January 19th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, Chef Tracy Griffith explained how to use fresh wasabi when you’re cooking or making sushi at home. But if you have trouble finding it at your local whole foods store or farmers’ market, you can order wasabi powder from The Spice House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—a U.S. distributor for New Zealand Wasabi Ltd., a company that follows organic growing practices. You can even grow your own wasabi with seeds and plants from Eugene, Oregon-based Pacific Farms USA LP. (To order, call 800-927-2248, ext. 313.)
Chef Marcel Biró, owner of the organically focused Biró Restaurant and Wine Bar in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and author of Biró: European-Inspired Cuisine, mixes powdered wasabi with water until he achieves the desired consistency. For sushi, you want a dense paste; for sashimi, use more water so it can be used as a dipping sauce, he tells Organic Authority.
“Wasabi paste yields a very consistent flavor and doesn’t need any altering, making it ideal for the first-time wasabi user,” he says.
Also Check Out:
Spectrum Organics Artisan Wasabi Mayonnaise
The Silver Palate “It’s More Than Organic” Wasabi Mayonnaise
365 Organic Fresh Wasabi Dressing
Westbrae Organic Asian-Style Mustard
Premier Japan Organic Wasabi Tamari
Read More:Favorite Organic Wasabi Products
January 18th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Chef Tracy Griffith
Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, has become increasingly popular among educated American foodies, not to mention sushi devotees. A member of the Brassica vegetable family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), it aids in digestion and even helps slow cancer cell growth.
Chefs generally prefer to use fresh wasabi instead of prepared wasabi powder or paste. Be sure to peel it before grating it, says Chef Tracy Griffith of Rika Restaurant on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip and author of Sushi American Style. (She’s also actress Melanie Griffith’s sister and the first female graduate of the prestigious California Sushi Academy.)
“Peel it with the back of a teaspoon to get the gnarly bits off,” she tells Organic Authority. “Then use a ginger grater or wasabi grater to grate.”
Feel a bit intimidated? Not to worry.
“If you can peel and grate ginger, you can peel and grate wasabi,” Chef Griffith says. “Fresh wasabi is wonderful—much sweeter and complex-tasting than the paste you usually get in sushi bars. This is because wasabi is so very expensive—about $30 an ounce—but you don’t need much. It’s worth the expense!”
Read More:Fresh Organic Wasabi