Wasabi, part II

Finally I am officially up to speed on the wasabi front. After discovering that wasabi is a root of its own and not just a blend of horseradish, mustard and food coloring I just had the pure root. My daughter had a birthday party to go to so my wife and I took our son out for sushi at Katsuya, a popular Los Angeles sushi spot. They brought the specials board over and sure enough they were offering fresh horseradish. Just as one of the readers posted they brought the root to the table and ground it in circular motions on a shark skin grater. The beautiful, bright rustic root turned into a bright green creamy paste right in front of our eyes. I could smell the perfume in the air as the server made the circular motion on the grater. You can see the difference here between the fresh and the standard darker green prepared wasabi. As you would expect the fresh was not as intense as the 100% wasabi powder I bought but it had a smooth texture and was more balanced. The heat built more slowly and evenly in my mouth.

In addition to the wasabi we had the raw shrimp special. It reminded me of when I worked for California Crayfish on Fisherman’s Wharf when I was in culinary school. The fish was so fresh you could eat it raw. It was sweet with the full, natural flavor of the sea. The texture was firm as you would expect but tender. They fried the shrimp heads which was a nice rich, salty contrast to the cool, clean taste of the body. Sebastian, my son, ate them with me. I was impressed.

I love to discover new foods, new flavors and do it all while enjoying time with my family. Balance really is the ultimate spice of life! Enjoy.