If you are fond of sushi, you will surely know about wasabi because it is one of its key ingredients. Wasabi is a green plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family of plants with few other spices and vegetables like mustard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and horseradish. Wasabi is available in different forms that include powder, paste, and edamame. And all of its types are widely used around the world in various cuisines.
To be more specific, wasabi is a green root vegetable. These roots are used for making the powder and paste of wasabi spice. It is the native plant of Sakhalin, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. Wasabi has high cultivation requirements. That’s why it cannot be grown everywhere and is only found in few specific regions. Moreover, it makes it one of the highly expensive flavoring agents. Due to its expensive price, people in western countries often use horseradish to replace wasabi.
What does Wasabi Look Like?
Wasabi has a bright green color. Its plant is at a size of 20 cm to 60 cm in height. The wasabi plant is filled with large kidney-shaped and circular leaves. The leaves are highly attractive. They are borne on large leaf stalks.
Moreover, wasabi also contains clusters of flowers that are white. The flowers have four petals which arrange a cross shape. The plant also contains dry siliques fruits, while the rhizomes on it can grow around 3 cm. The wasabi paste looks like an avocado paste, while its powdered form is the same as other powdered spices. However, it has a little different color, which sets it apart.
Where does Wasabi Come From?
The actual wasabi comes from Japan. The ancient Japanese used the Wasabia Japonica plant for producing wasabi spice. They grew the plant in Japanese riverbeds. Even today, a large amount of wasabi still comes from the same region. Due to the high planting requirements of this plant, it was not grown in other parts of the world until recent years. However, today, wasabi is also cultivated in few other regions such as Taiwan, China, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and North America. However, the Japanese wasabi quality remains at the top of the list.
How is Wasabi Made?
Since people mostly use wasabi paste, therefore, we will discuss the making process of its paste. For making wasabi paste, you can use both wasabi powder and rhizomes. While using rhizomes, begin with trimming and cutting the bumps. Then, grate the trimmed rhizomes. Once grated, it will look like the grated ginger. And your wasabi paste is ready for use. With wasabi powder, add few drops of cold water and then mix it well to get the paste.
What Does Wasabi Taste Like?
Wasabi has a very deep and highly pungent flavor. It is aromatic, sweet, and fresh in taste. Wasabi’s taste can fade easily. That’s why people use its paste to retain its flavor. Besides, it also adds a little spiciness to the cuisines and complements well with raw fish.
How is Wasabi Used in Cooking?
Wasabi is not a type of ingredient that should be added to the recipe while cooking. But you can still add some amount to your slow-cooked items. Apart from cooking, wasabi has three major ways of using it. First, you can use it as a condiment and serve it with your cooked cuisines. Moreover, you can also use wasabi as a seasoning ingredient. While this flavoring agent also makes a great ingredient for salad dressing. Just add a little wasabi paste in your favorite salad bowl to boost its flavor.
What Types of Cuisines Use Wasabi?
Wasabi is majorly used in Japanese and Chinese cuisines. This is because it complements well with seafood. That’s why it is used as a key ingredient in seafood, especially in cuisines like sushi. Besides, wasabi is also used in mayo, mashed potatoes, hummus, egg, guacamole, and more.
What is a Wasabi Substitute?
Wasabi has eight good substitutes. All of them make a good replacement for this spice. These ingredients are mustard, chili peppers, yuzu, ginger, horseradish, Karachi, Carolina Reaper, and hot daikon. So, don’t worry if you can’t afford wasabi because you can use these ingredients instead.
Where to Buy Wasabi?
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