Tag Archives: wasabi rhizomes

Wasabi Rhizomes Are Ready!

Hi Everyone,

Its been some time since my last wasabi post but I have been waiting for the rhizomes!

Wasabi Crop had a great weekend, and Zak dug up 51 rhizomes with the biggest weighing 170 g. We prepared the rhizomes for our customers by first trimming them.  This involved cutting the head and trimming off the bottom. The rhizomes were then washed in fresh cold water and prepared for vacuum packing.  They were then frozen.

vacuum packed wasabi rhizome

vacuum packed fresh wasabi rhizomes from wasabi crop

These freshly frozen wasabi rhizomes will be delivered to our customers in a vacuum pack.  On receipt of the vacuum-packed wasabi rhizome, it should immediately be taken out of the bag and washed it under cold running water. Each fresh wasabi rhizome is then individually wrapped in damp cheesecloth which will be supplied with the order.  The customer must then store them in an open glass bowl on the top shelf of their refrigerator. The cheesecloth is then periodically checked every 2-3 days to ensure that they remain moist; changing or dampening the rhizome again as required.  It is important to remember not to seal the dish.  This Wasabi Rhizome should last for up to 10 days in the fridge.

real fresh wasabi rhizomes

real fresh wasabi rhizomes


Overall this is an excellent approach as during the preparation the wasabi rhizome is trimmed by removing the crown and the root tip to ensure the customer receives all the rhizome!

Your wasabi rhizome has taken over 2 years to grow in Northern Ireland.  Yes, you heard right!  It was grown in Northern Ireland, and Wasabi Crop is the first Company to achieve this.

Most people have never tasted real wasabi: FAKE wasabi which is consumed come out of a plastic tube.  What you have actually been eating is common horseradish with a little green food colouring and mustard.

Fake Wasabi

Fake Wasabi


Why is it so rare? Wasabi is a temperamental crop requiring particular growing conditions and critical care to flourish. It is also somewhat perishable: because of these factors, real wasabi can be extremely hard to get your hands on!

If you would like to buy some, please visit the Store at Wasabi Crop!

I have to go now and help dig up more rhizomes; it would be great to beat the British record of 377 g!

Enjoy your fresh wasabi – providing new foods for your table! 



Grating Fresh Wasabi Rhizomes


The secret of enjoying fresh wasabi lies in the grating of the rhizome to release the pungent zingy flavour. Fresh wasabi rhizomes are a rare and precious culinary commodity prized by sushi dining chefs. The best grater to use is the traditional Japanese ‘Samegawa-Oroshi’-Sharkskin Grater but these are quite expensive to purchase. However, you don’t have to worry as you can always use any fine grater available.

So, to begin the grating process you first wash the rhizome in cold running water and lightly trim off only the black bumps on the surface. This blackness is a result of a natural process due to air oxidation taking place at the surface of the rhizome.  Carefully, peel off the outer thin black layer on the rhizome, (if any) you find by using a potato peeler or something similar. Then begin grating from the thicker side a this section is fresher and yields a more zingy taste to give that beautiful pale green coloured wasabi paste.The freshly grated wasabi paste should not be stored in a metallic container, it is best to use an unsealed ceramic basin. During the grating process, a pinch of sugar can be placed on the grater to give the wasabi a milder flavour.
The remaining rhizome can be preserved for at least one month in a refrigerator by wrapping it up in a damp towel. Remember to replace the cloth every 2-3 days to keep the rhizome in good condition. If wanted, the whole rhizome can be grated all at once to produce small parcels of wasabi paste wrapped in ‘cling film’ and stored in the freezer until required.
Wasabi Japan

Freshly grated wasabi on a traditional Japanese Sharkshin

It is better to start grating the rhizome from its top end by swirling around the whole root to produce the best aroma and pungency as each part of the rhizome has slightly a different flavour profile and associated pungency. This approach will maximise the blend of the whole root. Once grated, the wasabi must be kept chilled in a refrigerator to preserve its pungency which dissipates within two hours or at room temperature the pungency will completely disappear in the space of 15 minutes. 

The wasabi rhizome should be maintained in a chilled state and not frozen otherwise its fibre will be damaged. If wishing to keep the grated wasabi paste for longer than one week, then the colour will darken and its pungency and smell will change due to the air oxidation of allyl isothiocyanate. It is better to grate the rhizome as and when required to eat immediately.

So, please visit Wasabi Crop and sign-up for the latest Wasabi Crop updates.

Enjoy your fresh wasabi – providing new foods for your table!

Sofia Kitson

Wasabi Crop