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Shark Skin Wasabi Grater
Shark Skin Wasabi Grater
This is the traditional Japanese tool for grating fresh wasabi root. Grated wasabi is used as a condiment with sushi and sashimi. To use, rub the freshly cut end of a fresh wasabi root along the grater to produce a finely ground wasabi paste.
Preparation and Why Such a Fine Paste? To obtain the best flavour, texture and heat of sawa Wasabi the rhizome must be ground into a fine paste. In Japan the traditional method for grating Wasabi uses a sharkskin grater or “oroshi". If a sharkskin grater is not available, ceramic or stainless steel surfaces can be used. The important component of the grater is the teeth or nubs. Smaller teeth produce a finer paste that increases the unique heat and flavour of fresh Wasabi. Grating Wasabi releases volatile compounds, called isothiocyanates that gradually dissipate with exposure to the air. These compounds are not found in Wasabi until after the cells of the plant are broken up and turned into a paste. The finer the paste the more chemical reactions take place. Using a Wasabi grater and keeping the rhizome perpendicular to the grating surface minimizes exposure to the air. In this way, the volatile compounds are allowed to develop with minimal dissipation. This combination of natural volatiles, consistency and texture distinguish fresh wasabi from the imitation products of powdered and paste horseradish, which have been mixed with Chinese mustard and green food colouring.
How To Grate Wasabi? Wasabi rhizome finely grated on shark skin grater. Rinse the rhizome under cold running water. Scrape off any bumps or rough areas along the sides. Scrub the rhizome with a stiff brush under cold running water and pat dry. Cut the rhizome just below the leaf base. Hold the rhizome perpendicularly to the surface of the grater and grate the rhizome using a circular motion. Grate only what will be used within 10 or 15 minutes as the flavour will begin to dissipate within a short period of time.
If you are using a sharkskin grater, rinse it under cold running water and let it air dry.
What is Wasabi? Wasabi is a rhizomes similar in flavor and heat to horseradish. Fresh grated or dried reconstituted wasabi is used as a condiment with sushi, sashimi as well as other Japanese noodle dishes.
Fresh Wasabi Rhizomes. What You've Had Was Probably Not The Real Thing. Most all wasabi served in the U.S.A. is not wasabi at all but a powder made from dried horseradish, food coloring and dry mustard. Japanese restaurants found that fresh wasabi was not preferred by Americans so the horseradish mixture has become the standard.
The Flavor Of Real Wasabi. Wasabi is quite strong when it is first grated but the heat diminishes as the wasabi is exposed to air. Dried, powdered wasabi is also available but just like its fresh counterpart it is hard to find and quite expensive.
How Fresh Wasabi Is Used. Fresh wasabi rhizomes are grated on a rough surface to form a thick paste. The traditional tool is a sharkskin grater. The grating action breaks open the cells of the plant which creates a chemical reaction that in turn causes the release of isothiocynates, the compounds that produce wasabi's unique flavor.
Once you've grated the amount of wasabi you wish to use gather it into a small ball. Keeping the wasabi in a ball keeps it from getting too much exposure to the air. Sit the ball aside and allow it to rest at room temperature about 10 minutes allowing the chemical compounds to do their work. Use the wasabi within 20 to 30 minutes. After that the flavor will begin to diminish. To freshen your wasabi you can remix it and add a bit more freshly grated wasabi to liven up the mixture.
How To Use Dried Ground Wasabi? Wasabi powder is combined with water to form a thick paste. It is best to allow the paste for sit for about one hour before use. To serve, wasabi is typically mixed with soy sauce when being used with sushi or sashimi.
History Of Wasabi. It is believed that Wasabi was first used where it was found growing wild in Japan's valleys of Mt. Heike, Mt. Mizuo, and Mt. Bahun. The locals gathered wild Wasabi to use as a condiment with slices of raw yamame (a kind of trout), and raw venison. In addition to use as a flavoring the stems and leaves of Wasabi were pickled and eaten as a vegetable. Today wasabi is still one of the most important condiments in Japanese cuisine.
More Wasabi Uses. Add a tablespoon to your favorite mashed potato recipe. Splash a few drops on fresh, washed salad greens. Drizzle over fresh steamed vegetables like asparagus Add to a simple vinaigrette
How To Store Fresh Wasabi? If you are fortunate enough to buy fresh wasabi you'll want to store it properly. Rinse rhizomes under fresh clear water and wrap in damp paper towels. Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and replace with fresh damp paper toweling every couple of days. Rhizomes can be stored for at least 2 weeks.