HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


real wasabi root

  • m
  • 9

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. r
    Robert Lauriston

    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.

    1. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: homecookin'

        I've had it a couple of times at Toshi's in Menlo Park. They have the other kind as well so I don't know if they only serve the 'real' wasabi with certain things or if it is only sometimes that they have it.

      2. 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.

        1. b
          Bryan Harrell

          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.

          1. For real wasabi in SF try Kyo-ya and Takara.

            1. Here's a mail-order source for real wasabi and wasabi products from a grower in Oregon.

              Link: http://www.freshwasabi.com/order.htm

              1. Nijiya supermarket in san francisco japantown had some the last time I went there. I believe one root was about $15. It's in the fish section.

                They also sell metal graters specially made for grating ginger and wasabi. although, if you can get your hands on a sharkskin grater (samegawa) I'd recommend one of those instead.

                1. Once when we ate at Tomi Sushi in San Jose on Moorpark and Saratoga, we got real grated fresh wasabi with our thin-sliced halibut sashimi. The difference was immediately apparent: the fresh stuff is sublime, clean and pungent, and it finishes with (I swear) a hazelnut sweetness.

                  It is also sold next door at the Japanese supermarket, but is appallingly expensive. A small root the size of a man's finger was $15.