Are you a fan of Japanese food such as sushi, soba, ochazuke, or especially sashimi? If so, you might already be well acquainted with wasabi. Have you ever wondered why wasabi is always there to accompany those foods?
Surprisingly, wasabi has been part of Japanese cuisine as far back as the 10th century. According to ancient records, wasabi was being used as ingredients in cooking as well as a medicine.
Wasabi gained more popularity for the whole country when it was used as ingredients in sushi. However, wasabi was not added for sushi flavour but to prevent sushi from spoiling. Fresh wasabi must be eaten after around 15 minutes, or it will lose its flavour and hotness. Thus, people serve wasabi with sushi to ensure people eat it quickly.
For those unaware, wasabi has textured like a bright green paste and there is a unique kind of burning sensation that accompanies its taste. Wasabi is Japanese horseradish, so the closest taste to compare is western horseradish.
Wasabi tastes quite similar to hot mustard or horseradish. The spiciness of wasabi is more like those of radish and ginger. It stimulates the nose more than the tongue. It is not quite like eating food with chili or pepper. Wasabi is a touch of quickly fading heat, pungent yet delicate enough to let other flavours shine through.
There are three main reasons why wasabi is a popular condiment to eat with Japanese foods, particularly sashimi. Let’s get right into them:
The first reason is that as we all know, sashimi often uses raw fish when serving. As expected, this results in a certain kind of aroma that is, well, fishy. To minimise the fishy aroma in fish, it is recommended to consume it by adding wasabi. The chemicals that the wasabi contain are believed to suppress the fishy smell and improve the experience of eating sashimi immensely.
Adding onto the point of chemicals in wasabi, another of the important reasons why you need to eat sashimi along with wasabi is to prevent the presence of bacteria or microbes. Wasabi is shown to be extremely effective in eliminating dangerous bacteria in food. Thus, it is keeping you healthy and safe while enjoying a good serving of sashimi.
Last but certainly not least, wasabi simply enhances the taste of the fish that is added to the sashimi. The delicacy of the spice is not overpowering nor does it take away from the taste of the fish, and just refines and improves upon the taste of the sashimi. It lets the taste of the fish shine, even highlights it.
How to Eat Sashimi with Wasabi
If you are about to enjoy sashimi with wasabi, simply put an appropriate amount of wasabi on top of sashimi. Then, dip the bite-sized sashimi into soy sauce, but do not soak it into soy sauce.
After that, take a full piece of sashimi into your mouth, and slowly chew it to enjoy the deliciousness from both fish and wasabi coated with soy sauce. Don’t forget to eat the vegetables on the plate, because they are not just for decoration. You can use fresh ginger to cleanse your palate between bites.
Here at Sakae Sushi, whenever you order our sashimi, the wasabi will be prepared for you! So if you are craving the taste of that unique spice of wasabi on sashimi, or if you are curious and want to see what all the buzz is about, head down to one of our many locations in Singapore or place your order at sakaedelivery.com!