Originally uploaded by O'Chica
How do you feel about a pot of simmering black goo? It's made of sea weed.
You see nori wrapping (or inside of) sushi roll. That's how nori looks like at the store. Paper-thin, dry, sometimes with seasoning. If you leave it in your pantry too long (more than a few months), it gets stale and loses aroma. But you can rescue it. Like me, found a couple of almost a year-old bags of pretty good quality ones the other day. (Yeah, I brought them to the USA this January when we spent holidays in Japan, kept them in the pantry, sent them back to Japan along with boxes of mac'n'cheese when we moved. I didn't know they are there until I unpack. Sigh.)
Tsukudani is a savory (with some sweetness, though) preserve made from almost any food, cooked with soy sauce and sugar or mirin. Nori no tsukudani is sold in bottles at any Japanese grocery store, and very popular. Japanese love it on a warm bowl of steamed rice. Store-bought one usually is not made from nori, but from aosa (also a kind of sea weed) for better aroma.
My childhood staple is this (the top one, sorry no English). They say their low-sodium, sweeter version is good on buttered toast. Sure it looks gross. Even for me.
Anyway, when you make it at your kitchen, beware of burning. It's gooey. Hee-hee.