freezing fresh wasabi
I've been wanting to buy a fresh wasabi root to grate at home. Several nearby Japanese markets carry it, but they are crazy expensive, so I want to freeze most of it for future use. Should I grate it all and freeze it in ice cube trays for easy use or cut it into chunks and grate it after I thaw a piece out?
I know that fresh wasabi root is very, very expensive.
Perhaps another 'hound who's better-versed in the science of what makes wasabi (and horseradish) "hot" can chime in about the volatility issue, but your wasabi is going to diminish in freshness nearly immediately after grating. Worse, should you try to refrigerate a chunk, you'll get a certain modicum of wasabi "excitement," but it'll not be worth the $50 an ounce you paid for the root, believe me.
Use fresh wasabi as soon as it's purchased and don't freeze it.
The places I have seen wasabi only sell it in such large pieces that using it at once is just not practical. Three and four ounce pieces (but only in the $30 an ounce range...) that would grate to a softball sized mound. Perhaps it will need to wait until I can afford to treat 20 or so friends to homemade sushi.