Culinary use of Sawa-Wasabi
Wasabi is a staple condiment in Japanese cuisine and traditionally served with sushi, sashimi, soba noodles, and other Japanese dishes. The leaves can be eaten fresh as a salad green, used as a flavour in foods or pickled fresh in sake brine or soy sauce. Today wasabi’s unique flavour and heat is being recognized in fusion styles of cooking.
To obtain the best flavour, texture and heat of Sawa-Wasabi the rhizome must be ground into a fine paste. In Japan the traditional method for grating Wasabi uses a ray skin grater or oroshi. The small nubs produce a fine paste that increases the unique heat and flavour of fresh wasabi. Grating wasabi releases volatile compounds that gradually dissipate with exposure to the air. These compounds are not found in wasabi until after the cells of the plant are broken up and turned into a creamy paste.