Japanese Green Horseradish - Mitoku Wasabi
As Japan is a rather isolated island country it has always been a fish-eating culture. Fresh fish and seafood is both abundant and delicious. Japanese are the only people that eat raw fish in the form of sushi and sashimi (which is fish with no rice added). Highly skilled sushi chef's cutting techniques are considered an art form. So is the way that the chefs handle the preparation of the fish. With the addition of a little wasabi, the possible toxic side-effects of raw fish are neutralized and counteracted. Therefore, wasabi has always been an essential ingredient when eating raw fish. Wasabi, Japanese horseradish, is a very hot aromatic green spice and has become one of the most important traditional spices in all of Japan. It is a small green plant that grows along clear mountain streams. Its roots are gathered, naturally dried and ground into a fine powder. The well thought out appropriate use of Wasabi is proof that the Japanese have arguably some of the most noted and refined culinary culture and remarkable cooking procedures in all of the world.
Uses: An indispensable accompaniment to sashimi and sushi, or add to shoyu or tamari for a spicy dipping sauce, use to spice-up kamaboko (fish cakes), rice/soup condiments & salad dressings.
- Use the Tabs below to Select your Favorite Recipe...Bon appétit!
Wasabi (Japanese horseradish)
Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is nicknamed nami da (tears) in Japanese. This strong, aromatic spice with a definite "bite" and the ability to instantly clear the sinuses has become popular in the West in recent years.
Wasabi's fresh, stimulating flavor and its abundance of protein-digesting enzymes make it an ideal condiment with raw fish dishes such as sashimi and sushi. Japanese sushi connoisseurs use wasabi to complement the flavor of red-fleshed and oily fish, such as tuna, yellowtail, and salmon, that live close to the surface. Although wasabi can also be used with white-fleshed bottom fish such as snapper and grouper, grated ginger is often preferred with them.
A small amount of wasabi is mixed into the shoyu-seasoned dip that accompanies sashimi. In preparing sushi, wasabi is rubbed on bite-sized "fingers" of vinegared rice, then topped with raw fish. (See "How to Plan a Te-Maki Party" in the Recipes section of this web site.) Wasabi is also traditionally added to the broth or dipping sauce served with soba noodles.
In Japan, the pale green flesh of wasabi root is finely grated and used fresh. Unique to the islands of Japan, fresh wasabi roots are rare and expensive. Powdered wasabi, or a mixture of powdered horseradish, mustard and wasabi, is a convenient substitute for the fresh root. It keeps almost indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place. However, most commercial "wasabi" actually contains no wasabi at all, and is artificially colored. When mixed with water to make a paste, this type of product is bright green, whereas natural wasabi powder is a dull greenish-gray.
Mix wasabi paste about 10 minutes before you begin eating. It is best to prepare only as much as you plan to use, because the flavor weakens over time. In a small cup or custard bowl mix a small amount of water with the wasabi powder to make a paste (about 1 part water to 2 parts powder). The paste should be thick, not runny. Cover the container, or turn it upside down on the counter and let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavor to heighten. (Exposure to air will cause it to lose some of its flavor.)
|Lime-Crab Stuffed Cucumbers with Wasabi|
Makes about 60 hors d'oeuvres.
4 seedless cucumbers (usually plastic-wrapped; 3 1/2 lb total), peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 packet Mitoku Wasabi Powder
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon Masu 100% Sea Water Salt
6 medium radishes
1 (3-oz) container radish sprouts or baby pea shoots
1/2 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
Special equipment: a 1 1/2-inch fluted round cookie cutter; a melon-ball cutter (optional); a Japanese Benriner or other adjustable-blade slicer
Prepare cucumber cups:
Cut cucumbers crosswise into generous 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut a fluted round from each slice with cookie cutter, then scoop out some flesh from center of each round with melon-ball cutter or a small spoon, creating an indentation but leaving bottom intact.
Whisk together mayonnaise and wasabi, then whisk in lime juice and salt.
Cut radishes into very thin slices with slicer. Halve slices, then cut crosswise into very thin strips. Trim radish sprouts to 1-inch lengths, measuring from top of sprout, and discard remaining stems. (If using pea shoots, cut sections with leaves into 1-inch pieces.)
Stir together crab, wasabi mayonnaise, radish strips, and radish sprouts, then put a small spoonful of filling into each cucumber cup.
- Cucumber cups can be formed (but not filled) 1 day ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.
- Wasabi mayonnaise can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
- Radishes can be cut and sprouts trimmed 1 day ahead and chilled separately in sealed plastic bags lined with dampened paper towels.
- Crabmeat can be picked over 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Sesame-Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
Masu 100% Sea Water Salt
1 tablespoon Mitoku Wasabi Powder
2 tablespoons spring water
1/3 to 1/2 cup regular or soy milk, as needed, warmed
1 1/2 tablespoons Mitoku Toasted Sesame Oil
Quarter the potatoes and place them in a large saucepan with cold water to cover. Salt the water, bring to a boil, and boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the wasabi powder and water to make a paste. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and mash with a potato masher, ricer, food mill, or rotary mixer. Stir in the wasabi paste, milk, sesame oil, and salt to taste, mixing until smooth. Serve hot.