How to Know the Difference Between Fake vs Authentic Wasabi

Wasabi is a vegetable that hails from Japan, and what consumers get is often not real wasabi but rather a kitchen created copy. So, how can you tell the difference between the real and fake versions of this unusual edible? Here are some tips from those in the know.

Fake Versus Authentic Wasabi

Most knock-off wasabi is made with horseradish, spicy mustard and a light green food coloring. They are literally created in a kitchen-style manufacturing facility or in the homes of those who don’t want to deal with the high cost of the authentic product.

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Real wasabi is a vegetable that comes from the skin of a plant. It’s challenging to grow, as it prefers to flourish in moving streams and river beds that get fresh water sourced from the hills and mountains in Japan.

These plants take a year to 18 months to be ready for harvesting and are typically plucked by hand. They are then rinsed and the leafy top and roots on the bottom are trimmed to be ready to sell to consumers. To release their aroma and spicy flavors, the roots must be finely ground in a circle rotation and allowed to sit for about 15 minutes.

The Taste Test

Real wasabi has a grainy texture while fake products are smooth and creamy. If you want to get the real deal shop at a reputable Asian food store or order from a reliable retailer.


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