Let's take a journey to Japan where the wasabi plant, which is part of the mustard family was first grown by a farmer from a remote mountain village. A Japanese warlord loved it so much, it was declared a national treasure and was only to be grown in the Shizouka area. Today, you can find it on every sushi shop around the world, and although it is commercially grown, the secrets of cultivation are carefully practiced.
If you have ever travelled to Japan, you would know that the Japanese take the art of food and drink very seriously. Tokyo, Japan's capital, has more Michelin stars than any other country in the world. The technique of making real wasabi is becoming less prominent.
Most wasabi used in sushi shops is a mixture of horseradish and cornflour.
Horseradish is also from the mustard family and costs about a tenth of the price of real wasabi root. However, the tiny amount of wasabi you consume in a year or a lifetime, why not eat the real thing.
There are two varieties of wasabi rhizome. One that grows in the shady mountains, and one that grows in streams.
How to make wasabi?
Making wasabi is a simple process of grating, waiting, mixing and... more waiting.
Traditional wasabi was rubbed and grated over rough shark skin stretched over a bamboo board.
Step 1. Select a firm wasabi with fresh leaves. Cut to remove the leaves. Wash and cut off any bumps or marks. Allow 10 min for the wasabi to air dry.
2. Rub the wasabi rhizome over the wasabi board. Alternatively you may use a grater. Squeeze the grated mix onto a firm ball and allow it to rest for 10 min before serving it.
After the wasabi flavour peaks, it starts to lose some of its potency.
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