Wasabi is not horseradish. It never has been. It never should be. Don’t believe anyone who says it is.
Real wasabi should be made from a wasabi plant.
Taka Omi is the master sushi chef at Fairmont Pacific Rim’s raw bar in Vancouver. He told AAP that many restaurants will use horseradish dyed green and call it wasabi. But that is cheating.
“Many people ask, why is your wasabi green, I say because wasabi is green. It’s a green plant. Not horseradish died green.
In fact real wasabi is much more difficult to grow.
Wasabi takes two to three years to grow half submerged in a river.
“They need clean water,” Omi said. “From Fuji mountain or Vancouver Island also a lot of clean mountain and snow melting so it is clean water and really good.”
To make a wasabi paste is also far more complicated than just smashing up horseradish and adding green dye.
Real wasabi should be grated on shark skin. The custom made shark skin graters shred the plant finer than a normal grater. If the wasabi is grated too rough it will taste bitter.
“If we use shark skin it is finer, it melts in your mouth and tastes sweater,” Omi said.
Next time you are offered horseradish instead of wasabi, send it back. It’s not good enough.