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A few months ago, I went to dinner with my brother-in-law, and he introduced me to Sushi. I was skeptical (I've gone nearly 40 years without trying it), but I enjoyed it. My favorite part, however, was the Wasabi. It's like horseradish but hotter.

I can tolerate very hot foods, but I don't like the lingering afterburn. This is why I've taken a liking to Wasabi - it is hot, but without the afterburn.

I found a tube of Wasabi at my local Piggly Wiggly, it's basically the same stuff they had at the sushi place. However, after a few weeks of putting it on crackers, pita chips, and carrots, I've developed a bit of a tolerance and, as a whole, I don't feel that it's providing enough hot. I would prefer more.

I found on-line that they have Wasabi powder, but I'm not sure if it will be very hot or not. Also, I'm not sure how to make a dip from it.

How can I maximize the Wasabi flavor? Is there a "pure" Wasabi flavor I can buy? Is there a "nuclear hot sauce" made with Wasabi?

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4 Answers 4

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The dried powder in a can is your best bet, short of grating a fresh root.

Though an overlingering burn isn't your thing, try pinch of cayenne in the wasabi mix to lend sweetness and more ka-boom. Generous wasabi and some Sriracha are my favorite sushi companions.

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Although one important point if you're going for heat -- you can't use the powder as a spice like you might cayenne ... you have to activate it first in water, and give it a few minutes (~10) to react ... but exposure to air will decrease the intensity, so store it covered. I've seen a lot of instructions that call for making it in a small cup, then turning the cup over (as it should be a thick paste, not a runny liquid) while you wait to serve. –  Joe Jun 11 '11 at 10:36
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Prepared wasabi that you can buy in a common grocery store (both powdered and paste) is basically just horseradish with green dye in it. Really, you've acquired a taste for horseradish. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I would recommend seeking out other horseradish-based sauces and condiments. You'll probably enjoy them better than the fake wasabi.

If you're interested in finding real wasabi, you'll need to look for it in a specialty grocery store (or online). It's traditionally prepared by grating the fresh root on a sharkskin grater. However, what you had with your sushi was most likely the fake stuff, unless you were in Japan or a very high-end sushi restaurant here in the states.

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I love sushi, but I've probably never actually had real wasabi. The stuff in the tube is horseradish based, real wasabi is a related plant and I've never seen it fresh, but I'm sure I'd find it if I looked for it.

I don't know of any recipes but wikipedia says the tube stuff is eastern horseradish, mustard powder and coloring. If you've ever compared fresh grated horseradish root to the stuff sold in jars for making cocktail sauce you know the fresh is at least 3x.

So I suggest an experiment with blending mustard seed, water and fresh grated horseradish root to get the kick you crave.

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You may want to try some hot mustard. It is very similar in that you will not feel a burn long after. I like to put it in everything I eat, even my mac and cheese! The kind I am talking about is often served in Chinese restaurants.

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To make hot mustard: Mix equal amounts of mustard powder (I use Coleman's) and water. Stir in a tiny bit of neutral oil (one drop per tablespoon of mustard). Let sit for 10 minutes, stir again. Best used the same day. –  Jolenealaska Nov 12 '13 at 13:08
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