ASIAN FU­SION ADDS HEAT

WASABI CAN TAKE A DISH TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL BUT BE CAU­TIOUS BE­CAUSE IT CAN BE EAS­ILY OVER­DONE

Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE - WORDS: VICKI TAY­LOR

Think wasabi (aka Ja­panese horseradis­h) and you au­to­mat­i­cally think sushi, right? This pun­gent spice comes from the same fam­ily as horseradis­h and mus­tard. It has a sinus heat rather than a back-of-the-throat heat that chill­ies give. Wasabi will cer­tainly clear your senses, that’s for sure. Mr Red Hot Chilli Pep­per and I went on a cruise for our wed­ding an­niver­sary a few years ago. One of the eater­ies on board was a lovely Ja­panese-themed restau­rant, so we de­cided to check it out for lunch one day. As a crea­ture of habit and not that fa­mil­iar with Ja­panese cui­sine, Rog took a huge chunk of wasabi paste, put it on his sashimi and popped it in his mouth, just as my eyes popped out of my head and I yelled “Noooooooo!”. Too late. You should have seen his face. Price­less. It al­most blew his own head off. His eyes were stream­ing, he was cough­ing and splut­ter­ing and when he was able to get a word in, he fi­nally said, “What the hell was that?”. Me? I was still laugh­ing. There are heaps of ways you can in­cor­po­rate wasabi into food. At the shop, we stock both wasabi and horseradis­h pow­der in the Her­bies spices brand. You only need a small amount of the pow­der. Mix it with wa­ter, which re­acts with the en­zymes, and you have a po­tent paste in min­utes.

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