Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

Wasabi products

Which one to get?

There are many different brands of Wasabi. Before you think about brands, you first need to think whether you want to use fresh wasabi or packaged wasabi paste.

 

Wasabi is a Japanese plant or root vegetable (it is known in English as Japanese Horseradish) with a thick green root which tastes like strong horseradish and is used in cookery, especially in powder or paste forms as an accompaniment to raw fish. The wasabi plant is a member of the Brassicaceae family (which also includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard).

 

Wasabi can be bought in three different ways, generally for traditional Japanese cooking Wasabi is purchased as a root which is then finely grated down before use, it can be bought as dried powder in large quantities (a great option for Japanese restaurateurs) or the most commonly sold version to the general public is as paste in tubes (similar to a tube of toothpaste).
In traditional high end Japanese restaurants wasabi is prepared fresh to order and is made using the root to form a paste. If this fresh mixture is left uncovered for 15 minutes it can lose its flavour. In sushi preparation, sushi chefs usually put the wasabi between the fish and rice because covering the wasabi sauce until serving preserves and keeps its flavour.

 

There are many popular brands of powdered wasabi, including Kona wasabi, Eden Wasabi and S&B wasabi powder. Nowadays with the overwhelming health conscious revolution there are now a lot of Organic wasabi brands sweeping the Asian grocery stores. Powdered wasabi brands can be purchased online on websites such as Amazon and eBay as well as in Asian Supermarkets. The most popular thing to create with wasabi powder isc. Wasabi paste, which you can also buy ? but this way is more authentic and contains fewer additives than your supermarket shelf brands. Freshly made wasabi loses its flavour and kick within 15 minutes so the paste brands (you will have seen them in stores in tubes similar to toothpaste tubes) need to contain more preservatives and additives in them to help them maintain freshness and last in fridges for lengthy periods of time. Powdered wasabi is used to make fresh wasabi paste in the cases of the wasabi plant not being available to purchase in that region, it is quite hard to find wasabi plants in other locations apart from Japan but if you try hard enough you might just be able to track one down.

 

When buying powdered wasabi find yourself a good quality powder, preferably it should be made from 100% pure Wasabia Japonica (the plant name). The brands by Namida (100% Pure Wasabi Powder) is a good one, but you might find something else you prefer. You can tell you have bought a decent powder because it shouldnft have a smell, it should be light pastel green and it should be very finely ground. If the powder is gritty the flavour will not be released properly. Be careful for any brands in Ziplock bags as itfs more than likely theyfve already lost all of their flavour.

 

Powdered wasabi is recommended also for use in soups, curry or laksa style broths to add a large kick of flavour and spice.

 

For many westerners and those not that well rounded with Japanese culture or food, when we speak of wasabi many people automatically know wasabi as a paste. For many people their first experiences with wasabi is at the local sushi take away place, where we notice this pretty dainty innocent looking rosette sitting proudly next to a lovely slice of ginger. Out of curiosity we swipe our sushi through this green paste and proceed to eat away until our mouth suddenly burns and catches on fire a little bit. That is wasabi paste.

 

Wasabi paste for many peoplefs first time is an unpleasant experience because they havenft eaten it properly. When eaten and used sparingly it can actually add beautiful flavour and spice to a dish, the best thing to remember is that less is more when it comes to wasabi paste.

 

Some of the top rated brands of Wasabi Paste (according to Amazonfs top seller list) are Roland Wasabi Paste, S&B Wasabi Paste and Kikkoman Wasabi Sauce.
Some great uses for wasabi paste are:

 

Some great uses for wasabi paste are putting some wasabi and soy sauce together on sashimi the next time you eat it, putting in some wasabi to the nest cold soba noodles dish you have, pasting it onto the ingredients you put in a sushi roll, putting just a little into your salad dressing to give it just a little kick (try putting a little ginger in too), mixing it with Japanese mayonnaise and lastly, making a nice hot sauce buy mixing it with BBQ sauce and putting on grilled chicken or meats.

 

If you are watching your back pocket in terms of spending, be careful of the cost of wasabi as it can be quite pricey, some people are known to create their own ewasabif paste out of cheaper ingredients, this mixture will often contain horseradish, mustard and starch mixed in with green food colouring. This is generally a cheaper way of making wasabi, however it does in turn make it a little unhealthier with the additional starch and food dye then bringing in unwelcome artificial colours and flavours. It is rare to find Wasabi plants outside of Japan, so it is always recommended to read the ingredients label on any wasabi base as sometimes the ingredients do not actually include wasabi plant and are in fact a mixture of the above. Wasabi is often priced so highly because the cultivation of real wasabi is relatively difficult and an expensive process.

 

If used in the right way, wasabi can add so much taste to a meal and in just the right way, it truly can be one of the best condiments in your kitchen. Itfs really great when you can make your own or buy organic wasabi as this is always the best and you be sure that it is pure with no additives in it. If youfve never had this before then please give it a go!