Porphyra sp.

To conclude the series on some of the plants of Japan, I thought I’d feature something from one of the groups of plants infrequently featured on BPotD, the algae. Today’s photographic subject has undergone some processing for food purposes; in its wild form, it would look more like this: Porphyra yezoensis. Here, however, it’s been washed, dried, shredded, and roasted, all to create the consumable nori.

As a sea crop, nori, or laver, is valued at an estimated 1 billion USD globally, with a worldwide production of around 600 000 tonnes. By comparison, sugar cane production is around 1.75 billion tonnes (~3000x the production by mass). As nori contains high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals (e.g., for vitamin C, ~95mg/100g of nori vs. ~53mg/100g of oranges), perhaps that production ratio will slowly shift in favour of nori. Despite what may seem like small amounts of production globally, nori is the most widely-consumed algae in the world. The Seaweed Site contains extensive information about nori cultivation, as does the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Porphyra spp..

Porphyra sp.

9 responses to “Porphyra sp.”

  1. Stuart

    Yummy. I love nori. And, I found, looking at the wikipedia page you link to here, that the regular nori we wrap rice in to make makizushi, is a different plant from the aonori that we sprinkle on yakisoba. Never knew that.

  2. lisa

    I have recently become addicted to Seaweed Snacks…. num num!!!

  3. Michael

    In case it wasn’t clear, the mg/100g comparison with oranges is the vitamin C content.

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Thanks, Michael, fixed.

  5. phillip

    …great photo..at first i thought it was a painting by Jackson Pollock..

  6. Marika

    Thank you for including Nori today.It is really interesting about food that we eat and connecting to it’s source in the world. It is a craving for me too- I can see why now! Delicious!

  7. Monika

    Like Phillip, I too, thought it was a Jackson Pollack painting! Gorgeous colors. Thanks for posting. Have enjoyed these Japanese entries.

  8. Eric Simpson

    I can haz sooshee?

  9. elizabeth a airhart

    this has been a fine series thank you

Leave a Reply