Is wasabi spicy?

The answer to the question, is wasabi spicy? Is Yes, Wasabi is a spicy condiment. Wasabi is hot and spicy, yet flavorful and it is green in color. Its original name is ‘wasabia japonica’ which is a Japanese agriculture root native.

It is a whole plant but only the leaves are edible and the stem (subterranean stem) from where wasabi is made. Real wasabi tastes the best when it is fresh. Wasabi has a very similar amalgamation of tastes of mustard, cabbage, and horseradish. It has a kick of hotness just like mustard and horseradish and due to its identical taste to horseradish, it is also referred to or called as Japanese horseradish. Due to this similarity, many restaurants serve a blend of horseradish and mustard flour with some green food color in the name of wasabi. That means most people who have claimed to taste wasabi might not know the taste of real wasabi.

Why is wasabi spicy?

According to some, it is not that spicy like hot chili peppers or ghost peppers as it does not contain capsaicin. Wasabi is hot in the sense of smell and flavors like horseradish and mustard due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate. Capsaicin makes you register hotness or spiciness at a low temperature and it has a lingering after taste and that is why you feel like your tongue is on fire even after you wash your mouth or gulp down your food. Whereas allyl isothiocyanate in wasabi does not really create any actual hot sensation and you mostly feel the kick (pungent punch) in your pathways of the nose and there is no lingering hot aftertaste thus the spicy sensation is very brief in the case of wasabi. Many people do not understand how to describe the spiciness of wasabi but are actually not similar to chili peppers. Both the spiciness is very distinguished so a chili cannot substitute for wasabi and vice versa. Still among the list of spicy condiments, wasabi has made its place no matter of the technical quotient of spiciness. I hope why is wasabi spicy is clear for spice lovers.

In what form do we get Wasabi?

Actual wasabi is available in three forms:

Powder wasabi

This type won’t dig a hole in your pocket and is affordable but it is not better than the other forms of wasabi. Yet powdered wasabi is better than any fake available wasabi.

Wasabi paste

Again it is not better than the fresh wasabi but it tastes great and has the kick of spice. This is normally available in tubes and should be kept in a freezer when not in use.

Wasabi rhizome

This is the real fresh wasabi that is needed to be grated. This is expensive and it is not always readily available in the market and is difficult to find in the condiment stores. Now-a-day many stores especially online sell real wasabi but it can only be consumed for a month only if it is refrigerated. So, if you are sushi and Japanese cuisine lover then you should try the fresh and real wasabi rhizome for once.

What are the nutritional values of Wasabi?

Great news for spicy wasabi lovers is that wasabi comes with lots of nutritional value. It is packed with many minerals and vitamins which are importantly potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and many more. Another most important nutritional compound is isothiocyanates that are antioxidant in nature. This compound is found in vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and other green leafy vegetables. To your wonder isothiocyanate have immense health benefits such as it is a cancer-fighting compound, it has heart benefits, and it can protect the damage of cells and prevent them from multiplying.

In the next table you will be able to find the nutritional facts on some branded wasabi products (sauce, powder or other types):

Nutrition factsKikkoman – Wasabi SauceEden – Wasabi Powder
Units1 Serving (5g = 1/3 tablespoonful)1 Serving (2g = 1 tablespoonful)
Total Fat1g0g
Vitamin D0mcg0mcg

What kind of food goes best with wasabi?

Wasabi originated as a Japanese condiment but it is relished worldwide now. Wasabi can complement multiple varieties of food but complements Japanese cuisine primarily. It apparently goes well with sushi rolls. This combination can go never wrong. Perfect sushi is incomplete with soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. Wasabi also goes great with sashimi (a dish of well-cut, thin slices of fresh raw fish. It can go with anything if you put your mood into it. American dishes like salmons, ham-burgers, and meat steaks go very well with wasabi. Wasabi can also go great with different types of salads with meat or fish.

Wasabi is consumed soon after being prepared (15-20 mins after being prepared). So you have to be quick in consuming this spicy condiment. Apparently for this reason wasabi is mostly served with bite-size Japanese dishes so that it is not kept for too long. After this 15-20 min of time wasabi starts to lose its freshness and the intensity of heat and the punch of spice recede with time. The wasabi sauce in itself might not appeal to the consumers because of its spike of pungent and hot smell and spicy taste but it always goes undoubtedly great and tastes lively when combined with food.

Is wasabi exotic or readily available?

Wasabi is generally not that rare and farfetched. People with a spice-loving palate are less thus; often stay away from any kind of spicy flavor. In the US, their definition of spicy is anything that has a punch of strong aroma and taste, for example, ginger. Still, Americans have started consuming wasabi which are popular as a condiment there as well. Many are still unaware of this nutritive condiment. Wasabi is derived from the same plant family as a horse-radish and that is why both have a similar or identical taste and smell. The unfortunate part is that it is not readily available if freshly prepared and real wasabi is quite expensive. The market is full of radish substitutes labeled as wasabi. Thus, finding fresh wasabi can be a bit of a difficult situation. And if bought then it can only be stored in a refrigerator for up to a month.

Real wasabi not being that exotic is still a little farfetched and not pocket friendly. But Japanese cuisine lovers should try wasabi rhizome at least one time in their life.

I hope you found this article helpful and you got the answer to your question is wasabi spicy. To all the sushi lovers who didn’t try wasabi yet? Come on and grab your first wasabi packet now!

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