Anyone who is a fan of Japanese cuisine understands that adding even the smallest amount of wasabi to your dish can completely transform the flavours. And what’s better than wasabi? Having an endless supply growing in your backyard. Here’s our guide on growing wasabi in Australia.
What is wasabi?
Wasabi, formerly known as wasabi japonica is a perennial herb, which commonly grows in mountain streams in Japan. It produces a green sap or paste when grated and did you know that it is actually a member of the same family as horseradish and cabbage which is why it is sometimes called the Japanese horseradish.
Wasabi is known for its strong, spicy, flavour or kick! Its flavour is similar to a hot mustard and is most commonly eaten as a condiment alongside Japanese food.
Health benefits of wasabi
Some of the health benefits of wasabi include:
- Cancer prevention
- Boosts heart health
- Helps ease arthritis pain
- Kills food-borne bacteria
- Improves gut health
How to grow your own
Look to plant wasabi in Autumn as it takes around two years for wasabi to mature. But don’t worry it is easier to look after than you think. The green paste you eat today is derived from the wasabi root.
Plant your wasabi in full shade, 12 inches apart, if it is exposed to full sunlight the delicate leaves will wither and droop.
As wasabi traditionally grows in riverbeds, keep its roots wet and well-drained soil.
Cut back wilted leaves and stems and keep the ground free of weeds and pests.
Wasabi plants thrive in warm, humid climates. Wet woodlands are the best places for wasabi to grow as they are humid but still damp.
How to use it?
Wasabi is traditionally used as a flavouring on the side of Japanese dishes but it also adds great flavour to sauces. Here are a couple of our favourite recipes.
Steak with mango & wasabi salsa
Quick and easy meal, certain to be a success at any dinner party. Get the full recipe.
Wasabi Salmon with Broccolini and Pumpkin
A healthy meal you can get on the table in minutes. Get the full recipe.