Despite what you may have heard or read, the familiar green paste of wasabi is not made from the root of the plant, but the stems. The stems are short, thick and quite knobbly in appearance, and only develop their amazing flavour when grated properly to form the smooth green paste.
Storing Fresh Wasabi
Unused portions of wasabi stems can be stored for up to three weeks in a refrigerator. Simply wrap in paper towel and seal in a snap-lock bag or airtight container and then place in the vegetable compartment.
Wasabi leaves and leaf stalks will keep three to four weeks if treated similarly to lettuce and other leafy vegetables.
A very fine grater is needed to prepare the perfect wasabi paste and traditionally the
Japanese use a Shark Skin grater. Begin by cutting off the top of the stem at the base of the leaf stalks and set this piece aside for use later.
Grate the newly-cut surface in a circular motion on the grater to produce a fine, soft paste. The paste should then be moulded into a loose ball and allowed to rest for at least 2-3 minutes to develop its characteristic intense heat and sweet flavour.
After the resting period the wasabi is usually served either direct with the meal or presented in a series of small bowls with other condiments such as soy sauce, mirin and pickled ginger. Fresh wasabi loses its intense flavour within a few hours so for this reason wasabi should always be grated fresh for each meal.
All of the wasabi stem can be grated into paste, however the bottom of the stem is the oldest material and is not as sweet or green as the top, so as you grate this last section add some of the top and leaf stalks removed earlier to add extra colour and sweetness.

Georgie’s Harvest is proud to be offering wasabi grown by Shima wasabi, Launceston Tasmanian.