Wasabi is a food with a bit of an identity crisis on its hands. Many people have no idea how to classify this classic sushi partner.
What is wasabi? Is wasabi a radish? Is it some other kind of plant?
Our mission in this post is to apply a clear label to wasabi so you know exactly how it’s classified. Let’s get started…
Quick Answer: Is Wasabi a Radish?
No, wasabi is not a radish. Wasabi comes from the Wasabia Japonica plant, which does truthfully resemble green radishes.
However, wasabi and radish are still two distinctly separate plants. That being said, these plants are both related to each other as members of the Brassicaceae family.
Other members in this family include mustard, cabbage, and horseradish.
Related Article: Is Wasabi Different From Horseradish?
What is Wasabi Classified As?
Given its strange stubby green appearance, it’s only natural to be a little confused about how to classify wasabi.
Wasabi is considered a vegetable. Although some go so far as to call it a root vegetable, it actually comes from the rhizome of a plant rather than a root.
You May Also Like: Is Wasabi a Root?
Is Radish the Same as Horseradish?
Since we’ve touched on wasabi’s identity a little, let’s answer a side question related to the topic: is radish the same as horseradish? As a quick fun fact, consider that radish, horseradish, and wasabi are all members of the same overall family, Brassicaceae.
However, radish and horseradish are still two different plants. They even have different scientific names. The radish is called Raphanus sativus, while horseradish is called Amoracia rusticana.
If you’d like to learn more about radishes, be sure to take a look at our guide to what radish tastes like.
There’s a lot of questions floating around about wasabi. Since most people will likely only ever experience it in a sushi restaurant, it’s natural to have some questions about what exactly it is.
We hope you learned something new about wasabi in this post. There’s still a lot more to learn, though. If you want to keep learning more about wasabi, try reading our post about where wasabi is grown in Japan.