The green paste you used to dig out of your sushi when you were younger is actually a Japanese horseradish, also known as wasabi. The smell isn’t as bad as the taste, but there is a limit to how much wasabi can a human take in one mouthful. Sure, it helps to clear the throat and you would probably be able to breathe a whole lot better after that, but do you really have to put yourself through that torturous process?
However, I don't hate it. Sushi without wasabi isn’t quite complete. My relationship with wasabi is what the Gen Zs are calling DTR - ‘Define The Relationship’ these days. It means we are ‘there not there’ and simply can’t make our minds if we really love it or not. Sounds familiar? We feel you.
Health Benefits of Wasabi
Don’t strike off wasabi just yet. It doesn’t just bring out the heat or enhance the flavour of your food, wasabi is actually a superfood that packs a whole ton of minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium, as well as antimicrobial properties, which are very useful for eliminating bacteria. Because of its ability to block platelet aggregation, wasabi helps to reduce chances of heart attack and stroke.
Feeling adventurous? Here are a few food, snacks and cocktails to try to put your wasabi-meter to the test!
Smoked Salmon Wasabi Cream Cheese Croissant Sandwich
Coffee place Percolate Singapore is a hidden gem tucked in the heartlands of Bedok, delighting their neighbours with cups of joe and interesting food items like Chicken Rice Couscous and Smoked Duck & Mala Soba. With funky creations like these, we are definitely not surprised when we found out wasabi was in their menu too - in a croissant sandwich, no less! How’s that for a brunch menu!
Price: $9. Find out more on their website here
Samyang Wasabi Mayo Instant Noodle
People who know me knows that I love noodles or ramen of any kind, and I don't mind the kick wasabi gives, but to put them together as a dish, I am not too sure if that’s a sound choice to make. Well, this stir-fried instant noodles comes with wasabi and mayonnaise sachet packets to add to the cooked noodles which has already been mixed with sweet soy sauce. Sweet or spicy? Try it and let us know!
Price: $2. Purchase it from Shopee here
Salmon Wasabi Spread
Instead of tuna mayonnaise or egg mayonnaise spread, why not try the salmon wasabi spread which can go really well with bread or biscuits. Surprise your loved ones with a ready-made wasabi sandwich, nothing beats expressing your love through the stomach. However, you may want to reconsider this as your breakfast option if you are heading to an important work meeting the first thing in the morning.
Price: $3.05. Purchase it from FairPrice online here
Light of the South Cocktail
Wasabi in my drink? Why not! Let this cocktail to tickle your fancy. This ‘Light of the South’ cocktail is created by Hopscotch, a bar specialising in Singapore-style craft cocktails and grilled food. Blending old and new flavours to give the cocktails an Asian twist. This fancy cocktail is made with Gordon’s Gin, wasabi mint syrup, cucumber puree, lemon juice, yuzu juice and pink salt, balancing the right amount of sweetness and acidity to your drink, not forgetting the spice of the horseradish.
Price: $22. Check out their Facebook here
Most of us will not be a stranger to Eureka Popcorn, having tried some of their popular flavours such as seaweed, sour cream, etc. I even queued for nearly 45 minutes - yes, I am a true blue Singaporean - to get 5 bottles and wasabi wouldn’t be in my list. However, things changed when I was offered as a sample and I bought 2 packets straight away. Didn’t look back since.
Price: $8.56. Purchase online at Shopee here
Another great snack to munch while you watch your favourite dramas and movies is Tao Kae Noi Crispy Seaweed. (Ed: There’s even a movie about the rise of the company) The Thais are known for their spice so take this as a warning if you aren’t too keen on this green paste because I teared up and scratched my head for a good 30 seconds after a bite or two.
Price: $2.70. Purchase from FairPrice online here
Wasabi Flavoured Gyoza Dumplings
Credit: Diff Mart
Vegetable gyoza is gaining popularity throughout Japan and the world. From the reviews on the site, these frozen wasabi vegetable dumplings are not for the amateurs. Talk about eating healthy - vegetables for a healthier diet and wasabi to ‘cleanse’ your nasal passage.
Price: $5.61 via Redmart. Order online here
Wasabi Bubble Tea
So, bubble tea store Playmade came up with a wasabi milk tea with wasabi pearls last year as part of a Halloween celebration. Many people thought they were crazy, but queued for it anyway because who doesn't want to post a nice green bubble tea picture with a ‘#wasabi’ for clout? Playmade nor any other bubble tea shop has talked about a relaunch of the limited flavour, but let's cross our fingers for another round this October?