Wasabi is most commonly known as the extremely hot, eye-watering green paste served alongside sushi. However, this is not pure wasabi. Most of the time, it is wasabi that is mixed with mustard and horseradish with artificial colouring. Real wasabi is a paste that is derived from a pale, green herb that is found in Japan. Wasabi has an intensely hot and pungent flavour that many outside Japan, its native country, has tried to duplicate. Most of the wasabi products that you see in supermarkets are not genuine wasabi, but are artificially flavoured.
In the West, wasabi is commonly found in powder form. Even though you can also find pre-mixed wasabi paste, the intensity of the flavour is usually compromised. As such, if you are looking for real wasabi taste, it is best to make your own paste from the fresh root of the plant or the powder.
Thanks to its strong flavour, wasabi has tons of applications in the culinary world, especially in traditional Japanese cuisine. For instance, it is used as a condiment, accompanying Japanese dishes such as Soba, Sushi and Sashimi, as well as raw fish. Additionally, it is also often added in dips, salads as well as meat dishes.