The kit you need
When you receive your wasabi, you’ll quickly realise that you can’t just whack it on your sushi as it is, it’s going to need a bit of careful preparation.
It’s really easy to do, and even simpler with the aid of a couple of inexpensive tools. We have the tools available and are passing them on to you at the best possible price as we feel they are essential if you are going to experience the very best that fresh wasabi has to offer. Although it appears Parmesan style graters will work just as well, the set of teeth on these tools means a lot of your valuable wasabi will be left behind on the grater and it is very hard to remove. Above all it is essential you grate the wasabi into a fine paste to generate the best flavour and the all important, pungent heat.
Preparing fresh wasabi
After rinsing the rhizome under cold running water, follow these easy steps to preparing your fresh wasabi.
- Peeling is not essential but any dark patches of skin can be removed for a cleaner paste.
- Remove the stems as shown in the image above, this will reveal the greenest, sweetest wasabi so it is here you should start to grate.
- Using a wasabi grater, grate in a circular motion, this effectively advances the wasabi to a fine paste. Keep grating until you’ve got as much as you need, but don’t grate too much in one go as it will lose its flavour after 15 – 20 minutes and you can always grate more.
- Now use the brush to remove the wasabi from the grater to a wooden or ceramic surface as the steel surface speeds the oxidisation process. Gather into a ball and let it rest at room temperature for up to 5 minutes for the flavours to develop, then it’s ready to serve.
Caring for your wasabi
Wasabi loses its flavour after 15-20 minutes when exposed to the air. Gathering the paste into a ball minimizes contact with air and therefore prolongs the flavour. You can freshen up wasabi that has been oxidised by grating a little fresh wasabi onto the pile and gathering it up into a ball once more.
Storing your fresh wasabi
Rhizomes will store well for two weeks or more when individually wrapped in damp paper towels or in the muslin cloth in which they were sent. These should be stored in an uncovered bowl in the fridge and the muslin kept damp. A little water in the bowl will help maintain humidity. Do not use plastic to seal the rhizomes, as they need air circulation. Rinse in cold water every 2 days for maximum shelf life.