within a few days, while they’re still crackly-crisp.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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