If you’ve ever seen someone order sushi, then you’ve likely seen the little dab of wasabi paste that gets put on the edge of their plate. This spicy little condiment is used for giving their food a kick, if desired.
Not many stop to consider what goes into every part of their plate, though. For that reason, we’ve written this post about how wasabi paste is made, so you can understand just how amazing it really is.
Keep reading to discover more about this zesty plant and the paste it becomes.
Quick Answer: How is Wasabi Paste Made?
First, let’s start with a disclaimer: most of the wasabi paste you eat at restaurants or find in stores isn’t made from actual wasabi. Authentic wasabi is very expensive because of how hard it is to grow.
The process that goes into making real wasabi paste and fake wasabi paste is different. For real wasabi, the rhizome of the plant is ground in a circular motion on a grate, and it forms a paste on top.
You can click the video below to see a real chef making wasabi paste for sushi. Be warned, though: after five minutes, the chef shows how to make sushi, and the techniques he demonstrates are not vegan.
However, we found the first part of the video very informative, and think you will, too.
Read Also: Why is Wasabi so Hard to Grow?
Real Wasabi vs Fake Wasabi
We mentioned earlier that there’s a difference between real and fake wasabi, both in taste and how the powder is made. We’ll go into some more detail about the fake powder shortly, but we wanted to touch on why real wasabi is so rare.
Wasabi is an extremely delicate plant. It has to be grown under specific conditions, with unique water, lighting, and temperature requirements. Assuming you have the perfect conditions, your wasabi will take two to three years to fully mature.
Japan is the home of wasabi, but Japanese wasabi farms can’t even keep up with the high demand for it. Because of this, Japan imports wasabi from all around the world. Even in Japan, though, real wasabi isn’t as common because of how expensive it is.
Real wasabi has a much more natural taste than fake wasabi. Some feel it’s refreshing to eat, and tastes more plant-like.
Read Also: What Does Real Wasabi Taste Like?
HOW TO MAKE FAKE WASABI
It’s going to be much easier to make fake wasabi paste, because the ingredients are readily available. You’ll just need to get yourself a small container of wasabi powder, which you can find in specialty Asian stores.
However, if you’re willing to pay extra, you can find powder made from 100% real wasabi online. Once you have your powder, all you need to do is mix your wasabi powder with water.
Start by putting your powder in a bowl. Add small amounts of water and mix until the consistency is to your liking. You can click the video below to see a demonstration of how to mix wasabi powder and water.
The best wasabi paste is made from freshly ground wasabi rhizomes. However, you’re not going to find whole wasabi rhizomes very often, because the plant is really expensive and hard to cultivate.
You can make an imitation by mixing wasabi powder and water. Depending on where you get it from, the wasabi powder you get may be real or fake. The process is the same either way, and you’ll end up with a wasabi paste much like what you’d get from a restaurant.