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      Wasabi: Far eastern heat that is great for your health

      Wasabi does not offer only real Sushi the special kick. The hot spice from the Japanese kitchen can be used also for spicing up many other dishes, or can be further processed into a dip. If this is not enough for you then you should also know that Wasabi is good for your health. This plant has been named for a long time wrong, but the hot paste that is made from this plant has not very much in common with the horseradish. The two plants are distant relatives.

      Wasabi – the horseradish that s made in a Japanese way?

      Wasabi is not only a spice. The name also stands for a plant, that is also know under the names Japanese horseradish or water horseradish. It belongs to the crucifers and likes the environment to be moist – like the last name already lets us guess. As a wild plant it grows in the home country, Japan and there near to the rivers. The conditions there are similar to those in the ponds and this way the plant can grow to a height of approximately 60 cm. Besides the stem that is later harvested and collected the plant also has a root and leaves. The leaves have a heart or liver shape and are almost plane.

      Wasabi flowers especially in the period from March to May.  The white flour has sepals with a longer form and four petals. The filament grow up to 5 mm long and this is why they are easily recognizable. The delicate art can be found under the earth. What is harvested is the stem that is approximately 3 cm thick. As a fresh bulb it can be best processed to a paste when serving food.

      Hon and Seiyo Wasabi

      While as fresh roots can be found only in some very specialized stores, Wasabi can now be found in every bigger supermarket. It comes in different forms, from powder in a glass or as a paste from a tube, basically there are different types that can be distinguished. These are Kona and Hon Wasabi.

      With the terms Hon, or also Nama, the “real” or “fresh” Wasabi is meant. The paste from the scraped bulb in ordered to be sold further is frozen or is freeze dried into a powder. These terms stand most of all for the quality of the product. At least 50% of the finished product must be Japanese horseradish, in order for the finished product to be named Hon. The other products can be further distinguished by the place of origin or by the variety. Further terms that are used are Oka, meaning hill Wasabi and Hata, where the plants have been cultivated on a farm. Also the taste as well as the color is distinguishable to the Seiyo version.

      As Seiyo a substitute is meant, meaning a replacement. This means it is a mix of horseradish and mustard powder and a lot of water. Wasabi on the other hand is processed with only a small quantity, meaning 2%. The color is a result of different colorings and substitutes. Although the taste and the color varies a lot from the original, this is the most wide spread version that can be found in Europe. The fresh stem is very hard to get in bigger quantities and is also very expensive. Also the home country of the Wasabi must import in order to supply its own demand. A disadvantage of the Seiyo version is the taste: Since there is no recipe that is given, also the replacements of the different producers taste different.

      Either way, it is totally worth it to get Hon Wasabi from a serious retailer, although Seiyo products are used form making a lot of different products. There are not only wrapped peanuts but also Chips and other snacks that can be found in almost every supermarket. Those who are not only interested in the taste, but also in the health benefits that it brings can order Wasabi powder as well as fresh wasabi from the Pepperworld Hot Shop. Here you can also find the passing scraper and a traditional brush. A little bit of style is necessary when you consume such a delicacy!

      Wasabi – taste and uses

      Not only the color and the taste, but also the heat differ a lot from Seiyo. The hottest part comes from the roots.

      The original as also a taste and a heat that is brought into light by the different mustard oils. Both cannot be compared with normal horseradish. Also the heat cannot be felt in the mouth but more in the throat and in the nose. It is complemented by a lightly sweet flavor. When the powder is used without diluting it the first impression is that the taste is somewhat bitter.

      Sadly the mustard oils are very volatile – after only 30 minutes that taste can lose a lot of its intensity and most of all of its heat. This is why the tubes must be closed immediately and stored gain in the refrigerator. From the stem you should only scrape as much as you need in that moment.

      Traditionally, Wasabi is served to Sushi and Sashimi. A lot of other dishes with meat, fish or noodles can be refined with its help. This is also valid for self-made snacks like oven chips. The products that can be found in the supermarkets contain only the imitation (see above). Still they are hot! As a special delicacy you can find Wasabi wine and liquor.

      Wasabi – A plus for the health

      Fresh Wasabi does not only taste good to Sushi. The Japanese horseradish is as good for the health because it contains the mustard oils Glucosinolare and Singrin. The last one can be found as well in horseradish and in mustard. And because they are so volatile you have to eat them fast! For the health it is god to consume fresh horseradish.

      Eating these can have a positive effect on the digestion and stabilize it. On the other side the mustard oils act as a natural antibiotic. They don’t kill only bacteria, they can also help against fungi and viruses. Because the heat of the Wasabi is mostly felt in the throat the Wasabi is suited also in case of flues and other affections of the upper respiratory system. Also the urinary system can profit from its consumption.

