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Treat fresh wasabi like horseradish – wash, peel and grate it. If you can’t find it fresh, look for tubes of wasabi paste or powdered versions, which can be reconstituted using either soy or water.
WATCH: Asian seared tuna
READ: Asparagus sushi
WHAT IS WASABI?
Essentially, wasabi is the Japanese horseradish. Wasabi is related to watercress and similarly grows with its roots in water. Careful you don’t have too much – wasabi has a strong fiery spicy taste.
What are the health benefits?
Wasabi has similar nutritional properties to horseradish, which is high in vitamin C and is a source of potassium and manganese. However, as it is used in very small amounts, we see it as a delicious flavouring rather than a source of micronutrients.
How To Harvest Wasabi Greens (Leaves) and Leaf Stalks (Stems) From Your Garden
· Trim/harvest the stems surrounding the center meristem leaving the first “ring” of stems around the center.
· Don’t trim/harvest the reddish central leaves or the smaller leaves yet to fully unfurl.
· Sauté the stems in olive oil on low/medium heat for 7 minutes. Add the leaves at the 7 minute mark and sauté for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy. Kampai!
· See below for additional leaf and stem recipes and photos of this recipe.
Most textbooks start at the beginning. In this case it could be, “what is wasabi?”, or “the origins of wasabi as a food” or “wasabi habitat descriptions”. I’ll reserve those topics are for future articles. Please indulge me and enjoy this first article and associated video about harvesting and enjoying the wasabi. In later articles, I’ll describe more of the information, facts and wonders of this miraculous plant.
At this moment, either your garden wasabi is growing or you’re imagining your garden wasabi. If your wasabi patch has dark green opaque leaves growing together in a mini canopy of what looks like lily pads suspended in the air, now is the perfect time to harvest these wasabi leaves and stems. Any resistance about removing plant material you have is to be expected. Resist your resistance and liberally, gleefully, snip away and add some home-grown exoticness to your next meal. Most of the leaves you see will soon senesce anyway and only decay into the duff. Why not snip off these greens and enjoy them? Periodic harvesting of the leaves and stems won’t hurt the plant. It won’t affect its viability or the rhizome (central stalk) growth. Make sure to leave the center - top “bud” for future growth (this is shown in the video as the unfurled leaf called the apical meristem). The plant will continue sprouting from this meristem, unfurling little tender leaves, and it will do this year-round even inn the depth of winter albeit a bit slower than the Spring and Autumn.
Wasabi is different from many other plants in that photosynthesis is not as crucial and it can be reduced by leaf removal (harvest). Wasabi obtains much of its nutrients from water and soil, which is taken up by the roots. As long as there are a few leaves remaining, it will photosynthesize enough to be perfectly viable. If all the leaves are removed - if you get overzealous or are cooking for a large party - it’s ok. The plant will recover just fine as long as that central meristem remains. Enjoy the “produce” rather than being too concerned with harming the plant.
Harvest procedure. Reference the embedded video. Harvest all the stalks and leaves that are growing any other direction than vertical and/or are in an area other than the immediate ring of the crown surrounding the center-top “bud” (called the apical meristem).
Pickled Leaves and Stems (quick pickle, not fermented – though that’s completely possible and really tasty.)
Add the prepared (as above) or raw leaves and stems to noodle or rice dishes pictured below.
Article Recipe With Photos
1. With a chef knife, separate leaves from stems at the base of leaf by cutting away stem within one inch of the leaf (precision is not mandatory as all greens can be eaten raw)
2. Chop stems into ¼-1-inch lengths. Consistency is more important than the actual length.
3. Dice leaves into any desired size.
4. Sauté the stems in olive oil on low/medium heat for 7 minutes. Add the leaves at the 7 minute mark and sauté for another 2 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy. Kampai!
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Our water-grown wasabi has been sampled by some of the world’s finest chefs and found to be equal to the highest-grade Japanese wasabi.
