Korean roasted salted laver

I love roasted salted laver, otherwise known as “gim” in Korean. Or maybe it’s more familiar if I call it “roasted salted nori.” On Japanese food packaging, I’ve seen it labelled, “Korean nori.” Food that is shared between Japan and Korea seems marked with battle over nomenclature, much like the battle over that sea between the two countries–is it an Asian Pear or a Japanese Pear? Or is it the East Sea or is it the Japan Sea?

Anyway, this is one of my favorite snack foods–gim has a savory flavor that is just so delicious, especially wrapped around a spoonful of rice. For many Koreans, some gim, rice, and kimchi makes for a wonderful and simple meal.

You can buy pre-prepared gim at Korean grocery stores, but what’s even better is buying untoasted laver and making the gim yourself–nothing tastes better than the freshly toasted stuff!

For years, I could not toast gim at home. Sadly, I owned an electric stove until recently when we purchased a six burner Wedgewood gas stove. Oh, that stove has opened up possibilities–and I just realized, also for toasting my own gim! It’s a simple enough process–take a square of laver (or nori), brush some sesame oil onto it, and then sprinkle salt (on a whim, I sprinkled on fleur de sel this morning to brilliant effect–but you can use Morton’s like my mother did).

Take that square of oiled, salted laver and wave it over the open flame of your stove. There are simple contraptions for keeping the square in place and keeping it flat (these tools resemble a grill basket that folds flat). Not using this contraption doesn’t affect the taste, but your laver will curl as it toasts. After your square is sufficiently toasted over the open flame, you may eat it! Cut it up in squares and use it to roll around white sticky rice, or eat it on its own, as my husband often does.

Update 9/17/06: After running around town at various Korean stores asking for “the thing you use when you roast gim,” I finally succeeded in procuring a suk-sae:

making gim (Korean roasted salted laver)

4 responses to “Korean roasted salted laver

  1. Wow. I just had a total flashback of my grandmother toasting nori over the gas burners in the house where I grew up.

  2. Since I lived without a gas stove for such a long time…throughout college and beyond, I used a toaster oven … 5 seconds on each side on high.

    storebought laver just doesn’t taste the same!

    I make a huge batch and then tupperware it.

    Yum.

  3. So does anyone know what the thicker stuff is called? I went up to Sokcho this summer with my girlfriend and we ended up at this little place where they gave us really thick, slightly sweetened stuff. I thought it was also made of seaweed, but I haven’t seen it in shops. My girlfriend says it’s harder to package and usually just homemade. Ever had this stuff? It’s wonderful… like healthy potato chips.

  4. Yes I know what you’re talking about, Gord! It’s green, about 1/8 inch thick at times, curled, sometimes salted. But definitely like a hefty potato chip.

    I know, because it is one of my LEAST favorite Korean foods (I’m ashamed to admit that I hate a Korean food). Bleah!

    It’s seaweed. A different kind than what’s used as gim, is my guess.

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