One of the benefits of the healthy raw food trend is the interest in growing our own food, which has more than trebled in the last few years. Nothing beats the flavour of home-grown food, not to mention the environmental benefits. There is one plant that will take you from the conservative food gardener to a push the boundaries gardener. Once you have tasted home grown wasabi there will be no turning back to the green paste in the tube.
Wasabi takes a little extra care to grow and requires a cooler temperate climate to thrive. In temperatures over about 25 degrees it struggles and takes two years to mature. Despite these limitations and you’re up for a challenge give it a go. Select a shaded position and plant in soil that is damp, peaty and cool. A bog garden area is idea.
Harvest mature rhizomes by selecting shoots with a minimum diameter of 15mm, wash and remove leaves. Only remove what will be consumed within 12 hours as the flavour fades quickly.
To retain flavour wasabi can be saved for year-round consumption by drying the rhizomes and grinding into a powder. To use mix the powder with a water to make wasabi paste.