Japanese Name and Pronunciation:

wasabi in Japanese


Wasabi is a popular Japanese condiment that is known for its distinctive flavor and aroma. It is derived from the plant called Wasabia japonica, which is native to Japan. The main part of the wasabi plant used for culinary purposes is the rhizome, which is grated into a paste and consumed with various dishes.

The flavor of wasabi can be described as pungent, hot, and slightly sweet, with a unique and intense heat that quickly dissipates. It is often compared to horseradish, but wasabi has a more delicate and complex flavor profile. When consumed, it provides a sharp and refreshing sensation that adds depth to the overall taste of a dish.

Traditionally, wasabi is most commonly associated with sushi and sashimi, where it is served alongside these dishes as a condiment. It is believed to help cleanse the palate and enhance the flavors of the raw fish. However, wasabi is also used in a wide range of other Japanese cuisine, including noodles, grilled meats, tempura, and even Western-style dishes like burgers and steaks.

Authentic wasabi is highly regarded for its quality and is often considered superior to the powdered or paste versions commonly found outside of Japan. It can be quite expensive due to its limited availability and the difficulty in cultivating the plant. True wasabi is characterized by its vibrant green color, which fades quickly once exposed to air. Therefore, it is usually grated fresh just before serving to preserve its flavor and potency.