I’ll never forget venturing to a Japanese restaurant in the ‘80s and watching a friend consume the entire green wasabi mound next to the sashimi (he thought it was avocado). We all felt his nasal-blasting pain; a lesson in eating wasabi, less is best.
The heat is only fleeting when you eat freshly grated wasabi as it is meant to be eaten, and you can savour the overall flavour.
As soon as you grate the wasabi, mould into a loose ball and let it rest for 2-3 minutes to develop its heat and sweet flavour. Grate from both ends of the stem to get an even flavour and colour. The bottom of the stem is older and hotter and the top is a little sweeter and greener.
Try adding wasabi with butter and serve with steak or stir through your mashed potatoes. I love grating wasabi over freshly shucked oysters.
Recipe: Julie Ray