What Does Wasabi Taste Like – All You Need to Know

Wasabi is a hot, green, spicy condiment used primarily in Japanese cuisine. It is made from the root of a plant called Wasabia japonica. It has a pungent aroma and sharp, biting taste. Wasabi can also be an acquired taste, but it has been appreciated for its unique flavor since ancient times. If you are not familiar with wasabi, here’s a glimpse into what it looks like and how it tastes.

What Is Wasabi?

Wasabi is a condiment made from the root of a plant called Wasabia japonica, aka Japanese horseradish. The flavor of wasabi comes from a chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate. It is typically used in Japanese cuisine and has become so popular outside of Japan thanks to the export of sushi that it is now commonly seen in Western dishes.

Japanese horseradish grows next to stream beds at the base of mountains throughout Japan. The Japanese have been enjoying wasabi since at least the 8th century AD. Wasabi quickly became world-famous when sushi became a global food in the early 1980s.

Wasabi Taste Ultimate Guide

What does wasabi taste like? Wasabi has a refreshing and invigorating taste. It has a touch of heat that quickly dissipates. The bright green flavor enhances the taste of sushi and still allows you to enjoy all of the amazing raw fish flavors. 

Wasabi tastes sharp and intense, but it slowly changes as the heat increases. The first few tastes are very subtle and similar to ginger or horseradish. As the heat builds up, the flavor quickly becomes more intense and ends with a strong aftertaste that might not mix well with everything else you eat at dinner.

How Spicy Is Wasabi?

Wasabi has a strong spicy flavor similar to hot mustard. The chemical allyl isothiocyanate dissolves in your mouth and enters your nose, causing a burning sensation. This burn only lasts for a couple of seconds. Powdered wasabi is spicier than fresh wasabi due to higher concentrations of allyl isothiocyanate.

The spiciness of wasabi comes from the presence of the chemical compound allyl isothiocyanate. Allyl isothiocyanate is a white, powdery substance that later becomes brown when it oxidizes and burns off its hydrogen atoms. This process creates heat and gives the condiment its fiery flavor.

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Wasabi is not like your typical spicy food. Wasabi does not burn your mouth or tongue like peppers. Instead, it irritates the back of your throat and nose, similar to spicy mustard. It is not uncommon for spicy wasabi to make your nose run or cause tears to come streaming down your face.

Wasabi’s spiciness varies depending on the freshness and whether it is made from powder or not. Powdered wasabi tends to be much spicier than fresh wasabi, and the burning sensation in your nose tends to last longer. The burning sensation from fresh wasabi should only last 1 second or less!

Is wasabi sweet or spicy? Wasabi is not sweet at all. Wasabi has a slightly bitter taste and fresh vegetal notes. It also has a powerful heat similar to spicy mustard. However, the heat quickly dissipates and does not overpower the sushi.

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Contrary to popular belief, fresh wasabi does not have a very strong taste. It provides a quick kick like hot mustard and then rapidly disappears. If wasabi was too strong, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the subtle flavors of the raw fish that wasabi accompanies.

Why does wasabi taste so nasty? Wasabi tastes nasty when made from the cheap paste and features food coloring and poor quality horseradish. Real wasabi has a smooth and refined taste with only a pleasant brief spicy kick.

If you think wasabi tastes horrible, you probably have only tried cheap wasabi made from paste. You can’t even call this paste wasabi because it is not made from Japanese horseradish and features a range of additives. Before judging wasabi, you need to try real wasabi, which is made from grating fresh Japanese horseradish.

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Does real wasabi taste better? Real wasabi has a much smoother taste than wasabi paste. Real wasabi is not overly spicy, and the spicy kick only lasts for a second. Real wasabi enhances the flavor of raw fish without overpowering its subtle taste.

Real wasabi is, without a doubt, superior to wasabi paste. Real wasabi is incredibly smooth and has a bright, energizing taste that draws out the flavor from nigiri. The slight kick you feel in your nose from real wasabi is pleasant and only lasts for a second before instantly vanishing.

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How can you tell if wasabi is real? Real wasabi is gritty and has a paler green color. Real wasabi also has a milder spicy kick, and the spiciness is gone very quickly without lingering. Fake wasabi is bright green, thick, smooth, and has a very strong spicy taste.

To spot fake wasabi, first look at the color (real wasabi is pale green). Next, check out the texture (real wasabi is uneven and gritty). Then try some (real wasabi is smooth, not overpowering and the spicy kick is brief and not too intense).

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How is Wasabi Made?

Wasabi is made by grinding or pounding the wasabi plant’s roots into a paste. Fresh wasabi has no other additives. It is just left to rest for a few minutes before being served.

Making fresh wasabi is so easy. All you need to do is wash the rhizome and remove any bumps. Next, cut the root-end (holding the leafy end upright). Then grate wasabi into a small pile. Leave your freshly grated wasabi for a couple of minutes so the flavors can come out, then place some on your sushi!

Fresh wasabi is incredibly easy to make because it has a single ingredient (Japanese horseradish stem) that needs to be grated. You can prepare fresh wasabi in just a few minutes. The only problem is buying Japanese horseradish – this rare plant can cost up to $75 per pound.

Wasabi Price

How much does real wasabi cost? Real wasabi costs $75 per pound. Wasabi is so expensive because it is extremely hard to grow wasabi as it only grows in mountain valleys next to streams. Wasabi can only be grown in Japan, although recently, companies have tried to grow wasabi in the US and even the UK with limited success.

Wasabi is one of the most expensive vegetables. This is why many Western sushi lovers have never tasted real wasabi. Wasabi is so expensive because it only grows in very specific conditions, near mountain valley streams. Wasabi will only grow around 1300 – 2500 meters above sea level, and it won’t survive if the air temperature is below 8°C or above 20°C.

Don’t worry if you can’t afford this luxurious vegetable! You can also make your own wasabi using wasabi paste. All you need to do is take 3 teaspoons of wasabi powder and mix it with 1 teaspoon of water. Mix until it is fully combined. You can add more or less water depending on the thickness you want. Wasabi powder can be bought at most supermarkets, just head to the Asian food section. You can buy a big packet of wasabi powder for $5.

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Is Wasabi Healthy?

Wasabi is healthy. Wasabi is high in Vitamin C, which can help improve the immune system, and it is also high in protein. And in Japan, wasabi is sometimes used instead of salt to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.

Wasabi is a herb that has been used for thousands of years in Japan. It helps cleanse the stomach lining, relieving symptoms such as bloating and flatulence. According to studies conducted by Chinese researchers, wasabi also contains anti-carcinogenic properties, which are thought to fight cancer cells while they’re still inside the body or when it’s too late for conventional therapies like chemotherapy. Another study showed that wasabi reduces cholesterol levels and decreases blood pressure without adverse reactions with modern medical treatment methods.


Wasabi is a delicacy that is often served with sushi and is often found in Japanese restaurants. This condiment is made from the root of the wasabi plant, and it is prepared by mixing it with a salty, sweet, and sometimes fermented liquid. The taste of wasabi ranges from mild to hot depending on the concentration of allyl isothiocyanate and whether it is made from powder or fresh.

Wasabi has a fresh green vegetal taste. Wasabi is known for its bright, energizing flavor and its famous spicy kick. Wasabi gets into your nose and causes a slight burning sensation which quickly disappears. Fresh wasabi does not overpower any dish but brings out the flavor.

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