What is Wasabi Paste? How to find a good brand.
Wasabi is not Horseradish + Mustard!
Most Wasabi Paste is fake and loaded with Genetically Modified Ingredients (GMO), sweeteners and petroleum-based dyes.
Real Wasabi is grated from the root of the Wasabi plant. The plant is difficult to grow and once grated, it is best consumed right away.
The green blob on your plate at the Japanese restaurant is not 100% Wasabi.
It is most likely a paste and if you have a sensitivity to gluten, ask to see the ingredients as some brands may have included wheat.
Wasabi has less heat than horseradish, so you may not even like 100% Wasabi.
- The heat comes from the plant’s isothiocyanates which seem to quickly fill the nasal passages.
- Wasabi is best when grated fresh at the table.
- For practical purposes, keeping fresh wasabi on hand is not easy or affordable.
Avoid S&B Wasabi Paste
Horseradish, Sorbitol, Rice Bran Oil,
Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Cellulose, Citric Acid <—probably from GMO ingredients
Salt, Water, Wasabi,
Turmeric, Xanthan Gum,
Dye – (FD&C Blue 1)
Avoid Kikkoman Wasabi Flavored Sauce
Soybean Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Sugar<—probably from GMO ingredients
Horseradish and Wasabi, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Egg Yolks, Mustard Flour, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Xanthan Gum,
Artificial Flavoring, Preservative EDTA-Calcium Disodium
Dye – Yellow 5, Blue 1
Maltose, wheat, sorbitol
Cellulose, modified starch, vegetable oil<—probably from GMO ingredients
Spice extracts (MSG?)
Horseradish, Wasabi, Salt, Mustard Powder
Corn starch and Soybean oil <—probably from GMO ingredients
Where to buy real wasabi?
Real wasabi comes in three formats, according to makesushi.com:
- Wasabi paste in a squeeze tube. This should be sold and shipped frozen. Once you start using it, the remainder should be kept in the fridge. It’s not as good as real fresh wasabi, but much better than the fake stuff.
- Powdered wasabi. This is less expensive than the paste variety and you are more likely to avoid junk ingredients typically found in the paste.
- Wasabi rhizome which you have to grate yourself with a grater, preferably a shark skin grater. This kind of wasabi is quite expensive and hard to find in physical stores. You might find frozen wasabi.
Wasabi Rhizome – (Wasabia japonica)
The purist will buy Wasabi Rhizome (see Pacific Coast Wasabi online at Wasabia.com).
The cost is high, $70 for a half pound. Hydrated and refrigerated, it will last about a month.
You will need the Shark Skin Grater too.
Authentic 100% Wasabi Paste
If you can’t find it in a local store it can be shipped frozen, by air.
See Pacific Farms brand on line available through Beaverton Foods.
There are also private buying clubs.
Upon delivery, please place the authentic wasabi paste in the freezer until needed.
The shelf life of our wasabi is 2 years frozen/unopened, and 60 days refrigerated/unopened.
Once opened, the refrigerated wasabi paste should be used within 30 days.
Get this one – Sushi Sonic 100% Real Wasabi
Sushi Sonic 100% Real Wasabi Powder is 100% authentic freeze-dried wasabi, the rare, hard to grow, hot green rhizome so prized in the East for its pungency and medicinal properties.
Simply mix 1 teaspoon of our tasty Sushi Sonic 100% Real Wasabi Powder with enough cool water to make a paste, let stand 10 minutes (to reach full flavor!) and enjoy.
If you like “heat” in your wasabi then you may prefer Wasabi mixed with Horseradish and mustard, see the brand below.
Real Wasabi has less heat than horseradish, so you may like this one better than 100% real wasabi (if you love that feeling of your sinuses being blown open).
The Eden powder only has real ingredients unlike the paste products above.