Fresh wasabi rootstalk. Featured image by Hiro
Many of us grew up with powdered milk or cheese in the form of mac ‘n’ cheese, and you have also been doing the same with wasabi if you had it at most sushi joints in the States. Well, time for you to put down the instant mac, sippy cup, and put on your big girl/boy pants for some real wasabi (if you have grown-up money).
You probably already know that Alexa and Google are interfaces/portals that allow all of us to interact and connect with data, such as finding “the best wasabi.” Except, unlike what Google knows about you, I only have partial clues as to how you want to use it, and I am guessing it is with sushi or steaks, although this is Murica, so have at it (especially on fish tacos).
Looking for wasabi for your next sushi/sashimi or steak (yes, it’s great with steak) dinner? I have every major Japanese and international brand for you to compare real rootstalk wasabi, wasabi pastes, and powders by price and ingredients from around the world.This is the mother of all wasabi lists and the green wasabi icons denotes highlights/summaries.
My Guess as to What You Need to Know About Wasabi
However you choose to use it, it will not be long till Google replaces me by aggregating, sorting, and providing you the data in ways that will not involve a desktop or a phone. Soon, you will have what you are looking for at the optimal turnaround times, to the best wasabi for your application, and it will all be seamlessly integrated into your life because Google will know what you need.
Google will know from your hospital visits (Google Maps), the searches you make, that website subscription you have, and those anonymously labeled packages you receive, to the types of sushi joints you eat at. Unfortunately for you, that is the very near future, so till then, you got me, and I am going dump to everything you need to know on you.
What is Wasabi
Wasabi Japonica (Brassicaceae): the part grated into wasabi is a “stem” (rootstalk), or more specifically or rhizome.
Properties of Wasabi
Wasabi has antimicrobial properties (6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate): Studies show wasabi can kill many kind of bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli O-157, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. cholera, and Salmonella. 
Types of Wasabi Products
- Rhizome/fresh wasabi
- Frozen wasabi
- Tubed/paste wasabi
- Powdered wasabi
What you will not find here are sauces all thrown in such as wasabi flavored mayonnaise because this list is strictly focused on core wasabi products.The wasabi used for sushi to Wagyu steaks.
Wasabi Uses, Not Just Sushi
- Steaks, especially wagyu/fattier cuts with some sea salt or wasabi salt (if you love prime rib with horseradish, you will love wasabi with beef/steaks).
- Blend it in with mayo (or just buy the pre-made version) which is great on Baja style fish tacos.
The most commonly available and prevalent brand amongst Japanese and Japanese Americans in the United States is S&B (in that butter storage bin area of my fridge, you can find my stash).I also have or used Kinjirushi and Tamaruya.
Japanese Wasabi Brands
- Kameya, kameya-foods.co.jp
- Kinjirushi, kinjirushiusa.com
- Muso, muso-intl.com/japangoldusa.com
- S&B, sbfoods-worldwide.com
- Shirakiku, wismettacusa.com
- Tamaruya, tamaruya.co.jp
Real Wasabi (United States)
- The Wasabi Company, thewasabicompany.co.uk, Dorchester, UK
- Wasabi-O, venturetec.co.th, Venturetec Marketing Co., Ltd, Thailand
- Yoshi, yoshitoday.com, Qualifirst Foods Ltd., Canada
On the packaging of Yoshi, they have the pronunciation of “wasabi” as “WAH-SUH-BEE.” Except, It’s actually “WAH-SAA-BEE (wa-sa-bi / わさび)”Maybe that is the Canudian pronunciation?
Horseradish vs. Wasabi
All over Amazon, you see reviewers calling out producers who use horseradish versus the use of real wasabi, yet how many of those reviewers have had real wasabi? I can bet you only a small percentage have had it, so why the disappointment over the use of horseradish? There should not be, and I want to put the kibosh on it because the “fake stuff” is a worthy and legit stand-in, just like that chicken McNugget. Because we all know it is not from an organic free-range McNugget cut of the chicken, yet they are delicious (crunchy, juicy, and great with wasabi mayo). So nothing is what it says it is, and if the use of horseradish means $2.75 vs. $29.95, do you care? Or, more importantly, do you really want to pay upwards of 10x more?
This is a comprehensive list of all wasabi products, and if you are looking for ingredients, all of the ingredients are listed further below by category: frozen/chopped wasabi, tube wasabi, and powdered wasabi.
I value legit content over making a buck, and I have affiliate marketing links incorporated into my content. So I may earn an affiliate commission on purchases at zero cost to you if you click the links below. Unlike many other online resources, I provide every competitor to the two affiliate companies that I will make absolutely nothing from (I do that so that you know your options because sometimes there are more competitively priced options).
3.17 oz (2-pack)
3.17 oz (3-pack)
Real wasabi is difficult to work with because once finely grated, the ingredients peak characteristics diminishes within fifteen minutes to half-an hour (you will not have that issue with quasi wasabi aka “fake” wasabi).Also, if you are not applying the wasabi to the sushi, not a pool of soy sauce, the ingredient is wasted.
