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Jan 10, 2008 06:33 AM

Thoughts on wasabi mashed potatoes?

Had wasabi mashed potatoes for the first time at a coastal N.C. restaurant (we're a little behind the trend, I know), but have no comparison. The side had a strong wasabi punch, and the potatoes were as pale green as actually wasabi. They seemed overseasoned.

So my question: How should great wasabi mashed potatoes taste/look?

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  1. There are no great wasabi mashed potatoes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cathy

      I think that wasabi mashed potatoes have the potential to be great, or at least better than "not bad." It would have to be kept in context, though, and I can't really come up with a way to do that, beyond serving it next to a sesame steak. On second thought, even though I love wasabi, "great" might be stretching it.

      My Blog:

    2. I have made horseradish mashed potatoes. They were okay, but, as my wife pointed out "After a few bites, you wish the horseradish wasn't there." It sounded like such a good idea at the time, too...

      1. I make my own at home using wasabi powder mixed with the potatoes. They are not seasoned to the point of being green, just enough to give a hint of wasabi. Very good as an occasional change to the standard.

        1. If you want mashed potatoes with a little kick, try blending in hatch green chiles. Gives it some heat, without turning the color green.

          1. In the first place, it was unlikely that you got real wasabi in your mashed potatoes. The real thing is a root that is not widely available and costs a small fortune. The stuff that's found at most sushi bars is just horseradish and green food coloring. So odds are you were served horseradish mashed potatoes with a green tinge.

            Now I love horseradish. There's nothing better than fresh grated cream-syle horseradish with roast beef. But putting it in potatoes is one of my least favorite applications, especially since it's so easy to overdo. An elusive hint of sinus-tingling spice is okay, but the level of horseradish (or wasabi) should barely rise above the level of detectability. More than that and the dish can turn downright unpleasant very quickly.

            9 Replies
            1. re: alanbarnes

              Does real wasabi taste a lot like horseradish? I bet I've never had the real stuff, but the green horseradish I use sparingly (or not at all), because I don't like it. I like spicy, just not that horseradish flavor. Yuck.

              1. re: madgreek

                Although the two plants are close relatives, and therefore presumably similar in flavor, those who are in the know claim that the differences are dramatic. Thus justifying $90/pound plus overnight shipping charges for fresh wasabi rhisomes.

                I don't mind the green paste served in sushi bars, but it seems like it would be a lot better if they didn't use powdered ground stuff. Why not grate fresh horseradish (and color it green, if you must)? Similarly, you can buy powdered real wasabi, but it's still powdered.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  if you used grated instead of pureed or powdered it would not dissolve in your soy sauce when you mixed it.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    True, unless you use a sharkskin (or similar) grater. They make a paste rather than shreds.

              2. re: alanbarnes

                Okay, so not every supermarket will have a selection of three brands of genuine wasabe, but the fact is it is NOT difficult to come by! Fresh wasabe is more difficult to find than dried, but dried has a nice long shelf life not shared by the fresh.

                I use Hime brand, available on the web, including Amazon. A small can will last the average home cook quite a while, and is well worth the cost. But I'm the type who also uses real saffron in paella. I can't say I've ever encountered "counterfiet" wasabe. At least not that I know of, and I think I have fairly well informed taste buds. You seem to have a rather jaded outlook on a lot of things, poor baby! '-)

                As for Mr. Food's question about wasabi mashed potatoes, not exactly my cup of tea. I tried making them once and felt it was a great waste of wasabe.

                However, for anyone stricken with the idea of green mashed potatoes, I don't know if his recipe is available on the web or not, but Jaime Oliver does a killer mashed potatoes with pureed green peas mixed in that is VERY good! I thought, "Gee, if peas are good, what about carrots?" So I tried mashed potatoes with pureed carrots mashed in. Not so good. At least not when compared to the pea mixture. Or wasabe.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  Hate to break it to you, but Hine and all the other cans and tubes of wasabi at the grocery store (even my local Japanese grocery) are "seiyo wasabi." Their primary ingredient is armoracia rusticana--plain ol' European horseradish. Anything made from wasabia japonica is going to be specifically and prominently labeled as "real wasabi" or "hon-wasabi."

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Don't know about the "plain old European horseradish." The label says "Japanese horseradish." But for the real thing, I found this website a coule of weeks ago and plan on ordering from them.
                    For the amounts a home cook uses, wasabi is NOT that expensive! What would I do with a pound of it? Six bucks for a reasonable amount that I'll use before it dies is a good price.

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Thanks for the link! I see hon-wasabi in my future...

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        I like this product, better than the powdered real wasabi and at a good price too: