Short video about life on a Japanese wasabi farm

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Great video, thanks. I am a longtime fan of Wasabi and always assumed it was just a Japanese name for a processed form of horseradish. I didn’t realize there was a real plant by that name. Now I’m curious if I’ve really had the real thing…


Most wasabi served in American restaurants is actually mainly horseradish with some mustard, mayo, soy sauce and/or other ingredients.

Real wasabi has more of a vegetable herb taste, spicy, but not as hot as horseradish wasabi. The reasons for the hotter wasabi are two-fold. One, it can cover the lackluster taste of fish that isn’t as fresh as good sashimi or nigiri should be, or which hasn’t been prepared by a quick kill to prevent lactic acid build up in the muscle tissue (the word sashimi literally refers to a process of quickly pithing the brainstem of the fish). And two, the perception that Americans prefer spicier food.

Personally, I love spicy “mock” wasabi and make it at home, but if you’re eating really fresh raw fish and can get some real wasabi, I highly recommend trying it.


The real McCoy is spicy going down, and spicy coming out the next day.

Pro Tip: put the toilet paper in the freezer for the following day, enjoy.


A bucket list item for me would be to enjoy sashimi at a restaurant where the wasabi is the real deal.

I recall a YouTube vid about a place in Oregon that grows real wasabi…


I’m definitely not a chili head, but wasabi is a cultural necessity. Chili just sets the inside of your mouth on fire, while wasabi (if you have a cold or allergies) will do a number on your sinuses.


When I lived in Japan 20 years ago, I would head into the woods and pick wild wasabi with people who knew what they were doing. It was super yummy. We weren’t picking the roots, only the leaves. The leaves taste like romaine lettuce, with a slight wasabi bite. Great for salads and stir fries.


Gambate! Do your best!


There us a grower not too far from me in Half Moon Bay. I have tried and enjoyed fresh California grown.
But, I must try the fresh Japanese to really compare.
Great post Mark! Cheers

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This video is farming porn for me. I love stories of farmers full of love for their crops, the Earth, their part in the whole shebang.


Even better:

I’ve read that before. There oughta be a law!

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Films like this - or Jiro Loves Sushi - are the ultimate food porn for me - that direct connection to the life that nourishes us in so many ways. Omnomnom.


FYI, while searching for garden seeds for the spring, I found a source for real wasabi plants:

If you’ve got a Japanese grocery store near you, you can sometimes find the real stuff there (particularly around big holidays like New Years).

It’s expensive as all get go though, and you need to grate it right before consumption. Apparently a lot of the experience comes from very volatile compounds that don’t hang out very long.

If you want to be super hipster about it, make sure you make yourself a same (sharkskin) grating slab for it…

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