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Keith Neal

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This stuff is too good to be true. Another addiction.

 

SameGuy

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Wow. Where did you get the wasabia? My next trip to Japan I plan to pick up an oroshigane (though probably a ceramic one, not traditional sharkskin).
 

UCChemE05

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Yes, where did you get this? I would LOVE to try real wasabi one day...

Anyone know how long fresh keeps?
 

SameGuy

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Pacific Coast in British Columbia is also shipping rhizomes, but they don't mention if it's Mazuma or Daruma. Cool. I'm salivating (and my nose has started running! ;)) at the thought of this...
 

Deckhand

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I will have to try some from there. I like anything starting with wasabi,horseradish,mustard,hot peppers: including bhut jolokia (ghost peppers). It's a sickness but I am not looking for the cure :biggrin:
 

mhlee

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I will have to try some from there. I like anything starting with wasabi,horseradish,mustard,hot peppers: including bhut jolokia (ghost peppers). It's a sickness but I am not looking for the cure :biggrin:
Since you're in Costa Mesa, try the Marukai or Mitsuwa markets that are close by. They often carry fresh wasabi up here in the LA area. I would assume they have them down in the OC.
 

Deckhand

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Since you're in Costa Mesa, try the Marukai or Mitsuwa markets that are close by. They often carry fresh wasabi up here in the LA area. I would assume they have them down in the OC.
Thanks I will try that. That was a great tip. I go to Marukai and a few Asian markets for my bulgogi fixings, Kimchi, spicy noodles, jajangmyun,etc. I am Caucasian but grew up eating lots of Japanese,Chinese,Korean,Vietnamese food.You have it good up there with Olympic Blvd and Monterey Park.
 

mhlee

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Thanks I will try that. That was a great tip. I go to Marukai and a few Asian markets for my bulgogi fixings, Kimchi, spicy noodles, jajangmyun,etc. I am Caucasian but grew up eating lots of Japanese,Chinese,Korean,Vietnamese food.You have it good up there with Olympic Blvd and Monterey Park.
I moved to Gardena so I could be close to all the Japanese markets and restaurants. If you ever go to the main Marukai in Gardena, go to the produce section. Look left along the upper shelf where the Shiso is. That's where I've usually seen it. Also, I've seen it at the Torrance Niijiya market on 182nd.
 

SpikeC

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New Seasons grocery in Portland has it now.
 

Keith Neal

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Some folks were interested in how long the rhizomes last. The answer appears to be that is doesn't matter. The stuff is being consumed so fast at my house that it couldn't go bad first.



The microplane is not the right tool, but it is what I have now. Does anyone know where a good sharkskin grater can be had?
 

mhlee

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Some folks were interested in how long the rhizomes last. The answer appears to be that is doesn't matter. The stuff is being consumed so fast at my house that it couldn't go bad first.



The microplane is not the right tool, but it is what I have now. Does anyone know where a good sharkskin grater can be had?
Korin has them. For the time being, use one of the cheap aluminum or ceramic ginger graters sold at most asian markets. My relatives in Japan use this. They live in Shizuoka prefecture, the main growing area for wasabi in Japan.

Wasabi rhizomes are sold everywhere in the area they live. You can even get it at train stations. That's where I got some the last time I was there and brought some back.
 

Deckhand

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I believe Korin has them. For the time being, use one of the cheap aluminum or ceramic ginger graters. My relatives in Japan use this. They live in Shizuoka prefecture, the main growing area for wasabi in Japan.

Wasabi rhizomes are sold everywhere in the area they live. You can even get it at train stations. That's where I got some the last time I was there and brought some back.
Bringing back memories of box lunches on trains in Japan.
 

add

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Thanks Keith!

Gonna try to get this stuff locally in the near future (outside Portland)...

Any early taste reviews or comparison to the powdered stuff many have been using?
 

slowtyper

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Tip for using the ceramic grater


Cover with plastic wrap and grate on that. Those are a PITA to clean and seems like so much wasted stuff inbetween the teeth you can't get out.

I have only used them for ginger not wasabi though.
 

sachem allison

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Thanks Keith!

Gonna try to get this stuff locally in the near future (outside Portland)...

Any early taste reviews or comparison to the powdered stuff many have been using?
not anything like the powdered stuff. It is a different kind of heat, with a very vegetable flavor. subtle with some slight sweetness and an over all pleasing warmth and mouth feel. Not pasty at all. If you taste it you won't ever want to go back. I don't know if you have ever eaten a cabbage core, but they have the same components in them that makes wasabi spicy only less. i have eaten spicy cores though and in a pinch they work rather well grated and placed on raw fish. not a substitute by any means, just something different.
 

slowtyper

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I will give that cabbage core a try to see what its like. Has anyone ever served fresh wasabi to a customer who complained and wanted the 'hot' one?
 

sachem allison

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i have had customers accuse me of giving them fake wasabi, because real wasabi is neon green and they would never eat here again. real wasabi tends to be ... grey green, but not in a bad way. grate it and seal it for about ten minutes and let the flavors develop, same with the cabbage core. It is less pungent then the powdered stuff. Your job as the chef is to educate. There will always be someone who wants the hot fake stuff because that's all they know.
 

slowtyper

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i have had customers accuse me of giving them fake wasabi, because real wasabi is neon green and they would never eat here again. real wasabi tends to be ... grey green, but not in a bad way. grate it and seal it for about ten minutes and let the flavors develop, same with the cabbage core. It is less pungent then the powdered stuff. Your job as the chef is to educate. There will always be someone who wants the hot fake stuff because that's all they know.
How did you deal with those customers and did they come around after being explained?

