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Wasabi Dec 28, 2017


That light green paste nestled next to the pink ginger in your box of sushi? It is most likely a mix of mustard, European horseradish, and food colouring.

In fact, by some estimates, only 5% of the wasabi served in Japanese restaurants around the world comes from the rhizome, or root, of a wasabi plant.

The methods for eating real wasabi differ significantly from those of the powdered kind, particularly if the plant is fresh.

In its most traditional preparation, the root is stood on a grater made of a piece of sharkskin stapled to a wooden paddle. Using a circular, clockwise motion, one presses the rhizome down and a paste is formed.

The heat and flavour - significantly less bracing than imitation wasabi, but similarly sharp - last only for 10 to 15 minutes, so wasabi is grated as needed.