Frozen/Chopped Wasabi Products Ingredients
|Wasabi, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein(Water, Salt, Corn), Horseradish, Soy Sauce (Water, Salt, Soybeans, Wheat,Rice), Fermented Seasoning, Modified Food Starch, Water, Sugar, Canola Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural Flavorand Artificial Flavor, Kelp Extract, Xanthan Gum, Spirulina, Turmeric, Sucrose Fatty Acid Esters, Disodium 5′-|
Tube Wasabi Ingredients
|Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish), Dietary Fiber, Starch, Salt, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Sorbit, Oligosaccharide, Flavor, Citric Acid, Spice Extract, Xanthan Gum.|
|N/A (at the time of the posting although I am working to acquire the ingredients).|
|Muso Wasabi||Wasabi (Wasabia Japonica), Sweet Potato Syrup , Green Pea Fiber, Rice Oil, Salt, Water, Tapioca Dextrine. Product of Japan.|
|S&B Premium Wasabi Paste in a Tube||Wasabi, Modified food Starch, Sorbitol, Lactose (Milk), Rice Bran Oil, Salt, Water, Modified Food Starch, Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.|
[Gluten Free and No Color Added]
|S&B Prepared Wasabi in a Tube||Horseradish, Lactose (Milk), Rice Bran Oil, Sorbitol, Salt, Water, Natural Flavor, Turmeric, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Artificial Color (FD& C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue#1).|
|Wasabi (Shizuoka Prefecture), maltose, salt, vegetable oil, wheat dietary fiber, sorbitol, cellulose, modified starch, spice extracts, cyclic oligosaccharide, acidulant, antioxidants (VC), stabilizers (xanthan).|
|Wasabi-O||Horseradish 40.0%, Wasabi 15.0%, Iodized Salt 8.0%, Soybean Oil 7.0%, Corn Starch 5.0%, Mustard Powder 1.0%. Product of Thailand.|
The Thai product, Wasabi-O looks like a real strong competitor from the ingredients although it is one of the only brands I have not tried yet.
Powder Wasabi Ingredients
|Kinjirushi||Horseradish, Wasabi Leaves, Spirulina, Turmeric.|
|Authentic Dried Ground 100% Real Wasabi Powder.|
|S&B||Horseradish, Mustard, Tapioca Starch, Wasabi.|
[No Color Added]
|Shirakiku||Horseradish, Mustard, Corn Flour, Citric Acid, Vitamin C, FD&C Yellow No. 5, FD&C Blue No. 1.|
|Yoshi||Mustard Powder, Horseradish, Corn Starch, Tartrazine, Brilliant Blue, FCF, Vitamin C, Contains: Mustard.|
Mustard, Corn Fluor, Horseradish, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Artificial Color, FD6C Yellow #5, FD6C Blue #1, Citric Acid.
A Sharkskin to Copper Wasabi Grater/Oroshiki (For the Person Who Thought They Had Everything)
If you think $130 (Kinjirushi Steel Shark) is a lot for a wasabi, garlic, or ginger grater, watch the NHK World YouTube below and it may change your mind.
|Kinjirushi||Steel Shark Wasabi (garlic and ginger) Grater -Hagane Zame|
Large $130.50-$145 (10.3″ x 4.3″)
|Masamoto||Large Tsukiji Masamoto Shark Skin Grater|
Large $66 (8-5/8″ x 4″)
|Mokkosu||Grater of Shark Skin, for Wasabi ＆Ginger|
Small $26.99 (approx. 2″ x 3.5″)
Medium $39.99 (approx. 4.5″ x 2.3″)
|Tenzo||Sharkskin Wasabi Grater|
Small $58 (5 1/8″ x 3 3/8″ x 5/8″)
|Tsuboe||Japanese Copper Grater, DO-070, mini/small, Japan Import|
Small $13.99 (5.25 x 2.9 x 0.6 inches)
“Alexa, Should I Trust Greg/Oishii-Desu”
I do not think anything compares to real freshly grated wasabi on a sharkskin grater although that is subjective. Then again, you most likely would agree with me if you had it (although, I also like bougie mac’n’cheese and the cheap boxed stuff).
Good Reads/Worth the Watch
- LiveJapan.com, Fresh Wasabi: Visiting a Traditional Wasabi Farm in Tokyo.
- McGill University, Wasabi does more than simply add heat to sushi.
- NHKWorld-Japan (YouTube, as always, the content is top-notch), WASABI [わさび/Japanese horseradish] – Trails to Oishii Tokyo.
- Only in Japan (YouTube), Ultimate Wasabi Guide 究極のワサビ #28.
- University of Melbourne, Scientific Scribbles/Sushi.
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Antibacterial Activities of Wasabi against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus.