Seaweed can be purchased in different types and styles. This post focuses on dried seaweed sold in sheets – kim (김) or nori. Roasted seaweed sheets is one of the key ingredients in kimbap (김밥) that holds all the ingredients together. It can also be cut into thin strips and used as a garnish. Seasoned roasted seaweed is eaten with a meal or a snack.
Sheets of dried seaweed or laver can be found at any Korean and Japanese markets, but it can also be found in some general supermarkets as well. For the making of kimbap, the seaweed is unseasoned, roasted, and evenly made. There are also sheets of unroasted unseasoned dried seaweed which are made coarsely, so are not good for making kimbap. Any package with a picture of sushi will be the correct one or on Korean packaging look for the characters: 김밥. These sheets are typically sold in packages of 10, 40 and 100 sheets.
You can also purchase seasoned seaweed for eating with a meal or snack. Seasoned seaweed typically comes in large sheets with 3 or 5 mylar packages bundled together or precut packages.
To season your own dried seaweed sheets at home, brush on sesame oil on a sheet and sprinkle with salt. Place another sheets on top and repeat. Continue until you have as many sheets as you want. Roast over a gas range with a low setting by quickly waving both sides over the open flame. The seaweed will shrink and lighten in color.
With preseasoned sheets, cut and serve.
Cut it into smaller rectangular sheets, for individual servings. You can then take the individual serving size with a pair of chopsticks and wrap it around some rice for a bite-size portion.
You can cut by simply folding. Fold both directions and the seaweed should be crispy enough that it breaks at the fold. One technique which is the cleanest is to keep it in the package while folding. Otherwise, fold and cut the fold with a knife.
Store in an dark cool space in an airtight container. Many of the larger quantity packages have a built-in zip seal.
Find a Korean market in the Boston area.