Thank you Shima for my free Wasabi!32

Posted on April 8, 2009 by ChristieTaste Tests

tasmanian grown wasabi

It’s wasabi week! Strap yourself in.

I am extremely excited to inform you that fresh wasabi grows right here in Australia. Did you know that?

And let me also tell you, it’s a million times better than that thick green goop you get at the supermarket, or your local Japanese restaurant for that matter.

The wonderful people at Shima Wasabi absolutely made my week when they posted me a fabulous little package with a fresh wasabi stems, wasabi leaf stems, wasabi leaves and a ceramic grater inside.

Yes, that’s right, fresh wasabi is grown in beautiful Tasmania – and who on earth knew that’s what it looked like fresh! AND that it had stems and leaves that taste subtly of wasabi too. Incredible. It really is just too exciting for words.

I guess you can tell I lurve finding out new things about fresh produce. This post is all about introducing you to fresh wasabi and then I’ve got some recipes lined up over the next few days.

tasmanian grown fresh wasabi

I’ve also never owned a ginger grated before (pictured far left) so I was delighted to finally use one. The design is so perfect for grating the raw wasabi and the aroma it creates is absolutely heavenly.

The experience

Let me describe the taste and texture of each part of the wasabi plant:

The wasabi stem: Very firm and knobbly. It doesn’t have a strong wasabi smell until grated – even the cut edge isn’t very powerful – but once you grate it, POW! The smell is overwhelming (in a good way) and the taste is deliciously pungent. The familiar eye-watering and sinus clearing sensation that I love so much about wasabi is clear as day.

The wasabi leaf stems: A similar texture to celery or spring onions (scallions), stringy in a way. They’re really nice chopped finely into thin rounds. Very crunchy and juicy – you can tell the water content is high in the same way as celery.

The wasabai leaves: About the thickness of spinach and nicely textured (you can see them close-up below). The wasabi taste is mild and only really evident as a lingering afterthought. One person I let sample them said ‘they just taste like regular leaves’. I beg to differ, but it’s good to get more than one opinion!

tasmanian grown wasabi

As you can probably tell I feel very priviledged to be in possession of this wonderful produce. Especially as I know Shima deliver to all the best restaurants in Sydney such as Quay, Tetsuya’s, and Rockpool. I’m not puting myself in their league (obviously!) but it’s still pretty cool.

Recipe ideas

There’s quite a few recipe ideas on the Shima website and I’ve got two yummy recipes coming up in the next few days. Don’t forget to come back and check them out!

Until then, happy cooking! Christie x

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  • How fun! I wouldn’t have imagined fresh wasabi to look like that, especially the leaves!

  • oh! i heard rumors that wasabi was being sold root, leaves & all at harris farm. have been very tempted to try some so am looking forward to some of your recipes!

  • I look forward to seeing what you make! I’ve never used the fresh root before — I’m jealous :-)

  • I can’t wait to see some more recipes… great photos

  • What a great gift! I previously dated a celebrity chef, and whenever we dined at our favorite sushi restaurant we were brought out the real wasabi! I do not miss him but I miss the wasabi ;)

  • That’s an awesome gift! Everything about this plant is beautiful! I never new about the stems and leaves being edible! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Wow ! I have never seen a fresh one before! I bet they must be having much stronger flavors than the ones in the stores.

  • I too had no idea about the stems and leaves being edible. It’s wonderful that it’s being produced right at our doorstep. Look forward to seeing what you come up with Christie.

  • There you go. I think I was wondering a couple of months back where wasabit came from :)

  • Reminds me of fresh horseradish :)

  • I remember the first time I tried wasabi…my eyes watered and I made the strangest face according to my friends. :) I now love it.

  • Great post; I’ve never seen wasabi root before.

    Do you think it would be a good stand by for horseradish? I’ve been unable to find decent fiery horseradish in Sydney to date (and complaining about it on the blog ‘Perfect night for Steak and Cab) and this could be a good solution.

    I’d be interested to know how long it stays fresh :)

  • I’ve never seen wasabi stems or leaves before – very interesting. I am waiting to see what you do with them!

  • Wow – lucky you! Last I heard a friend of mine in London paid £7 (about $14 Australian dollars) for an inch of the root!

    I love wasabi, lime and avocado but unfortunately I doubt I’ve ever tried the real stuff…

  • OOoh niiiceee, can’t wait for all the wasabi-y recipes coming up soon ^^!

  • Wow that’s cool! I must admit I’d never even thought about where wasabi came from (oh shame on me for sneering at the idea of not knowing milk comes from cows etc – now I’m in the same league). It looks great and I just love the idea of tops like spicy celery.

  • Ah, nothing like freshly grated wasabi. It’s so expensive where I am that I don’t get to have it unless when I visit some very expensive Japanese restaurants (that insist on using nothing but freshly grated wasabi root) but that rarely happens. I’m jealous!

  • How cool! Can’t wait to see what you do with it…

    thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos, too!

    -emily
    @ChicagoDining

  • I saw a segment on The Cook and the Chef about proper wasabi…such a difference! I like the idea of using the leaves in salad for bite.

  • Thanks – can’t wait for more recipes too!

  • wow, so that’s what wasabi root looks like! i love wasabi braised beef….mmmmmm

  • Looks great! I wish I could eat wasabi. Alas the fiery stuff is too much for me, which only delights my husband as it means more for him. Will point him to the recipes!

  • I use powdered wasabi at home, but never fresh wasabi (though I’ve had it in Japan). What a lovely package to receive!

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  • Never had my hands on this in my kitchen.. Have only had it in better Japanese restaurants. Fresh wasabi is so expensive!

  • I am so envious!

    Few years ago, my dad brought me couple wasabi roots from Japan; mind you this is totally illegal so we have exchanged some not-so-kind words regards to his carelessness and my ungratefulness.

    In any event, now you must acquire your self a shark skin wasabi grater. That is how they grate it in my motherland.

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  • I have them in my garden, and it’s growing like mad right now. I didn’t realize the leaves and leaf stems are edible too. Can’t wait to get home and start harvesting!

  • Wow! I’m Japanese and I’ve never had wasabi leaves before. I guess I’ll have to look for them the next time I’m there.

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