Allyson Gofton - Hot as Wasabi

Publish Date
Friday, 13 March 2015, 4:12PM
By Allyson Gofton


  • Wasabi  is not a  member of the horseradish family though it is often referred to  as “Japanese horseradish”.
  • The root, from which authentic wasabi paste is prepared,  is pale green under the rusty brown skin, and  grows in Japan in areas beside clear running mountain streams where the water temperature remains stable year through.
  • The plant is temperamental to harvest,   hence most goes to domestic use and is  rarely available  - at least fresh - outside of Japan.
  • What we buy here is prepared from a mix of,  horseradish, mustard powder, green food colour and  maybe ever such a minute amount of ground wasabi.
  • Pure ground, dry wasabi powder is hard to find and expensive.

How to buy

  • Buy wasabi paste and sauce, which is more liquid in small jars or easy-to-use squeeze tubes.
  • Mix wasabi powder to a paste with room temperature water  and allow to stand for 15 minutes for the flavours to develop before using.  Store all wasabi in airtight jars or tubes in the refrigerator.

Uses beyond sushi

  • Think of wasabi as a mustard and try.
  • Added to vinaigrette or mayonnaise to serve with starchy salads like potato.
  • Mixed with butter and topped on a  barbecued beef or lamb steaks.
  • Toss through freshly cooked noodles.
  • Added to stuffed hardboiled eggs.
  • Served beside raw, grilled or  smoked fish -  especially tuna or salmon.

Oysters With Wasabi Dressing
Freshly grated cucumber with a smidgen of wasabi, makes a refreshing dressing for chilled oysters. Perfect with bubbles over Christmas.

Serves: Makes 36

1 telegraph cucumber, deseeded and coarsely grated
2 tblsp chopped chervil or 1 tblsp chopped dill
½ tsp wasabi paste
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp grated lime rind (or ½ lemon)
Cracked white peppercorns
36 oysters in the half shell


  1. Place the grated cucumber in a clean chux cloth and squeeze out the excess moisture.

  2. Mix the cucumber with the chervil or dill, wasabi paste, olive oil, lime or lemon rind. Season with white pepper.

  3. Arrange the oysters on a serving tray and dress each with a little salad. Serve immediately.

Cooks Tips:

  • Telegraph cucumbers are milder and sweeter than short cucumbers. However, if you do use short cucumber, peel it as the skin will be too coarse.

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