We’re Obsessed with Seaweed Snacks, So We Found the Best Brands
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My family loves seaweed snacks so much, we decided to do a taste test. Here's a look at our decision-making process—and our winners for the best seaweed snacks!
When the conversation turns toward seaweed snacks, which I’m sure it often does, most people think of it as the stuff that wraps around your limbs when you’re trying to swim in open water. But it’s edible—and good for you, too.
Japanese restaurants already use sheets of seaweed called nori as the wrap for maki rolls. It can be so much more than that, though. In my family, seaweed is a crunchy, salty and healthy snack!
Health Benefits of Seaweed
There are thousands of types of seaweed, and humans currently use about 145 of them for everything from food to anti-aging facial masks. This plant is an excellent source of iodine, a micronutrient critical for thyroid health. Seaweed is also thought to help boost metabolism and improve gut health, increasing the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.
It’s a low-calorie snack, too—a package of 10 crunchy nori sheets typically has 15 to 20 calories and gives you 30% of your daily value of iodine. Most nori is also going to be gluten-free, Whole30-approved and keto-friendly, if those monikers describe your current diet.
But…Does Seaweed Taste Good?
For those out there who’ve never tried seaweed before and are a bit hesitant, don’t be. If you like anything salty and crunchy, you’ll undoubtedly like nori. Even kids like it—at least the ones who live with me.
“It tastes a little crispy with some salt on it. It’s delicious,” raves my 5-year-old daughter, who asks for a snack approximately every five minutes.
“It’s like the ocean,” muses my 7-year-old, a future food writer.
Some people say nori has an umami flavor, a savory, rich taste that’s a more complex than simply “salty.”
The Seaweed Snack Taste Test
You can find seaweed snacks in your grocery store’s Asian food section or next to the other salty snack foods. A specialty grocery store will likely have a broad selection of flavors. That’s right, flavors—everything from wasabi to teriyaki.
With so many options, it was obvious a taste test was needed to see which brand would be declared most delicious. I asked my family—my husband and two kids—to contribute their taste buds and they were only too happy to help. Here are our thoughts!
Best Overall Seaweed Snack: gimMe Organic Premium Roasted Seaweed, Toasted Sesame
Everyone loved this gimMe seaweed snack that used toasted sesame oil to infuse flavor, making the nori less fishy and more nutty. We also agreed it had the best crunch factor. It disappeared from the table the fastest! gimMe has a wide variety of flavors to choose from if sesame isn’t your fave, like sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, teriyaki, avocado oil and wasabi, and we can attest they were all delish.
Runner Up: Nora Roasted Seaweed Snack, Sea Salt
Nora was also a family favorite. There was no fishy essence, the saltiness was spot on and no one’s mouth was on fire (see below for a slight mistake in that department). I think our kids also liked them because saying “Nora Nori” is fun.
Most Unique Flavor: Ocean’s Halo, Chili Lime
Even though it says there’s jalapeno infused into these crispy sheets, Ocean’s Halo wasn’t at all spicy so even the kiddos enjoyed it. We really liked the subtle lime flavor that came through as well. These would probably be delicious crumbled on top of fish tacos or grilled salmon.
Best Spicy Seaweed Snack: Simple Truth Organic, Wasabi
If you have a Kroger store near you and love spicy food, then Simple Truth Organic wasabi seaweed snacks are right up your alley. I accidentally handed the package to my kids without reading it first. Whoops! (Don’t worry, the fire was easily extinguished.)