Real Wasabi Paste – Not Horseradish and Green Food Coloring

Categories: food — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Posted by: Grant @ November 7, 2008 : 7:30 pm

Following up on our recent sushi article, here’s a picture of some real wasabi paste, rather than the green dyed horseradish stuff that you get in sushi restaurants. These wasabi tubes were purchased from Pacific Farms, a company based in Florence Oregon that until recently, grew their own wasabi. The website is somewhat vague about where their obtain their wasabi now, but they were one of the few (if only) commercial growers of wasabi in the US.

From the picture, you can see the texture is more chunky with fibrous root material. The green is more of a pastel shade and less tennis ball green that you get in restaurants. The taste is immediately discernible, as there is a subtle, yet sweet flavor. The “kick’ that wasabi is known for is more powerful as well, though in a dull and prolonged manner versus the sharp, eye-watering kick of horse radish.

In reality though, real wasabi paste is more of a novelty if you aren’t making your own sushi, as you’ll be hard pressed to take your own tube of wasabi into a sushi restaurant without looking quite odd. In addition, real wasabi only keeps fresh for so long before spoiling, so you either need to use it quite quickly in the refrigerator or keep it in the freezer for storage.

Nonetheless, it was a fun lesson in learning what real wasabi tastes like. You might be able to get real wasabi in high end restaurants outside of Seattle, but we don’t know any Seattle restaurants that actually offer this, due to the price and extremely low demand.


  1. This was very interesting and I am not a Seattle native, actually NYC native and it bothers me to no end that they want to cal 48% Wasabica japonica rhizome or less, “Wasabi”! So, I look forward to trying the Pacific Farms product. I have also found another product that might be 100% Wj at Real Wasabi, but I do not know yet. I will follow this up.

    Comment by Augustus — November 17, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  2. Hey Augustus,

    Cool, let us know how the Real Wasabi turns out. I almost wonder if that might be overly powerful as a pure substance, but should be interesting none the less.

    Comment by Grant — November 24, 2008 @ 4:09 am

  3. There is a huge difference between the real wasabi and the wasabi-like stuff they sell in supermarkets.

    Comment by — December 4, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

  4. I’ll be honest with that I am no connoisseur of wasabi. While I like the flavor of the ‘common’ wasabi, I would like to enjoy the pure item at least once. Horseradish is a very flavorful condiment in my opinion. I dislike salsa but enjoy horseradish and wasabi on many of my meat dishes. Finding even a distributor of the pure root of wasabi would be a decadent find for me.

    Comment by Vash — March 25, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

  5. Of even more concern is that most so called 100% wasabi is actually made from a mixture of leaves and stems and not the good part (the rhizome or swollen root). The oldest wasabi growing operation outside Japan in New Zealand does produce 100% Pure Wasabia japonica rhizome powder. It is as near to the fresh grated rhizome that Japanese chefs rate our product as the best they have ever tasted. Have a look on the website for more information, recipes, and history for the full story. Enjoy the flavour!

    Comment by Michel Van Mellaerts — November 27, 2009 @ 10:57 am

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