Nori Glory: It’s the 9 Best Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed snacks are deliciously tasty and light. When done right, they produce a mouth watering savory flavor and an appetizing saltiness. Not all seaweed snacks are made the same, though. There’s a wide spectrum of them all over the world, especially in the East. The type of nori, seasonings, oil, and method of preparation are all X factors, and I love seeing what each brand and flavor has to offer. For the purpose of this taste test we’re looking at seaweed snacks that are readily available online and at American grocery stores. That includes H Mart, which has more than 90 locations across the country.

I did this taste test with my dog, Fey, who loves seaweed snacks. She just started staring at me one day as I was eating them, and turns out, she’s a freak for crunchy, paper-thin sheets of nori. Here’s what I look for in my seaweed snacks: I want a strong savory flavor. Give me great umami. The seaweed itself should carry that strong flavor, but I’ve found that the addition of sesame oil also helps make that taste more pronounced. Seaweed snacks should have good seasoning, use good oil, and provide a crunchy, light, yet big-on-flavor experience. These are snacks, after all. 

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best seaweed snacks

Best of the Best

Nicos Green Tea Seaweed Snacks

This one really caught me off guard. The green tea taste is aromatic and lovely, and there is a pronounced, savory flavor too. It’s also salty and smoky. I just love that there’s so many flavors at work here. Nicos strikes a great balance of meaty and lightly fragrant. They also use three oils: olive oil, sesame oil, and canola oil. Together, they provide a deeply rich and engaging taste. Nicos lists “laver” as its main ingredient, which looks to be a variety of red algae that grows off the coast of Japan and also the British Isles. It’s used in Welsh cooking to make something called laverbread. Laver has a robust flavor, and I think it tastes quite different.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Teriyaki

Best Teriyaki: GimMe Teriyaki Roasted Seaweed Snacks

This is subtly smoky and sweet, and has a really nice complex flavor. It’s nice and salty, and the sheets of nori feel rich with fat, too. GimMe uses a combination of sesame oil and sunflower oil, so there’s an extra nutty flavor that permeates the snack. I love the addition of tamari soy sauce, onion, and garlic, too. It’s a seaweed snack, so the flavor is very subtle, but man, I preferred this to the other teriyaki seaweed snacks we tried by far.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Texture

Big Sheet by Tao Kae Noi Crispy Seaweed

This Thai seaweed snack is thick, substantial, and has a really nice, unadulterated nori flavor. The umami here feels even stronger thanks to the size of these sheets, which are thick and formidable. As a result, they don’t crumble to dust and you don’t feel like you’re eating sheets of paper. This could actually make a dent in your hunger pangs, and the flavor is pure. Add it to ramen and salads for extra flavor and texture. Hell, I’d crumble some of this up on some pasta at home, too. There’s also a great article about the young entrepreneur who makes these. I love his hustle. This dude started out selling chestnuts at the mall. Respect.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Sweet

Fusia Sweet & Salty Seaweed Snacks

This is the dessert of seaweed snacks. Sugar was not something I realized I wanted in a seaweed snack until I tried these sweet and salty snacks from Fusia, a brand sold at Aldi. There’s little bits of crystalized sugar on the sheet itself, which adds this extra layer of crunchy texture. You can really taste the sweetness here, and it’s not at all cloying. This is just a great marriage of sweet and savory, and a pretty unique combination in the seaweed snack world, might I add.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Umami Flavor

Nicos Seasoned Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Nicos brand seaweed snacks have such a delightfully potent umami flavor to them. This one gave me strong MSG vibes, but these are just made with laver, some salt, corn oil, and sesame oil. Nicos is mouth-smackingly good, and there’s a nice sebaceousness to them that keeps you coming back for more. I love the taste of laver, too. It just brings a more savory flavor than other seaweed snacks.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Salty Flavor

Kroger Sea Salt Roasted Seaweed Snack

This brand had my favorite salty flavor of them all—you can actually see the little salty crystals on the roasted nori sheet. Plus, it’s still got a little bit of that oiliness that makes the seaweed snack feel just a bit fatty. Kroger uses a combination of expeller-pressed canola oil and sesame oil, but I wish there was more of a sesame vibe here. Still, I was really surprised that Kroger made such a boldly salty seaweed snack. It’s undeniably delicious. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Kroger

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Thick

Nora Crispy Seaweed Snacks

These aren’t traditional in the sense that they are extra thick for a seaweed snack. If your hang-up with seaweed snacks is that they’re too paper thin, I suggest Nora, which is thick cut like slabs of bacon and packs a wonderful umami punch. Per Nora’s package: “Seaweed is the most nutrient dense vegetable on the planet, and one of the world’s most sustainable crops: needs no fertilizers, no fresh water, and removes C02 from our oceans.” I like how sustainable and substantial this is, and there’s a bit of a kick from the white pepper powder listed in the ingredients.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Simple

Sprouts Sea Salt Roasted Seaweed Snack

Sprouts also surprised the hell out of me, and they do two things really well: salt and fat. The nori sheets are a bit slick from the sesame oil, and the salt flavor really makes your mouth water. It’s not the most complex thing in the world, but I love how well the brand executes a simple product. If you’re a regular shopper at Sprouts, pick these up. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

best seaweed snacks

Best Bold Flavor

Yangban Sea Veggies Sea Salt Seaweed Snack

Yangban makes a lot of different seaweed snacks, but we tried this version and love it. It’s got a really nice funkiness to it, and a lot of good salt and fat. The flavor is bold, which I quite enjoy. Yangban is a Korean company, and you can find a lot of their products at your local H Mart if you live near one. This looks like it was made and marketed specifically to sell at American grocery stores, but all the products in their line of seaweed snacks are pretty good and deserve a look.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Ocean’s Halo Sea Salt, GimMe Sea Salt, GimMe Toasted Sesame, SeaSnax Chomperz, Jayone Roasted and Seasoned, Fusia Roasted, Trader Joe’s Roasted Sea Salt, Trader Joe’s Organic Teriyaki.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • I’ve never heard of any of these brands. I’ve only ever had Shirakiku nori packets.

    Reply