      Besides this the consumption could detox the liver and lead to weight loss. Also the immune system can be strengthened when consuming Wasabi and sustain the production of defense cells. Nevertheless you should not exaggerate with the consumption: like any other hot food, an exaggeration can lead to stomach aches and heartburns.

      Wasabi for hot side dishes and more

      Wasabi has become an ingredient that is beloved not only in the Asian kitchen as a spice. Nice dishes can be prepared with fish that comes also from other areas or as a side dish. An example is Wasabi potato puree.

      In order to do this you have to cut a small mild Chilli in small pieces, heat this up with a little bit of Wasabi in some butter and later on mix with the potato puree. The ones who use the powder, should dilute this before in a little bit of water, so that the initial bitter taste goes away. The result goes great to Salmon and other filets. The preparation is also very fast.

      As tasty is a yogurt dressing added to a cucumber salad and to which you add some mustard. This ingredient does not make only in the health, but also in the kitchen a great impression.

      A piece of far eastern pleasure for your home – Wasabi

      Wasabi cannot miss from any Japanese as well as local kitchen. The uses are very varied. Especially as a dip is the Japanese horseradish excellent in order to give the snacks the right heat. Also salads can obtain the right kick using Wasabi.

      Sadly to the majority, the real taste is unknown. Especially in the supermarkets you can find only surrogate, that cannot be compared with the original in any way. How could it if the water horseradish is not used inside. Though there can be also fresh Wasabi found in some specialized stores like in our Pepperworld Hot Shop.

      If this is not enough for you, the Japanese horseradish is not only a taste experience. It is used also as a natural medicine, most of all as a plant antibiotic. All these traits make the spice to a far eastern must have in your kitchen and in your home!


    Wasabi brush, Bamboo

    0 piece (€ 4,95 / piece)

    Specially made for the Wasabi graters, this brush helps in removing all the wasabi from the grater.

    € 4,95 *

    REAL Wasabi, ground

    0 g (€ 0,70 / g)

    Authentic, all natural dried ground Wasabi (Wasabi japonica), without coloring, bulking agents or substitutes. The original condiment for Sushi, Sashimi and refined Far East cuisine.

    € 14,95 *

    REAL fresh Wasabi

    0 piece (€ 17,95 / piece)

    Fresh real wasabi (Wasabi japonica). The great aroma can be used as well to other dishes, not only to Sushi and Surimi.1 Rhizome (45-80g). Delivery only to Germany and Austria

    RRP € 19,95 € 17,95 *

    Wasabi grater, stainless steel

    0 piece (€ 9,95 / piece)

    In order for the Wasabi to release its aroma in the best possible way, a special Wasabi grater has to be used.

    € 9,95 *

    Buy now real wasabi from us: Merry konnichi wa from Japan!

    Why is wasabi so hot? Is this Japanese specialty known under any other names? Why is wasabi so hard to come by? The following article answers all these questions and more.

    What is in fact wasabi?

    You cannot get wasabi in any shop. Your best bet would be an Asian store. The spice is often called “green horseradish”, “Japanese horseradish or “sea horseradish”. These names come from the fact that it tastes very similar to our local horseradish. It does have a horseradish like spiciness to it, however, unlike the heat of chilies, you can feel it in the nose more than in the mouth and it also fades more quickly. But the expertise of the botanists says that, despite the similar taste, they are two different plants. Both belong to the species of cruciferous plants (lat. Brassicaceae), which also includes mustard, but the wasabi is more resembling to cabbage. The part of the plant which is used is often mistakenly referred to as a root, but strictly speaking it is the rootstock (rhizome) from which the leaves are removed. The leaves themselves can also be consumed, but they don’t have as intense of a flavor as the rootstock. Wasabi takes its (stingy) heat from the so called “volatile mustard oils”, or “isothiocyanate, especially from glucocochlearine and sinigrine. These substances are also present in mustard and horseradish and are also responsible for their heat. Wasabi is however quite unique in its chemical composition, which lends it its specific, lightly sweet flavor. The plant comes originally from Far Eastern Japan, but is now also successfully cultivated in Korea, USA and New Zealand. Here you can see a video of our partner from Great Britain. The BBC has visited the only wasabi farm in Europe:

    Where can you buy wasabi?

    As said, wasabi is not always easy to find in the supermarket, and that’s why online is one of the best ways to get the Japanese specialty. Of course you can find wasabi in our online shop. Not only do we have the fresh rootstock, but we also have ground wasabi. You can also find special kitchen tools such as the wasabi grater and the wasabi brush in our assortment.

    How is wasabi used in the kitchen?

