Wasabi

Wasabi is a very popular Japanese culinary ingredient. It is of greenish color and you usually eat it as a paste/sauce to accompany raw fish plates. Maybe it is so well known because it’s very hot, although its spiciness is quite peculiar and it doesn’t stay on the tongue, but rather “goes up” straight to your nose cavity. If you have never tasted it, watch out for this greenish paste that goes with some Japanese dishes.

Wasabi
A sashimi dish with wasabi on the side.

At the store, you can find wasabi in a tube that looks like tooth paste. If you’re interested, you can find those wasabi tubes at any Asian supermarket anywhere around the world.

Wasabi
A wasabi tube, as usually sold.

What I didn’t know was the origin of this mysterious green paste. It happens to come from a bulb that grows naturally in some humid areas, although nowadays there’s a whole industry dedicated to grow this plant.

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Wasabi plant.

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Wasabi crops.

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Wasabi, once collected.

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Wasabi at the store.

In order to obtain the wasabi paste, you need to grate it. On the following pic, courtesy of wikipedia, you can clearly see how you get wasabi paste from grating it.

wasabi

And finally, a screen shot from a commercial of wasabi flavored chips.

wasabi

4 Comments
  • Brad F.

    March 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but I didn’t think wasabi was made from the root of a plant like that.

    Very cool.

    I keep daydreaming about tricking a family member into putting a large portion of wasabi in their mouth. With your reference to it looking like a tube of toothpaste, it’s giving me new ideas…

  • uberVU - social comments

    March 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by japanjalapeno: RT @Japan_Blogs: Kirainet: Wasabi: Wasabi is a very popular Japanese culinary ingredient. It is of greenish color and you usually… http://twurl.nl/e53uoh

  • tudza

    March 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Gotta get that shark skin wasabi grater setup.

  • Miles

    March 24, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Hoping everyone knows that almost all ‘wasabi’ you get (except in gourmet places) is actually green coloured horseradish. It tastes extremely similar but is much cheaper…