I love Sushi and so does the rest of my family. In fact every single Friday night that’s what we have for dinner. I love to make Sushi and teach Sushi classes however, on Fridays we either go to our favorite Sushi restaurant here in town or get a carry out from there.
Both my husband and son love Wasabi with their Sushi. In fact they can’t seem to get enough of it. For me it murders my nostrils so I normally just avoid it. I prefer Ginger while they can’t stand it. Go figure!
However, did you know for those of you that eat your Sushi with Wasabi that most likely you’ve been eating the fake stuff? That’s right, it’s the imitation Wasabi. The so-called Wasabi that you’ve been getting in the restaurants is simply a mixture of ordinary western horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), Chinese mustard, cornstarch and green food coloring.
You might ask yourself, “why try the real thing when I love the fake stuff already”? Well in answer to that, do you remember when you tried freshly grated parmesan versus the stuff in the green box? No comparison.
I’ve been told that Real Wasabi is a gourmet treat, I’ll find out on Monday when my shipment arrives. As expensive as fresh wasabi roots are ($8 to $10 a piece), for the price of a single maki or two pieces of nigiri, you can carry a pocket-sized container that will have you “keeping it real” for months. Of course if you carry it with you to the restaurants everyone else will want some too.
Apparently the taste of genuine wasabi is not burning or acrid, but a warm explosion that quickly fades to a slightly sweet, lingering finish. Real wasabi does not give you that quick rush of sinus-clearing fire, that I can’t stand. This is a princely rhizome**, not a common horseradish root. That’s why it earns the big bucks.
**All of the wasabi plant is edible including the leaves, but the rhizome, or root portion, produces the finest flavor.
Wasabi is a condiment and not just reserved for Sushi or Sashimi but can be used with:
If you like horseradish in your Bloody Mary, try a dash of Real Wasabi™ paste or add the freshly grated root for a heavenly treat. Or, make a Wasabi Martini: just add the paste to your cocktail shaker.
Mix together a small portion of Wasabi paste and cream cheese and serve with crackers. For hot and sweet, add chutney or cherry jam. Or, mix the paste with yogurt and/or mayonnaise to make a spread or dip.
Salad Dressings, Marinades, Sauces:
Add a little pizzaz to your dressings, marinades or sauces by adding a touch of Real Wasabi paste or the freshly grated root.
Meat, Poultry & Seafood:
Add some wasabi paste to your barbecue or finishing sauce or how about Ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes.
For wasabi mashed potatoes simply fold the wasabi paste into butter before mashing it into the potatoes. For grilled vegetables, blend the wasabi paste with butter; or mix it with mayonnaise for wasabi sauce.
You can even add it to your Green Tea Ice Cream.
So with all this talk about Real Wasabi your probably wondering how to get it. I just ordered mine yesterday and will receive it on Monday since the new shipment just arrived. By going to RealWasabi.com you can order the Wasabi Rhizomes, Gift sets that include Salad Dressings or the Real Powdered Wasabi. Don’t forget to wrap the unused roots in a wet paper towel which can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Probably best kept sealed in a plastic zip lock bag so they don’t absorb other flavors in your frig.
The Wasabi Rhizomes are peeled then grated in a circular motion on a Shark Skin grater for the best effects. However, if you have a ginger grater or MicroPlane that will work as well. You can order the Shark Skin grater from RealWasabi.com.
When mine arrive on Monday I’ll be sure to post how wonderful they are.