I've been thinking about trying it but would just be in tears if everyone was thinking they were being cheated! Now I know one restaurant that serves the fake stuff but has the real stuff for $5 extra. As a diner, i feel its kind of cheapo since this isn't a cheap sushi place, however I think it also serves the purpose of not giving it out to people who don't appreciate it, as well as lets them know that there is another option to the fake stuff.

I'm finding it kind of hard to picture how much wasabi you get out of a root....if you were to estimate what is the food cost of single "serving" of real wasabi, what would you say as a really rough ballpark? Like would $1 per person be accurate of how much it actually costs?
 

sachem allison

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I educated them. I brought them a piece of the real wasabi to their table and showed it to them. I treated it like a prized treasure and had it wrapped in a silk cloth and let them know that it was very rare and valuable, that it was flown in special and that I had a very limited quantity and was only sharing it with a few valued customers. people want to be treated special and that little bit of personal service goes along way. You would be surprised how much it calms some people down. People want to be sold things, be a salesman. stores would go broke if you only sold people what they wanted. That restaurant isn't being cheapo, they are creating a demand and recouping their cost at the same time. It makes business sense. If it is rare people want it and they will pay. Even you, the very fact that it intrigues you enough to want to put it on your menu means that the mystique and marketing is working. Is' it worth a hundred bucks a pound? Hell know! Will someone pay that much or more for it? Hell yes! Some just to try it and some because they can and no other reason and the rare few who truly enjoy it.
Accurate cost, really depends on how much you give them and how much you want to make,. You are going to lose at least 60% of what you bought in just waste( skin, fibers, leaves and such) and that is conservative. That's why they charged $5 extra and that probably is just to break even. Most of those places aren't making a profit off the wasabi and they don't buy enough for everyone to get some. It is for the most part a loss leader. It brings in people because it is a perk the other guy doesn't have. Figure out what you paid for it and figure you are getting a 40% yield on it closer to 35% and then multiply that actual cost times 3 or 4 and than divide it by the portions you get out of it and that is what you will charge for it. complicated huh. So if you get a 100gram piece for a $100 dollars and it yields 40grams it still cost $100 and you want 3 times food cost you would multiply times 3. That means that that 40 grams is now $300 dollars and say you got 60 portions out of it. $300/60=$5 that is what you would charge.
 

Deckhand

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I educated them. I brought them a piece of the real wasabi to their table and showed it to them. I treated it like a prized treasure and had it wrapped in a silk cloth and let them know that it was very rare and valuable, that it was flown in special and that I had a very limited quantity and was only sharing it with a few valued customers. people want to be treated special and that little bit of personal service goes along way. You would be surprised how much it calms some people down. People want to be sold things, be a salesman. stores would go broke if you only sold people what they wanted. That restaurant isn't being cheapo, they are creating a demand and recouping their cost at the same time. It makes business sense. If it is rare people want it and they will pay. Even you, the very fact that it intrigues you enough to want to put it on your menu means that the mystique and marketing is working. Is' it worth a hundred bucks a pound? Hell know! Will someone pay that much or more for it? Hell yes! Some just to try it and some because they can and no other reason and the rare few who truly enjoy it.
Accurate cost, really depends on how much you give them and how much you want to make,. You are going to lose at least 60% of what you bought in just waste( skin, fibers, leaves and such) and that is conservative. That's why they charged $5 extra and that probably is just to break even. Most of those places aren't making a profit off the wasabi and they don't buy enough for everyone to get some. It is for the most part a loss leader. It brings in people because it is a perk the other guy doesn't have. Figure out what you paid for it and figure you are getting a 40% yield on it closer to 35% and then multiply that actual cost times 3 or 4 and than divide it by the portions you get out of it and that is what you will charge for it. complicated huh. So if you get a 100gram piece for a $100 dollars and it yields 40grams it still cost $100 and you want 3 times food cost you would multiply times 3. That means that that 40 grams is now $300 dollars and say you got 60 portions out of it. $300/60=$5 that is what you would charge.
This is description is reminding me of high quality ginseng. Used it at the university for finals weeks.
 

Keith Neal

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Thanks for the suggestions. Sharkskin grater on order from Jon.
 
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