We sell and ship plant starts for your garden. With Oregon Coast Wasabi, you can use fresh, locally-grown wasabi, shipped directly from the farm. We also sell rhizomes (root) for the kitchen.
Wasabi Prawns Recipe: How To Cook Crispy Prawns With Wasabi Mayonnaise
Craving for a nice quick snack? Chef Vikas Seth gives us a really interesting recipe of SingKong Wasabi Prawns. This dish is a crispy fried prawn coated with a strong Wasabi Mayo - topped with a sweet and spicy Mango Salsa.
Wasabi is a plant found in Japan. Its stem is used as a condiment and has an extremely strong pungency, more akin to hot mustard than the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue. However, it's quite popular, since it tastes good.
SingKong Wasabi prawns is a Japanese dish that complements the monsoon season. This dish is crispy fried and is a mix of sweet and spicy flavours. The best thing about Wasabi Prawns is that it looks fancy, but it is very easy and quick to make this at home. So, have a look at the recipe below.
Recipe By: Chef Vikas Seth
For The Fried Prawn
cleaned & deveined) - 24 pieces (400 g)
Wasabi Mayo Dip
Mango salsa Mango (chopped very finely like the fruit cherry in a bread) - 100 g
Onion (chopped finely) - 1/8th cup
Mint leaves (chopped) - 1/8th cup
Sweet chilli sauce - 3 tsp
1. Put the Mayo and Wasabi paste in a small bowl and mix it up well. Keep it aside.
1. For making the mango salsa
take a bowl and mix mango brunoise
mint leaves and sweet chilli sauce and mix everything well. The consistency of the mixture should be like a chutney.
2. Now take the mixture and put it in the refrigerator to chill.
1. Wash the prawns properly and marinate the pieces with salt, sesame oil and egg white for an hour.
2. Now dust the marinated prawns with cornflour. Take a deep frying pan and pour the oil. Now take the prawns and fry them in the hot oil carefully for a minute until cooked.
3. After frying the prawns we need to garnish and serve the prawns. For this take a bowl and toss the prawns in the Wasabi mayo nicely. Then arrange the prawns in a clean platter with mango salsa on top. You can put two mint leaves on top as well to give it a fresh look.
- Be carefully not to get pricked by the sharp poisonous needle-sharp tips at the head and tail of the prawn, which can make your fingers swell. For this reason, I always like to cut off the tips of the prawn immediately before I do anything else to them!
- Remove the prawn shells carefully so that the tail remains intact. That is my favourite part of the prawn! to see how I devein the prawn, if you are not sure how to do it.
- Add sugar as one of the marinade ingredients to make the prawns more crunchy.
- Refrigerate the prawns for about 20 minutes before frying, as the cold helps to retain the crunchy texture of the prawn.
- In many restaurants, sodium bicarbonate is added to the prawns to make them super crunchy. However, adding too much can make the prawns lose its natural sweetness and become tasteless, and even give a bitter chemical taste to the prawn. For this reason, I prefer to use sugar and refrigeration, instead of sodium bicarbonate, to achieve the crunchy texture.
- 1 pound sashimi grade yellowfin tuna
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
With a sharp knife, cut the tuna into 4 large pieces for appetizer portion, 2 large pieces for dinner portion. Use your judgment on what shape you want to cut your tuna because not all tuna is the same size or shape. However, the shape should somewhat resemble a miniature brick.
Season the tuna pieces with salt and pepper. Coat lightly on all sides with bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. The pan should be as hot as you can get it. Place the tuna in the pan, and sear on each side for about 45 seconds for small portions, or 1 minute for large. Remove from pan. The tuna will be very rare.
Slice each 'brick' into 1/4 inch thick slices, and fan out on a serving plate. Enjoy plain, or with the condiments of your choice.
When you purchase your ahi or yellowfin tuna, make sure your tuna is bright red or dark pink. If it is maroon or brown, it is not sashimi or grill grade, so it will not be a good candidate for this recipe.
