Fresh wasabi rootstalk. Featured image by Hiro. Updated: 10/31/22.
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 to dump everything I think you need to know.
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
- Powdered wasabi
- Tubed/paste wasabi
- Frozen wasabi
- Rhizome/fresh 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. Also, not just any mayo, but Japanese mayonnaise if you want it done right. On another note, do not expect it to be green, that comes from food coloring, and the chef I worked alongside of would use spinach to color it (Lauren can help you with those details).
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 a 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.Don’t be shocked when you find horseradish in the ingredients list.
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).
Yes, even in restaurants, and I used to have to be the one that had to mix it which is noxious. It’ll make you teary eyed, so I would have a face covering and a fan to blow the fumes towards the line chefs because they would tell me it didn’t phase them (not true because that fan got flipped backed around at me, the Uno reverse card).
Do you know anybody who demands real cheese on Doritos or Cheetos? I mean, most of us would typically demand more of that powder, so that after only a few chips, are fingers are coated with it which would make licking your fingers all that much more enjoyable. I feel it should be the same way with wasabi powder, yet you get those types demanding that wasabi powder have real wasabi vs. artificially flavored.
(a brand by a restaurant distribution company)
2.2 lbs of hotness bro.
Real Wasabi, LLC
Real Wasabi Powder is a really cool product by Brooks Quinn and Doug Lambrecht who formed Real Wasabi, LLC in 2005. On their North Carolina mountain farm, they have been growing Daruma and Mazuma wasabi the traditional way they had observed in Japan.
“Cypher : You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious.” Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.And I have had both and access to the real stuff, I just did not like to access my wallet for it (I did not wake up as anybody famous or rich in the matrix).
This is how I feel about horseradish wasabi (my brain is cool with it).
Authentic Japanese Wasabi from Japan
“All natural, prepared in tube, suitable for vegans” and only $3-$4 for 1.6oz. The most amusing part of the product is “prepared in tube.” Well, regardless of the copywriting, next to Wasabi-O from Thailand, this has got to be the best product in regards to wasabi in a tube. The ingredients include: Wasabi (Wasabia Japonica), Sweet Potato Syrup , Green Pea Fiber, Rice Oil, Salt, Water, Tapioca Dextrine. Product of Japan.
Prepared Wasabi in a Tube
This brand and product is seen in every Japanese and Japanese American household and nobody cares if it is “real wasabi” because the end product is what “we” are cool with (yea, that is an unsanctioned induction into the “we club”).
Coarsely grated hon wasabi
I have not tried this brand although I will go out on a limb and assume it is a lot like the brand below that I have tried.
This is cool because this is a Thai (from Thailand) brand that is a doing a legit wasabi product, and I definitely need to order some to try it out based on the ingredients: 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 most distinctive out of them all (all the wasabi ingredients for all the brands are listed below).
Shizuoka wasabi paste
I have this one in my fridge now, and I like the texture and ‘strands’ (wheat dietary fiber?) of over the S&B (I just took a dab of it and starting *coughing*) stuff because it’s more coarse to give off a more natural texture and taste wise, there is also a discernible difference although it is a lot like the S&B product.
Frozen Chopped Wasabi
Restaurants will carry this brand and you will always get that customer that is like “so’and’so’san, can I get the REAL wasabi,” as tho they are privy to something you are not. Well, for most customers they are, but I do not think you are really missing out because it is not like real wasabi which is noxious. This product is like any frozen product, limp, flaccid, and a totally different experience (I hope I did not dissuade you from trying it with my glowing description).
Fo’Reals (Fresh Rhizomes)
Oregon Coast Wasabi
Starting at $45 for a 1/4 pound ($90, 1/2lb), and I will leave it at that for now (more information below).
Real Wasabi, LLC
Wasabi Rootstalk Rhizomes
Starting at $95 for 1/2 pound of North Carolina grown wasabi.
This is not a comprehensive listing and the rest of the product are listed below.
Unlike a sharkskin suit is not made of shark skin, this grater is actually made from sharkskin, yet they ate trying to tout it is fanray skin (try Googling anything about a fanray (not fantasy), it’s a nightmare).
Steel Shark Wasabi (garlic and ginger) Grater – Hagane Zame
Oh Japanese people, when other countries do things as cheaply as possible, you commit yourselves to creating some ridiculous product that only a small precentage of people can appreciate such as this steel grater with the kana for “wa-sa-bi” as the grating texture (it has been tested and documented by NHK).
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.
Where to Buy Powdered, Tube, Frozen, and Real Wasabi
3.17 oz (2-pack)
3.17 oz (3-pack)
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.
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.|
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′-|
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.Thai people are always cool/nice, and I have yet to meet one that was a d*ck.
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 vid 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|
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?”
As far as I am concerned, the “fake stuff” is in its category of its own because even real wasabi does not have the characteristics of the powdered horseradish stuff. Also, if you are eating American rolls, GTFO here for even scrutinizing brah.
I do not think anything compares to real freshly grated wasabi on a sharkskin grater although that is subjective. What is not subjective is price and at the end of the day, I have the fake stuff that most Japanese Americans will have in their fridge, not a perishable $30 rhizome.I also like bougie mac’n’cheese and the cheap boxed stuff because slumming it is tasty too.
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.