The unique umami flavor with an addition of salt and sweet taste of nori, a wrapper made from edible seaweed, is truly exquisite, isn’t it?
Being tasty and highly nutritious, they are found in most of the pantries and are used to prepare delicacies such as sushi, onigiri, and many more. Simply adding nori sheets on top of your rice bowl also makes the entire meal fancy and delicious right away.
But how long do they last? How do you store them? If you are looking for answers, we’ve got you covered.
Does Nori Go Bad?
If you are a sushi lover, then you might have bought nori sheets often. These types of nori packets usually contain at least 50 sheets, which will undoubtedly be more for one or two recipes you make in your kitchen.
So, what to do with the remaining nori sheets? The answer is – store them properly. If not, these edible seaweeds will go bad. Read on to find out how you can store it for the long run without losing its taste and flavor.
How Long Does Nori Last?
As the nori is in dried bought in dry form, it has a very long shelf life. Packets of nori you brought will always come with best-before or best-by date on the label. To get the best taste and flavor, we recommend consuming them within the date.
You can increase the shelf life of the nori simply by storing it properly. You can use your packet of nori even after the expiry date, but you have to compromise on the nori’s taste and flavor. Nevertheless, it will be safe to consume.
As mentioned in the above table, the opened packet of nori can be safely used for 1-2 years if stored properly in your pantry. Similarly, the closed pack of nori can be used for 2-3 years. If you don’t store it properly, it will lose all its taste within a few months.
You need to know that opening the package of nori accelerates the dissipation of the taste. The above period indicates the time for the best quality of nori, but you can use it for a more extended period if stored carefully.
4 Tips to Tell if Nori has gone bad
Even if the nori sheets you bought didn’t have an expiry date, it could go bad if not stored properly. So, you must be careful not to use the bad one for your recipe, or else, all your food will be wasted. Here are some tips by which you will be able to say that your nori has gone bad.
1. Moldy and Soggy
You must be very careful that your packet of nori must be kept far from the moisture and wet surfaces. If your packet of nori is exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, the mold starts to form on the nori’s surface.
If your nori gets wet by any means, it starts to get sticky, or even worse, it gets soggy and starts to fall out. This kind of mold formation leads to the discoloration of your packet of nori. If you witness such molds, it’s time to get rid of nori from your kitchen.
You must prevent your packet of nori from exposure to the heat. If your nori gets exposed to excessive heat, it becomes dry and eventually turns into dust and indicates it’s time for it to go.
3. Leathery texture
Your packet of nori becomes tough and leathery when nori absorbs air moisture. When your nori shows this type of characteristics, you should throw it out of your kitchen in no time.
4. Off flavor and Smell
Nori has a unique salty smell and taste like grass and salt or tastes specific to the additional flavors. If your packet of nori has lost its unique flavor, there is no point in using it in your dishes.
Similarly, if your nori starts to smell rancid or sour instead of its original usual ocean scent, you need to trash those nori sheets immediately.
3 Tips to store nori
After you buy a packet of nori and use some of them for your dishes, you’d want to store the remaining.
As nori is technically a dried food and has a greater shelf life, the storing procedure is the same as the other dried foods. This section provides you with some excellent tips to store nori properly.
You can simply store nori in a cool, dry place in your pantry. You can keep the unopened packs in your pantry room as the original packaging provides enough protection for nori.
But once the packet of nori has been opened, it is safe to transfer the unused nori sheets in an air-tight container or a re-sealable plastic bag by removing the excess air from the bag before storing it in your pantry cupboard.
Air must be removed to prevent it from absorbing the water content in it. It would be best for you to store the container or bag in a humid place, protecting it from the constant temperature change.
Likewise, if your packet of nori comes in contact with sunlight, it becomes sticky and would be of no use. Thus, make sure you store nori in a cool, dry place.
2. Use silica bags
Nori sheets are very prone to moisture. You need to prevent your nori sheets from moisture, and for that, you can simply use silica gel packets that help keep things dry.
Using these silica bags helps to keep your nori sheets moisture-free. A moisture-free environment also prohibits mold growth on your nori’s surface and prevents it from spoilage. Remember that these silica bags lose their effectiveness after absorbing about 40% of their weight moisture.
You must also remember that even if you use these silica bags but keep the packet of nori in an open place, you can store it only for a few months and no more than that.
3. Store it in the freezer
You can simply add to the shelf life of the nori by storing it in a fridge. This way, it helps to retain its flavor and taste.
However, you must keep in mind that the environment inside the fridge is humid, and in order to protect it from moisture, you should place the packet of nori in an air-tight sealed bag or a freezer bag.
The ideal temperature to store nori is 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit. Above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the bacterial growth starts on your packet of nori. That’s why a fridge is an excellent place to store nori than a pantry.
You can store your nori in freeze only if you are planning to use it once a month. If you are using it frequently, the best place to store the nori sheets would be the pantry.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Nori
You need to know that nori doesn’t technically expire. If you store your packet of nori carefully, you can use it forever. However, this doesn’t mean that your packet of nori will never spoil.
You can use your packet of nori even if it has passed its expiry date unless there is any sign of spoilage. However, you might need to compromise on the quality and the taste of the nori sheets, as they’ll most probably fade with time.
In the worst-case scenario, consuming expired or moldy nori may alter your taste and upset your stomach. If you notice any such problem, you need to consult health professionals immediately.
Can You Freeze Nori?
As the shelf life of the nori is long enough, there’s usually no need to freeze your sheets of nori. But if you have bought it in a large quantity and have enough space in your freezer, you can freeze the packet of nori.
You must be careful to prevent the nori sheets from moisture and cold air before storing them in the freezer. You can prevent your nori sheets from such situations by storing them in sealable freezer bags.
You need to squeeze as much air as possible from the bag preventing it from absorbing moisture from the cold air inside the bag.
Remember that if you freeze or refrigerate nori sheets that have previously encountered moisture, it can end up being chewy. So, always freeze or refrigerate your nori dry. Finally, keeping a label and date of storage if needed before placing it in a freezer is a brilliant freezer hack.
Seaweeds such as nori are highly nutritious and must be included in your diet. But does that mean you buy nori in bulk and waste them later on? Absolutely not! As nori does lose its quality, or worse, spoils, it is best to stock up on a limited amount at once.
Now that you know you can even consume expired nori (well, not if they are spoilt), enjoy your sushi or any other fancy seaweed recipe stress-free!