Fresh Real Wasabi Leaves
Fresh wasabi leaves can be eaten, either fresh, pickled or cooked.
Seasonal Produce (availability April to October)
Pickled Wasabi Leaves
Ingredients (it’s a very small portion: it’ll probably fill only a 100-150 ml/max. 5 oz jar):
10 thick (min; 2mm thick) long wasabi stems with leaves (mine were 25 cm/about 10 inches long) or 25-30 very thin ones
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or 2 tablespoons normal soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking sake)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Cut up the stems into 2-2.5 cm pieces (about 3/4-1 in) and tear the leaves roughly.
Put them into a small pan, sprinkle with salt and knead with your hands for about ten seconds.
If your stems are very thin (i.e. less than 2mm thick), cover with something heavy (and clean!) and put the kneaded pieces aside for about 30 minutes.
If your stems are thicker than 2mm (mine were), cover them with something heavy and leave for several hours (or more, until the stems soften a bit).
After this time rinse the wasabi pieces in cold water and put into a pickling jar (or a normal jar, see the TIPS above).
Cover with the mixture of soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar.
Place something heavy on top of the pickles and cover the jar with a lid.
If it’s hot in your area, place the pickles immediately into the fridge (the warmest part) but if the temperature is low, you can leave them at room temperature for 24 hours (but make sure you cover the jar with a cloth so that flies or other insects don’t enter). After this time, transfer into the fridge. (They are ready to eat after the 24 hours, but I think they get better after one more day in the fridge).
These pickles will certainly keep for a week in the fridge (or maybe more, I’ll update this information as soon as I am able to keep my hands off them for longer). You can also freeze them in a small container.
For further reading and ideas for recipes using wasabi leaves, please our articles and this reference from Wikipedia
Fresh Wasabi Flowers are offered seasonally only
These beautiful small bright white flowers are ideal edibles for plating and presentations of sushi, sashimi or salads. They are also tasty and nutritious. The crunchy stems and delicate flowers are delicious and highly sought after for early spring presentations.
The heat of wasabi is more prominent in stems than leaves or flowers but overall the heat is always greatest in the prized rhizomes! Wasabi flowers can be used fresh in salads, with mixed greens or as an exotic garnish for a bloody Mary. You can keep them fresh in the refrigerators for up to See our recipe for Pickled Wasabi Leaves and Stems
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