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Do You Eat the Nori Seaweed in Ramen? 3 Ways to Eat It

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 ramen
B. Tokyo ramen
C. Wakayama ramen
D. 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.

About the Author

Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".

"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.

Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.

If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.

Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.

I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.

My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.

My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.

Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."


  • Kei

    Hi Noorlela,
    Thanks for writing to us!
    The Buldak brand is a Korean version of ramen – while tasty, it is too spicy for me too!
    You can try miso, tonkotsu, shio, or shoyu ramen – these are the 4 major ramen broth bases in Japan and they are not spicy!

  • Noorlela

    I wanted to know what is the original taste for Ramen Ive tried the instant ramen ‘BULDAK’ It’s hard to taste because it was extremely spicy When I put less paste, I can feel that ramen taste only spicy, no salty and no sweet. Please advise 😅

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