real wasabi root
- mo vaughn
I've searched the board and see that there are a couple of restaurants in the city where one might be able to order "real" wasabi. What I'd like to know is if there is anywhere (99 Ranch, Sunset Super etc.) I could pick some up on the retail side. I've never had it, but have been thinking it might be a nice addition to my at-home sashimi prep. Thanks.
I've seen it at Berkeley Bowl. Dunno if it's a regular item. They might have the biggest selection of Japanse produce in the area.
You won't find many or if any restaurant that will serve real wasabi root with their sushi. Most wasabi paste or powder is made from horseradish. Real wasabi root cost about 20 dollars a pound where as horseradish cost 3 dollars a pound wholesale.
I've yet to find a restaurant that serves real wasabi root.
I have seen the wasabi root at the grocery store (I can't remember the name right now... is it Maruwa?) in Japantown.. Also, I believe you can order it at Sushi Ran in Sausalito, although you may want to call ahead to check. Goo luck.
If you end up not being able to find real wasabi root, you might look for real wasabi paste from Japan. It's in the refrigerated section, and is real wasabi paste packed into a plastic tube that looks like a tube of toothpaste. One brand I know is called "Hon-wasabi" and is surprisingly close to real wasabi. Once opened, it will keep nicely in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Should cost about $5.
Whatever you do, don't spoil your home-prepped sashimi with the powdered fake wasabi. Consider an alternate, like fish sauce with lime juice, which I've come to like a lot recently.