Japanese Cooking Wasabi Rhizomes, Leaves and Stems

Why not use freshly grated wasabi to develop a taste of Japanese cuisine. Wasabi has always had a strong association with sushi, sashimi and soba noodles. Wasabi Crop wants to change this and encourage our customers to use and enjoy real fresh wasabi by providing new foods for the table.

Hopefully, our customers will add freshly grated wasabi to pasta, chicken, tofu and speciality sauces. Also, Wasabi can add flavour to roasted legumes and freshly grated over fish and rice dishes. To spice up your sandwiches just add a pinch of freshly grated rhizome. The more adventurous customers may even add wasabi to ice cream, chocolate or alternatively their favourite beverages.

Many recipes are available to allow customers to experiment with freshly grated wasabi to create cuisine with the wasabi kick. Customers will be able to create more interesting salads using the wasabi leaves and stems. Wasabi, the ‘King of Herbs’, will be pride and place in your kitchen. In particular, grating the freshly received rhizome in front of your friends at a special event.

Wasabi is a zingy hot, green paste made from the freshly grated rhizome of the wasabi plant, which is cultivated in terraced mountain stream beds and irrigated by the slow-running, pure water from the mountains of Japan. A typical rhizome is a ¼ inch in diameter and 3 to 5 inches long. To this is attached a 5- to 8-inch stem topped with a 5-inch diameter round heart shaped green leaves. Wasabi is sold in both the natural rhizome from which is considered the most delicious, or as a canned or packaged powder to which cold water is added. Used with shoyu - a soy sauce, which is a dark brown liquid made from soya beans that have undergone a fermentation process - as a topping or dipping sauce for chilled Tofu and as a garnish for raw fish (sashimi) and sushi. The diced leaves and stems of wasabi are also mixed with sake lees to make a popular pickle called Wasabi Zuke. Here are three traditional Japanese ways to eat freshly grated wasabi.

Sushi and Sashimi

In Japanese cuisine, a small portion of wasabi is placed inside the sushi during the preparation stage. In this approach, no wasabi is served on the side. However, when wasabi is served on the side of your sushi or sashimi it is an indication that you should mix the wasabi with soy sauce provided in the small sauce dish. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat usually fish such as salmon or tuna served without rice.  Conversely, sushi is not raw fish but is vinegared rice combined with other ingredients like raw fish. 

Cold Soba Noodles

A favourite Japanese recipe is cold soba noodles served with a light soy based sauce and freshly grated wasabi. The wasabi is usually mixed with the sauce and the noodles dipped into the sauce before eating. Many restaurants will provide a small wasabi rhizome and grater with the noodles to enable the customers to grate the wasabi themselves. This creates freshly prepared wasabi and this approach contributes to the overall experience of Japanese cooking for the customer at a restaurant.

Wasabi Zuke

Wasabi Zuke is a type of pickle using sake lees and was developed by merchants in Fuchu (Shizuoka) where sake production excelled in the Edo Period. This dish traditionally made by chopping up, salting wasabi leaves and stems before pickling in matured sake lees. At this stage, the mixture can be seasoned with salt and sugar. Today, this dish has been modified by adding certain spices to boost the overall flavour. Wasabi Zuke is also related to wasabi-nori, wasabi-miso and kazunoko (herring roe).  Wasabi-Zuke can be applied on processed fish products such as Kamaboko (fish cakes). 

In all these traditional Japanese dishes the wasabi kick starts when the food is macerated in the mouth and the flavour is the product of the fine grating fresh rhizome. It is important to remember not to expose the grated wasabi to air for extended periods of time. The volatile nature of the isothiocyanates in wasabi contributes to its unique flavour and overall heat sensation. This experience lasts for about 15 minutes so enjoy every single moment of it!

Fresh wasabi will be available from Wasabi Crop by 2018


Wasabi Gremolata on Steak

Traditional Italian Gremolata is a combination of chopped herbs made from lemon zest, garlic and parsley. This combination may be served on Milanese braised veal shank dish ossobuco alla milanese. The ingredients of Gremolata are usually included grated lemon peel to provide the zest, but other citrus fruits can be used such as lime, orange or grapefruit. There are several variations of Gremolata which leave out the herbs parsley, coriander, mint and sage. To make Gremolata more interesting, just can add freshly grated wasabi rhizome to your combination. Wasabi will make Gremolata a lot more intersting in its taste and richness towards braised meats like osso bucco, rare steaks, kurobuta pork, or seafood such as halibut or tuna.

Wasabi Guacamole

The Wasabi Guacamole recipe will produce the wasabi kick! So, to produce this zingy pale green dip which is an alternative to the traditional Guacamole having a combination of avocados, onions, and sea salt. For this creation, eggs, hot pepper and Worcestershire sauce are added. Moreover, the best ingredient of all is freshly grated wasabi rhizome. 

Wasabi Mayonnaise

Wasabi mayonnaise is easy to prepared by just mixing one teaspoon full of freshly grated wasabi rhizome with a quarter of a cup of mayonnaise. This combination provides a delicious spread for sandwiches.

Wasabi Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are essentially hard-boiled eggs without the shell and cut in half. In each half, the yolk is removed and blended with mayonnaise and mustard. In this case freshly grated wasabi is used to enhance the taste and provide that kick! In most cases, they are served cold as a side dish, appetiser or a main course, often for parties.

Wasabi Glazed Salmon

Combine two teaspoons full of freshly grated wasabi rhizome with two tablespoons of soy sauce including two tablespoons of maple sugar including two minced garlic cloves. Then smear over the salmon, marinate for 30 minutes and oven bake for at least 20 minutes at 350°F until salmon flakes.

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes

Boil three pounds of potatoes with skins on, mash together using melted butter followed by one cup of Greek yogurt. Finally, add the magic ingredient one tablespoon of freshly grated wasabi with a little salt to taste.

Wasabi Recipes

The majority of people would have not eaten true fresh wasabi. This interesting herb is a relative of horseradish and the Japanese rhizome grows next to highland mountain water streams. Real wasabi is expensive and takes nearly two years to reach maturity and is very perishable in addition to transporting from Japan. The wasabi served in the majority of restaurants is probably good old horseradish and some green colouring.

Recipes using Wasabia Japonica