Asian ingredients: wasabi

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THE wasabi, that green paste served with sushi and sashimi is already an old acquaintance of lovers of Japanese cuisine. However, for some, he is beaten: he is reputed to be dangerous.
Bright green in color and with a grassy flavor, wasabi is very spicy and should be used with caution. But it also has its advantages. It is very good for health because it is a antibacterial food, stimulates appetite and aid in digestion. A little wasabi in the food will not only enhance the flavors but also bring benefits to your health. Cool huh?
steamykitchenrecipes-wasabi-ickfdSource: Steamy Kitchen Recipes / Cattons Ville Gourmet (cover photo)
The real wasabi is very difficult to grow and requires a specific climate for its development. It is a slow-growing plant that it only develops in the mountainous regions of Japan.
After being made into a paste, it should be consumed quickly, as it loses its spicy properties and flavor in a short time. For this reason, some more traditional Japanese restaurants take a piece of the root and the grater to the table, where customers can make their own pasta. According to tradition, a grater made from dry shark skin is used.
Even if you are a frequent visitor to Japanese restaurants, chances are you’ve never tasted the authentic Wasabi. In addition to requiring a specific climate to grow, wasabi also has a very short shelf life. Because of this, it needs to be exported under refrigeration, which makes purchase more difficult and more expensive.
To save money, some Japanese cuisine restaurants in the West use a mix of Horseradish (a strong root, from the radish family) powdered mustard and green dye. The result of this mixture is very close to the taste of authentic wasabi.
Although widely used as a condiment in Japanese cuisine, it has also been widely used by confectioners. It may sound strange, but wasabi goes very well with sweet dishes, especially with chocolates and oil fruits (almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts). A little is enough to add flavor to any recipe for ice cream, macaron, cake, cheesecake, yogurt, mousse.
chocolate-wasabi-daydreamerdesserts-ickfdchocolate-with-wasabi-yankeekitchenninja-ickfdsweet-wasabi-zeroincucina-ickfdSources: Daydreamer Desserts / Yankee Kitchen Ninja / Zero in Cucina
Wasabi can be found in the natural, powder and paste versions. The natural version, in addition to being difficult to find, is very expensive. If you buy the powder or paste, be aware that you probably will not be buying the real wasabi, as these versions, even if they indicate to contain wasabi, when it does, is in a small percentage. Powdered and paste wasabi can be found in Asian supermarkets.

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