WASABI - 山葵

W

asabi (wasabia japonica or eutrema wasabi) is a Japanese plant, since ancient times its roots are used as a precious nourishment and medicine.
The oldest description of its use dates back to more than 1300 years ago, during the Asuka period and is also mentioned in one of the most antique dictionaries of Japan. It was considered a very precious merchandise and in the past it was employed also for tax payments.

Nevertheless not everybody knows that this small plant has a lot of nutritive and beneficial properties. It aids digestion and has an efficient antibacterial action, for this reason it often goes well also with raw fish dishes.
In the last few years dietetics approached the study of the effects of this plant on our body recognizing its antioxidant effects and its improvement in the blood circulation.

It can remind us Europeans of the flavour of radish or horse-radish and nowadays it is used in many dishes both hot and cold but it is mostly known as an essential seasoning for sushi or sashimi. In our dishes we grate it or use it as a paste, the main thing is that it must always be fresh because once it dries up it looses all its fragrance.