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For Wasabi Fans Only

2017.03.25


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Plenty of people love wasabi, a condiment made from a plant occurring naturally in Japan, on their sushi or soba. But wasabi is used in all kinds of other products as well. In this article, we take a look at a few of the most surprising.

Above: hiro / Wasabi 2 (from Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Easy snacking

Wasabi rice crackers and potato chips aren't hard to find, and can be surprisingly addictive: "Once I open a pack of wasabi chips, I finish it before I know what I'm doing." One new entrant to the field is Wasabi Green Beans, created by Kasugai Seika in Nagoya. Spicy, crunchy, and unapologetically Japanese, Wasabi Green Beans are starting to find fans overseas as well.

Or there's the "wasabi bread" on sale at the Suruga Wan Numazu Service Area in Shizuoka. The sharp tang of wasabi helps drivers stay focused on the road, and also makes a tasty snack if they arrive too late for dinner.

The fragrance of wasabi

Izu is a well-known wasabi production center, and also the home of drinks bearing the distinctive fragrance of wasabi like wasabi shochu and wasabi wine. But if you can't make it to Izu, why not try "Tsunto," the wasabi shochu from Sapporo Beer? Tsunto is made from carefully selected, 100% Japanese-grown wasabi, and has received praise for its powerful aroma and clear, dry mouthfeel.

Wasabi Oil: Big in Hawaii

Then there's wasabi oil, a deliciously pungent oil made in Kagoshima. Just two or three drops gives any dish a whole new flavor—and it works on Western food as well as Japanese. Apparently it's even popular in Hawaii as a key ingredient in the famed Ahipoki Bowl as well as in souvenir stores.

It isn't hard to find people tweeting about their success adding wasabi oil to their cooking, either. Fried tofu, daikon, and garlic simmered in noodle soup, with just a hint of wasabi oil: the ideal snack for drinking with. Others have reported success with fried chicken and even salmon and avocado with mayonnaise.

Goes with everything, livens up any dish in an instant: wasabi oil might be the greatest wasabi product of all!

 

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