Thursday, February 07, 2008


At first glance the blob photographed above looks very much like something the Jolly Green Giant would expectorate.
It is in fact Wasabi, or what I thought was Wasabi. But let's have a little lesson before we get into that.
Wasabi japonica aka Japanese Horseradish aka sneaky-bastard-stuff-that'll-make-your-nasal-passages-feel-like-
they've-been-rinsed-through-with-battery-acid, is a regular accompaniment to sushi. Apparently, the condiment has certain anti-microbial properties, pretty handy I'd say, when you're chugging back raw fish (is there Japanese etiquette for vomiting politely from the food poisoning?)
I say it's sneaky because at first taste, the unassuming stuff lays a bit of sweet on your tongue before it proceeds to puncture your sinuses with a million hot needles. And once you get pass the sensation of your brain being pulled out of your skull by the crown, you'll be reaching for just a little more. It's potent, wicked, addictive stuff.
Now that's what I thought I was shnarfing. Wasabi.
Not so, according to a plethora of online sources. Genuine wasabi is difficult and expensive to cultivate. So much so, that only a small percentage of sushi-ya in Japan actually serve it. The green blobs we've become accustomed to are usually a mash of ordinary horseradish, mustard and green food colouring.
The real makoya is a greenish root that's chopped into little bits with a fine-toothed grater. According to this site, aficionados say, "The taste of genuine wasabi is like a warm explosion that quickly fades away to a slightly sweet afternote."

Knowledge can be something of a party-pooper.


Zahera said...

Serves you right for being so explorative Saals :-P loooll.

Sounds as gross as it looks :-(

Waseem said...

I dont like cooked fish, so I doubt I would like raw fish very much.

I don't think I am that adventurous when it comes to food. With desserts, yes, but for a meal I tend to make the safe choice. There are too many variables.

Anonymous said...

is true may bru, k-nowledge can mos den be a real party pooper, but then again, i'd rather be the well informed, then a fool with a gazillion o's..........u hunderstanding what i is saying

see, the problem these days is ppl take things for granted, and the masses just happily coast along, so oblivious to any sort of detail, and the genius amongst us is he who knows this, and uses it to his advantage to exploit us all.........

speaking of fong kong, i'm gonna buy me a chinese x5 4x4 looks like an x5....i sure hope it drives like an x5.......all hail Fong Kong........hehehehehe.

peace out.
The Chosen One (TCO)

::: SPEEDY ::: said...

mmmm...Sals ever tried the one at YO SUSHI ??? thats genuine potent stuff... still dont beat the extra hot Jalepenos available on the side....makes me crave some KIMCHI..hehehhe

Ghulam said...

like akhni to breyani

M Junaid said...

wasabi is not eaten in deoband or ajmer, hence it is haraam :)

would love to try some soon though (even if it is the placebo)

im currently watching mens long jump on the telly.

anymore arb statuses and this could turn into a Mj blog post :P

Profane. Profound. What's your poison?