Updated: Jun 22, 2018
A sushi is not complete without wasabi. But, do you know that wasabi is scarce (and quite expensive to say the least)? There's a chance you're eating artificial wasabi. It's a mixture of mustard, horseradish and food colouring. Commonly on the form of green paste.
Most of the wasabi served outside Japan is that kind of wasabi. It tastes hot with burning aftertaste, and also not as fresh-tasting as real wasabi.
On the other hand, real wasabi has “plant-like” taste, more like herbal. Although it's hot, it doesn't have burning aftertaste like the artificial one.
The real wasabi doesn't actually need to be prepared right before you want to eat. Its unique flavour only lasts 15 minutes after wasabi stem is being grated. That way, you will taste wasabi’s smooth and strong flavours.
Wasabi has many benefits, especially for Japan native. It has been used not only as condiment, but also medicine. Traditionally, wasabi served with raw fish (i.e sushi and sashimi) to prevent food poisoning. Scientifically, they were right because wasabi contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Say goodbye to any disease lurking in the uncooked fish!
What's More about Wasabi
As mentioned earlier, wasabi is scarce. Their natural habitat is Japan's mountains, its river valleys to be exact. Wasabi needs cool environment and can't tolerate direct sunlight. Thus, the wasabi plants are very difficult to grow.
In Japan, most wasabi grows in Shizuoka where Mt Fuji located. 80% of the whole wasabi crop is there, and more importantly the best wasabi also from there. A district in Shizuoka, named Utogi, is known to be the birthplace of wasabi!
As you grew more interest in wasabi, J Passport X Shizuoka Prefecture presents you Wasabi Fair! From 20th February - 31st March 2018, you are invited to try some exclusive Shizuoka wasabi dishes created by some of our participating restaurants and enjoy exclusive promotions!
Apart from common use of wasabi, such as for sushi and sashimi, you can try soba and steak. Even tea and ice cream also added wasabi as one of their ingredients.
Thus, make sure you don't miss our Wasabi Fair!