Mastering the Art of Fresh Wasabi: Preparation, Use, and Storage Guide

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Fresh wasabi rhizomes are a prized ingredient in Japanese cuisine, known for their unique, fiery heat and complex flavour profile that goes beyond the mere spiciness often associated with its reconstituted powder or paste counterparts found in many sushi restaurants outside of Japan. Unlike the more common horseradish-based imitations, true wasabi (Wasabia japonica) offers a delicate balance of heat and sweetness, with a nuanced taste that dissipates quickly, leaving no lingering burn. Preparing and using fresh wasabi is an art form that enhances the dining experience, especially in dishes where the subtle interplay of flavours is appreciated. The wasabi product directions outlined below guide you through the steps of preparing, grating, serving, and storing fresh wasabi rhizomes to ensure you capture the essence of this extraordinary ingredient at its peak of freshness and potency.

To use fresh wasabi rhizomes properly, follow these steps to maximise their flavour and potency


  • The wasabi rhizome, also known as wasabi root, will be dispatched trimmed.
  • At Wasabi Crop, we harvest the rhizomes upon receipt of the order and then prepare them for vacuum packing. 
  • On receipt of your wasabi rhizome, remove it from the vacuum pack and wash it under the tap with cold running water.


  • Rinse and Brush: Begin by rinsing the wasabi rhizome under cold water. Use a soft brush to gently clean off any dirt or debris without damaging the skin.
  • Trim: Using a sharp knife, trim off the ends of the rhizome. Remove any offshoots or leaves as well; the leaves are also edible and can be used in salads.


  • Choose the Right Grater: A traditional sharkskin grater (oroshigane) is ideal for grating wasabi, but a fine microplane or ceramic grater can also work. The goal is to break down the wasabi into a fine paste, releasing its volatile compounds for maximum flavour.
  • Grating Technique: Hold the rhizome at an angle and use a circular motion to grate. Apply gentle pressure to avoid wasting any of the wasabi. Grate only the amount you plan to use immediately, as wasabi loses its pungency quickly once grated.


  • Rest: Allow the grated wasabi to sit for a few minutes after grating. This waiting period lets the flavours develop fully.
  • Serve Fresh: Wasabi is best enjoyed fresh, alongside sushi, sashimi, or noodle dishes. It can also be mixed into soy sauce for dipping or used as a condiment for steak and seafood.


  • Store Ungrated Rhizome: Wrap any unused portion of the wasabi rhizome in a damp paper towel or cheesecloth, place it in a glass dish, and store it in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it can last for about a month.
  • Grated Wasabi: Any leftover grated wasabi should be covered and refrigerated but used within a day or two for best quality, as it quickly loses its flavour and potency.

Tips on Wasabi Product Directions

  • Gentle Handling: Wasabi is delicate. The more finely it is grated, the more potent the flavour.
  • Experiment: Aside from traditional uses, try adding fresh wasabi to dressings, marinades, or even cocktails for an unexpected kick.
  • Sustainability: Wasabi is a rare and often expensive ingredient outside of Japan. Use it sparingly to avoid waste and appreciate its unique taste.
  • Then wrap the wasabi rhizome in damp cheesecloth—which is provided—and place it in the fridge until further use. 
  • Please store the wasabi rhizome in an open glass container.
  • The rhizome requires good air circulation, so you should dampen the cheesecloth and rewrap the rhizome. 
  • This procedure should be repeated every 2-3 days.
  • You can grate the wasabi rhizome on a Japanese sharkskin grater or simply just use a micro-grater or even the lower part of a cheese grater. 
  • This grating approach will provide a delicious wasabi paste.
  • The rhizome cell walls break down during grating to release the wasabi kick, generating a fresh, pungent, zingy, hot flavour. 
  • If you follow these wasabi product directions, the wasabi rhizomes will remain fresh for up to four weeks.

Enjoy the fresh, zesty kick of wasabi in your dishes, and remember that a little goes a long way!

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