YES, you eat the nori in ramen!
And that is why nori is served with ramen.
Here are some interesting facts about nori and tips on how to enjoy it.
Keep reading and you will find out.
Why is Nori in Ramen:
Nori cannot be the star of ramen but is an excellent supporting actor.
Do you know why nori is in ramen?
The answer is:
A lot of soba chef changed their careers and became ramen chefs when ramen shot to popularity in Tokyo.
Since nori was a common topping of soba noodles, these chefs brought their distinct soba-making style over to their ramen creations.
Regional Use of Nori:
There is a regional difference in the usage of nori in ramen.
Some places don’t serve nori with ramen.
Pop Quiz: Which kind of ramen isn’t served with nori?
A. Sapporo ramenB. Tokyo ramenC. Wakayama ramenD. Haktara ramen
The answer is…
A, C, and D.
Actually, nori is not that common in Japan except the Tokyo area.
Tokyo bay used to be famous for its nori.
Good Thing About Nori:
Nori adds some accent to ramen, visually and tastewise.
Ramen looks more appetizing when you put nori on top.
Nori also has umami in it since it is seaweed.
Combining umami from chicken bone, some vegetable, and nori creates a complex flavor.
When to Eat Nori:
There are two ways to eat the nori with your ramen:
1. Eating nori immediately before it loses its crispy texture.
Good thing about the nori first is you can taste the crispy textue of the nori.
And you won’t make a mess in your soup with a piece of soggy and broken up nori.
2. You let your nori absorb the soup to make it soft.
You can enjoy nori with rich flavorful ramen soup.
If you wait too much, nori will come apart and melt into the soup.
Which way do you prefer to eat nori?
How to Eat Nori:
There are three ways to eat nori on ramen.
1. Eating nori alone
Soaking nori into the soup and eating it on its own.
2. Making a noodle roll with nori
You can eat your nori with the noodles together.
3. Making a rice roll with nori
At some ramen restaurants, you can order white rice.
It is an option for big eaters who don’t feel full by eating only ramen.
Soaked nori has rich flavour and thus makes the perfect roll.
Some ramen shops recommend eating it this way.