The addition of Japanese wasabi to this Hawaiian poke recipe plays up the sashimi quality of this dish, enhancing the raw fish with some nasal heat. Wasabi Poke is an easy to make raw tuna recipe.
Poke is a local Hawaiian dish the word means “to slice or cut into cubes.” Think sashimi-quality raw tuna made into a fresh seafood salad. First, the tuna is skinned and de-boned. Then the blood line is removed, and the loin is cut into small cubes and tossed with a light dressing or marinade—similar to a ceviche, but there’s no citrus juice that “cooks” the fish with acid, so it’s more like a tartare. This showcases the rich, full-flavored tuna. Accentuate the natural flavors with a touch of soy sauce, sesame oil, a crunch of seaweed, some sesame seeds or nuts, and a few veggies. Simple to make, this dish is perfect served by itself or with several other variations of poke just add a seaweed salad, nori wraps and a pair of chopsticks.
Just like mustard can elevate the taste of meats in Western cuisines, wasabi has the same affect—they’re from the same family after all! There’s a reason the Japanese have paired soy sauce and wasabi together—they work beautifully together. Try some beef marinated in garlic, soy, sesame oil and wasabi, and if you’ve got a bit extra lying around, throw some sake in too. It works amazingly with chicken and you already know it works perfectly with seafood, because you’ve been eating it with raw fish for years. So try it next time you steam a piece of fish or have some prawns and want to try something different. The extra zing it provides can really change the taste profile of a dish.
Check out this Japanese recipe for Wasabi Chicken with Mashed Potato.
Try this recipe for Wasabi Prawns
1. De-shell and de-vein the prawns. Wash the prawns, drain dry and place in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg
3. Add salt, sugar and egg to the prawns, and mix well. Cover with cling wrap and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Wasabi sauce
1. Place the wasabi powder into a small bowl, and add in water. Mix well until a paste is formed.
2. Add in the mayonnaise, wasabi paste into a big bowl. Mix well until smooth. Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for later use.
Step 3: Batter the prawns
1. Just before deep-frying, take out the prawns from the fridge. Add in the potato flour and corn flour, then mix well ensuring every prawn is well and evenly coated with the batter mixture.
Note: Only deep-fry the prawns before you’re ready to serve.
Step 4: Deep fry the prawns
1. Heat up the wok with the 1 bowl of oil over medium heat. Then add in the prawns one at a time, making sure that the prawns do not stick to one another.
2. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes until golden, then place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
Step 5: Serving
1. When all the prawns have been fried and are still hot, put the prawns into the bowl of wasabi mixture immediately and toss them well ensuring that every prawn is evenly coated with the wasabi sauce.
2. Transfer the prawns on a platter and garnish it with nori and wasabi tobiko. Serve immediately.
Spice or Vegetable?
True wasabi is made by peeling the root of the wasabi plant and then grating it using a special studded ceramic grater, which causes it to form a sort of paste. Technically, wasabi is a vegetable. But if you take the same root, dry it, and grind it up into a powder, it is then technically a spice. So the powder form, inexpensive and not true wasabi, is a cheap spice, whereas the real root, fresher, milder, and fragrant, is a vegetable. An expensive one.
A third form of wasabi comes in a tube and is made from real wasabi root, dried, ground, and reconstituted along with various stabilizers and other seasonings. While it isn't exactly cheap—around $10 per tube—it is a decent middle option between the powdered not-really-wasabi and the crazy-expensive real root.
How to Make Wasabi paste
To make homemade wasabi paste, all you need to do is mix 3 teaspoons of wasabi powder with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Turn the bowl over for one minute before it’s ready to be served. That’s the entire recipe! You can make as much or as little as you want, depending on your needs.
Add Wasabi Powder Add Water Turn Bowl Upside Down
12 Fresh Homemade Pasta Recipes
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