What’s wasabi?

Do you know what wasabi is?

“Of course I know what wasabi is!”

“It’s a Luc Besson movie!”

“I have seen it in London.(you mean the restaurant chain!)”

No no no no… This time, I’m going to talk about Japanese horseradish as a seasoning, whether you know it or not.

  • How well known is it in Japan?
  • What does it taste like?
  • What kind of food is it used for?
  • Price, where can I buy it?

This is an article that explains these.

 How well known is Wasabi in Japan?

Most Japanese households have wasabi in their refrigerators (well, actually, most of it is not really wasabi, but wasabi flavors… but I will explain that in another article).

If you are in a Japanese restaurant or have Japanese friends, ask them “Do you have wasabi?” The answer would probably be 95% yes.

What does it taste like?

It has a very particular sweet taste with a hint of spiciness. It tastes good in small amounts, but if you eat it in chunks, your nose will hurt.

If it is your first time to try it, try eating a grain of rice.

If you eat it with a spoon, you might cry.

This sweetness-after-twang spiciness is addictive!

The taste is perceived in two stages, so you can enjoy the change in taste of various dishes too.

The difference from western horseradish is that the top sweetness is deeper and the pungency is also stronger.

And The color green is oriental and Instagrammable.

What kind of food is it used for?

The most common use is for fish. It is used for raw fish such as sashimi, sushi and rice bowls, as well as for grilled fish.

It is also used with tofu, soba, Ochazuke(like rice oatmeal) and somen noodles.

There are also many horseradish-flavored snacks, such as potato chips, persimmon pies, and even soft-serve ice cream.

You can even play wasabi Russian roulette by putting a lot of hot wasabi in cream puffs (which is a waste).

My recommendation is natto wasabi.

Price, where can I buy it?

You can find it in physical stores at wallmart, costco, and so on, and online at Amazon, Taobao Mall, and Jingdong.

The major Japanese manufacturers are S&B FOODS INC and HOUSE FOODS CORPORATION.

In Japan, tube horseradish is generally priced between US$1 and US$3 .

Sawa wasabi is more expensive.

This blog deals with various wasabi related topics.