making nori

The time has come to make nori - the resist paste used in the katazome process. I anticipate that I will need to make a few batches before the end of the project because even with the addition of salt and slated lime (as preservatives) each batch will only keep for a few weeks.

Nori is predominantly made from a mixture of super fine rice bran and sweet rice flour. I haven't been able to find rice bran which is fine enough here in Australia and consequently bought a healthy supply from Tanaka Nao Seryoten (a specialist dye store in Kyoto, Japan) for this project.

After sifting and mixing the rice bran and rice flour, a little water is added to create a dough-like mixture which is then steamed for a few hours. After steaming, the nori is mixed vigorously while still hot until it reaches a smooth consistency with no lumps.

Salt and slaked lime are added to this smooth paste at the end of this process to preserve the mixture for slightly longer. The nori is then left to cool at room temperature before it can be placed in the fridge for safe keeping until it is needed.

Action shots - nori being vigorously mixed

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