Guest Author - Chidori Phillips
Ajitsuke nori, a sweet teriyaki-flavored snack, is a favorite among children and parents alike. It is eaten plain like seasoned potato chips, wrapped around rice balls or shredded as a topping for noodles, soup, salad, tofu, fish or dishes like okonomiyaki.
Two types are sold on market shelves: one is teriyaki flavor and the other is a hot chili flavor. This recipe combines both but you can omit the rayu oil to keep the taste sweet and mild. The benefit of toasting your own ajitsuke nori is that you get optimum crispiness while being able to vary the flavors. And even lower grade nori can be made tastier by seasoning and toasting.
Ajitsuke Nori Hot Flavor
Toasted Seasoned Nori Snack
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
a few drops of rayu (red chili oil)
In a small cup, blend together the soy sauce, sugar and rayu. It will be a bit grainy but keep mixing until sugar is dissolved as much as possible. With a pastry brush, lightly spread sesame oil over the non-shiny side of the nori sheets. Then, brush on a very light coating of the soy mixture. The nori should not be wet or soggy. With a pair of tongs (or chopsticks if you are skillful), hold the seasoned nori sheet over an open flame and wave it quickly back and forth until the nori crisps. Toast it to your liking. If you plan to wrap it around rice, do not toast it too much or it will be too brittle and will crumble as you wrap it up. If you plan to eat it straight, crisp it to your heartfs desire but it will shrink the longer it stays over the flame.
Alternatively, you can place the seasoned nori sheet on a baking sheet and place it under the broiler flame. Watch it carefully and it will burn very quickly.
Cut the nori sheets into strips with a pair of kitchen shears or a very sharp knife. Or, keep the sheet whole, plop some white rice into the center and wrap it up. Enjoy!
Why not think of your own creative seasoning combinations to flavor your very own nori snacks. Here are some of my ideas:
1. Sesame oil and white sesame seeds. Theyfll toast as you roast the nori.
2. Olive oil and garlic salt.
3. Lemon juice and chili powder blended with sugar.
4. Peanut oil, ginger powder, curry powder and onion salt.
5. Rayu oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce.
Anything goes when you make your own ajitsuke nori snacks!