Wasabi (Wasabia Japonica) Or Eutrema Japonicum: Japanese Condiment

Wasabi (Wasabi japonica) Japanese condiment: planting, cultivation, maintenance

Wasabi is a perennial plant belonging to the family Brassicaceae, which grows naturally at the edge of rivers, in mountain wetlands, mainly in Japan but also on the Russian islands of Sakhalin. Its culture is not very easy in France but if you get there, its growth will be fast enough. However, the root is longer to arrive at a correct size to be harvested (2 to 3 years).

On long, thin stems, evergreen, heart-shaped, green-to-purple-purple leaves, up to 20 cm in diameter, develop with little pearls at the end of each vein; small white flowers appear in spring.

Wasabi: Japanese condiment useful in cooking

We use the root (10 cm long and about 3 cm in diameter) that is finely rasped as a condiment for cooking, much like horseradish. By the way, wasabi, horseradish and mustard are all three of the Brassicaceae.

Because of its extremely strong taste, a bit acrid, which goes up in the nose, it is common to talk about Japanese mustard or Japanese horseradish instead of saying "wasabi". Yet, their flavors are different.

Wasabi is used to make the spicy sauce of the same name, but it also raises meat or fish dishes, soups, rice, and flavor pastries and other products derived by fashion! Flee the wasabi tube!

Its antibacterial properties are recognized, as well as the fight against respiratory diseases but it is also lent anti-cancer virtues...

  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: Japan
  • Color: white flowers
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: no
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: spring
  • Height: up to 75 cm

Ideal soil and exposure for planting wasabi

Wasabi is grown in the shade, away from direct sunlight, at a temperature between 12 and 15° C, in a deep and well-drained soil.

As a water plant, pot cultivation requires a layer of clay beads to facilitate drainage.

Date of sowing, division and planting wasabi

If you have wasabi seeds, they will rise but you will have to be patient because it takes almost a year for them to germinate! Prefer tuft division or sucker sampling. Plant in the spring.

Advice of maintenance and culture of wasabi

Delete the faded leaves. Be careful not to leave the wasabi cold because the gel would destroy it.

Harvesting, conservation and use of wasabi

Grated Wasabi used in the kitchen

After 2 or 3 years, when suckers are present, you can take them to plant them and tear off the wasabi root that is used in the kitchen as seen above. Cut the leaves and scrape the rhizome well to clean it.

Diseases, pests and parasites of wasabi

Slugs, snails and caterpillars are the enemies of wasabi.

Location and favorable association of wasabi

It is a plant that is grown in the greenhouse because of its needs in temperature and humidity.

Specialists indicate two Japanese cultivars: Daruma wasabi which is dark green and Matsuma wasabi which is even stronger, lighter in color.

(photo 1 by Qwert1234 - CC BY-SA 3.0, and photo 2 by Chris 73 - Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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