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We love to help you try out new ingredients here at Shisler’s Cheese House. Today, we are exploring wasabi. If you haven’t tried this spicy ingredient, read on to find out everything you need to know about it and some ways that you can enjoy it today.
What is Wasabi?
Wasabi is part of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes horseradish and mustard. It has a taste similar to hot horseradish. The root is pale green in color, and is usually either grated and served fresh, or dried and made into a powder or paste. It is one of the condiments used in Japanese food, particularly sushi and sashimi. If you enjoy going to sushi restaurants, then you have probably seen the light green paste in small pots alongside the soy sauce. In shops, it is often sold in thin tubes.
How is it eaten?
It is often served alongside sushi and sashimi. The best way to eat it is to simply add a small amount to each piece with your chopstick. Be careful not to add too much at first, as it is a natural product and can vary greatly in its spiciness! Some sushi will have wasabi as part of its preparation, so you may not need to add any at all.
It can also be used to make dressings and marinades for meats, vegetables, and salads. This is another time to use it sparingly as you are looking for gentle heat rather than unbearable spice. We love it mixed into mayonnaise to serve with seafood or tempura vegetables for a creamy yet spicy dressing. You can even try mixing it with a little oil and roasting potatoes in it for a punchy side dish.
We offer Wasabi Roasted Peas, a fun snack that has a crunchy texture and packs a punch in terms of flavor. They can even be crushed in a blender to make a spicy crust for chicken or salmon.
Are there alternatives to wasabi?
Because of its cost and availability, wasabi is sometimes replaced with horseradish in Western cooking. We stock Woeber’s Horseradish, through Walnut Creek Foods. Dick’s Homemade Horseradish, made in Ohio without any fancy ingredients, is a must-have to give a kick to your favorite recipes. You could also try Dick’s Homemade Horseradish Mustard to add spice to hot dogs, hamburgers, or anything else that you would eat with mustard.
If you’re really here because you are all about the cheese, then we have both Horseradish Cheese and Smoked Horseradish Cheese. We recommend rolling these into thin slices with prosciutto or thinly sliced smoked ham for a delicious snack.
What are the health benefits?
Wasabi and horseradish are both known to have health benefits. It has been used to treat bronchitis, sinus problems, and urinary tract infections. The compounds found in horseradish have also been shown to kill certain bacterial strains.
We hope that you have learned something about wasabi today! Have you tried it? How do you like to eat it? Let us know in the comments!