    Wasabi is used, not only in Japan, for spicing up many dishes. The most popular dishes that come to mind are sushi and sashimi (raw fish). Many Asian dishes require the addition of fresh wasabi, but you should always use a special wasabi grater, as this is the only way to unfold the distinctive wasabi aroma. In Japan, Wasabi is traditionally rubbed on a rough shark skin, which is stretched over a small board. If you do not have such a shark skin at hand, the "normal" wasabi rubbing your best option. The Wasabi is found much more frequently, however, in the form of powder or paste, but unfortunately the quality of the wasabi and its concentration is compromised in most cases. 100% Wasabi powder is very hard to come by. Conventional horseradish is often mixed into supposed wasabi products, since the prices of the two plants differ significantly. The pastes consist sometimes almost entirely of horseradish, and are dyed with green food color only for the looks. If, however, real Wasabi is particularly important to you, then you should pay attention to the list of ingredients, as we do in the Pepperworld Hot Shop! You can comfortably buy the real wasabi in our online shop. Weirdly enough, Japan itself cannot currently cover its own wasabi demands through its home production, so that they also import it from other countries such as Taiwan, China and the USA. Meanwhile, you can buy the plant in many nurseries. However, the cultivation of the original wild form is not particularly easy since it can only thrive on very fertile streams or rivers.

    Which Wasabi products are commercially available?

    You can obviously purchase the above-mentioned products on the internet as well as in Asian stores. You can find even whole wasabi. There are, however, lots of other foods which can be seasoned with wasabi. How about a bag of wasabi chips or hot wasabi nuts? There is a high variety of wasabi products, ranging from peanuts to beans, to wasabi peas. There are also lots of different wasabi sauces. A garlic sauce or a wasabi hot sauce are just two examples. A further Japanese delicacy is wasabi mustard. All wasabi products are, of course, suitable for use in Asian cuisine. Which products? Here’s a summary:

    • Wasabi Powder
    • Wasabi Paste
    • Fresh Wasabi
    • Wasabi Nuts
    • Wasabi Beans
    • Wasabi Peas
    • Wasabi Mustard
    • Wasabi Garlic Sauce
    • Wasabi Hot Sauce

    Cool wasabi recipes from PEPPERWORLD:

    Wasabi Mayonnaise: Unbeatable with any kind of (grilled) seafood [External Link] German language
    Mashed potatoes with wasabi: lends some “pepp” to this classic side dish [External Link] German language
    Avocado salad with shrimps and wasabi: Quick to make and quicker to eat [External Link] German language

    Why is wasabi so healthy for you?

    As said, the volatile mustard oils are responsible for the heat of wasabi. The same oils are good for your wellbeing. These substances are known as natural antibiotics, and for good reason. Not only can they prevent the growth and multiplication of bacteria, but the prevent the spread of fungi and viruses. The hot mustard oils are particularly suitable for therapy against respiratory and urological diseases. Although the Japanese spice is also said to have a detoxifying effect, you should of course only consume wasabi in moderate amounts, because excessive consumption can have negative consequences, especially in stomach related issues. For healthy people, the heat however stimulates digestion.

    What to consider when growing wasabi:

    We have already mentioned the fact that the plants have high demands in their environment. If, however, you would like to try to plant your own wasabi, you can grow the plant in a well-stocked garden. In order to achieve a good result, however, you have to consider some important points during cultivation. Wasabi likes a mild climate, so a semi-shady place with little sun exposure is ideal. Since the plant is naturally located in near waters, you should also make sure that you put the wasabi in a relatively damp place. If you all these conditions are met, in two years earliest, your plant will have a root stem, which is suitable for consumption. It is certainly a special highlight for anyone who does not shy away from these special circumstances and wants to cultivate it. For all others, the already grown versions are completely sufficient.

    Depositing wasabi products:

    As with all other foods, correct storage is crucial for their durability. Opened tubes and glasses should therefore always be properly closed. No germs can reach the products from the outside when and only when the packaging is airtight. The storage space is also very important. Ensure that the food is stored in a cool and dark place. The best place for the glasses and tubes is therefore still the "good old" refrigerator.

    Conclusion about wasabi:

    Originally, this spice comes from Japan. The mustard oils are responsible for its heat. The same ingredient is found in mustard and horseradish. It is difficult to get good products or even fresh wasabi outside Asia, but you can find a small selection in our shop. If you are healthy and you consume wasabi moderately, it can be beneficial for your well-being. This way, bacteria have a hard time because of the natural antibacterial properties of wasabi. There are various modes of use in the kitchen, however, the wasabi classic is undoubtedly sushi. How you use the spice depends on the product you have. You spice things differently with powder than you do with paste. The opened tubes and glasses belong in a cool, dark place, like the fridge. If you are using fresh Wasabi, however, it is advisable to use a special grater, which you can also buy at our shop. Obviously, many Asian dishes are made with wasabi, however, it is a suitable replacement for horseradish in other recipes. The plant itself doesn’t thrive everywhere. It grows in its natural environment only next to flowing waters. For this reason, it is difficult to grow it in your home garden.

    You can find more information in german about wasabi here: