Sushi wraps are made up of what seaweed?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Sushi wraps are made up of what seaweed?” and will discuss the health benefits of nori seaweed.

Sushi wraps are made up of what seaweed?

Sushi wraps are made up of Nori seaweed. Dried edible seaweed known as nori is often sold in thin, paper-like sheets. Wrapping sushi or onigiri with it is a common practice in Japanese and Korean cuisine. Nori is probably one of the most well-known and well-liked edible seaweeds. They are used as a „wrap-up vegetable‟ to cover rice balls containing vegetables in sushi rice, or the Nori may also be used as food toppings or garnishes (1).

What is nori seaweed?

Nori is a kind of dried seaweed formed from red algae that becomes a dark green color when it is dried. Snacks and sushi are often wrapped in it, as are seasonings.

Seaweeds are macro-algae or multi-celled marine algae which appear like terrestrial plants. Seaweeds are not classified as true plants because they lack an organized vascular system for absorbing nutrients. Each cell is in contact with the water and they can take up nutrients, gasses and fluids directly. They are similar to flowering plants as they are able to use chlorophyll to conduct the process of photosynthesis and create food for growth. The Nori seaweed most commonly used species are Porphyratenera, Porphyra yezoensis and Porphyra umbilicalis (1). 

Nigiri (rice balls) and sushi rolls are two popular ways to include nori into your diet. Strips, shredded, flakes, and powdered are all other options. They are available in supermarket shops in pre-packaged form for use in cooking.

·         Calories in nori seaweed

Nori seaweed is a low-calorie source of nutrition. Ten nori sheets weigh roughly 26 grams and have a calorie content of about 9 per serving, according to the USDA.

Advantages of nori seaweed

Because it’s a plant that contains animal elements, nori is a rich source of nutrition. Some of the nutrients contained in nori aren’t present in other fruits or vegetables, making it a unique food source (2,3).

·         Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the brain and immune system, are found in abundance in this food. 50% of the fatty acids is comprised of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

·         However, the iron found in nori is considerably more easily assimilated by the body than that found in crops like spinach, thus most of the metals are discharged into the cooking water during heat treatment for the nori production. Nori is a source of Zn.

·         Nori is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and iodine. It is also rich in chlorophyll.

·         Nori is a great supplement for vegans and vegetarians since it contains several nutrients that are often found in animal products. Edible seaweeds are considered as a replacement for an animal protein with a wide range of essential amino acids and the values are similar to legumes and soybean.

·         Consumption of nori can aid in the removal of pollutants. Studies show that nori diets induce hypocholesterolemic effects. Apart from polysaccharides, other bioactives such as polyphenol, fucoxanthin and polyunsaturated fatty acids influenced the lipid metabolism through a different mode of action.

·         Nori’s nutritious proteins offer anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Also the sulfated polysaccharides found in nori exhibit antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticoagulant,immunomodulatory and anti-HIV activities. These activities are extensively attributed to the interaction between polysaccharide and intestinal microorganisms to prove a functional and medicinal property of sulfated polysaccharides.

·         The cardiovascular system benefits from its use. Protein hydrolysate from P. yezoensis reduced diastolic blood pressure. A significant reduction in systolic blood pressure was also observed in subjects with high blood pressure after 12 weeks administration of 1.6 g nori oligopeptides per day.

Composition of Nori seaweed

Porphyra Yezoenis and Porphyra Tenera, two types of red algae used to make nori, are among the Porphyra species used to make nori. It is available in a variety of grades and at various pricing points. Generally, the lighter hue and looser weave of the less expensive options indicate a lower quality product.

Their compositions vary. Depending on the species, in 100g, nori contains 30 to 50 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 1 to 3 g lipids, 8 to 20 g ash and 12 to 40 g fibers (3).

Taste of sushi nori seaweed

The umami taste of nori comes from the amino acid glutamic acid, found in this type of food (1). Besides, its crunch, saltiness, and nuttiness are characteristic of Japanese cuisine. Dry nori is more often eaten than other varieties of seaweed.

Ideas for putting nori sheets to use

Pre-toasted nori sheets are common in supermarkets. It is possible to toast them at home using a gas burner if they are uncooked (be careful as it can crinkle up fast and even catch fire if you are too close). Wrapping sushi rolls or rice balls in them is a common application for them. As an alternative to a meal, they make a great snack.

·         Furikake with nori shredded

To produce furikake, ground nori is combined with sesame seeds and other ingredients. As a garnish for rice, it’s often sprinkled on top.

·         Strips of Nori

Nigiri sushi may be wrapped in nori strips. They may also be used in soups and ramen dishes. Occasionally, I add them to omelets as well as salad and steamed veggies for added taste. Nigiri sushi is made by securing rice and imitation crab flesh with strips of nori.

How to make Nori sushi rolls?

Wrapping sushi rice with nori is a simple way to produce standard sushi rolls. Inside-out rolls may also be made by preparing rice on the outside and nori inside, then stuffing the rice and nori with the filling. The following are the steps for making a simple sushi roll:

·         Using kitchen scissors, cut off a third of the nori sheet. Afterward, arrange the leftover nori on top of the bamboo mat, with the shiny side facing down.

·         Cooked sushi rice should be spread uniformly over the nori.

·         Place the rice on top of the fillings of your choice.

·         Using your bamboo mat, begin rolling the roll and be sure to maintain it in place. Tighten it up with some force.

·         Gently squeeze the bamboo mat around the roll to secure it in place, then let go.

·         Take out the mat and slice the roll into bite-sized pieces. Prepare the food and serve it to your guests.

What is the best way to keep nori fresh?

Nori which has dry characteristics and easily becomes moist so that its quality is maintained. When kept in its original packaging, nori has a long shelf life in the pantry. The original packaging is normally an aluminum foil packaging, which has good water and gas molecular migration barrier properties. A study showed that, when stored in such packaging, the shelf life of Nori at 25°C is of 89 days (4). 

You should keep them in an airtight container or zip-top bag once they’ve been opened so that they aren’t exposed to the elements and don’t collect moisture. Over an open flame, you may roast them back to their original crispness, but be cautious!

Other FAQs about Sushi that you may be interested in.

Can you eat leftover sushi?

Can you freeze sushi rice?

Can you eat day-old sushi?

Can you freeze sushi?


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Sushi wraps are made up of what seaweed?” and discussed the health benefits of nori seaweed.


  1. Kasimala, Madhu Babu, et al. A review on biochemical composition and nutritional aspects of seaweeds. Carib J Sci Technol, 2015, 3, 789-797.
  2. Ganesan, Abirami R., Uma Tiwari, and Gaurav Rajauria. Seaweed nutraceuticals and their therapeutic role in disease prevention. Food Sci Human Welln, 2019, 8, 252-263.  
  3. Venkatraman, K.L., Mehta, A. Health Benefits and Pharmacological Effects of Porphyra Species. Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2019, 74, 10–17. 
  4. Liviawaty, Evi, Sapinatun Namira, and Eddy Afrianto. Shelf Life of Nori from Gracilaria Sp. With Alumunium Foil Packaging Based on The Accelerated Shelf Life Test Method. Int J Quant Res Model, 2021, 2, 1-10.