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Wasabi Roll (Hosomaki, Thin Seaweed Out Roll, 6pc)

If you think of “hot” when you hear the word wasabi, my guess is you probably haven’t had a chance to experience the fresh wasabi. Fresh ground wasabi is rather sweet. Sure, it does have the slight and mild “hotness” initially, but it only lasts for a brief moment, leaving long lasting mild sweet aftertaste and aroma.

Wasabi's "hotness" comes from the oxidization of sinigrin, glucosinolate substance found in broccoli, mustard, and horseradish. When the wasabi is grounder, sinigrin makes contact with oxygen. Most of the hotness lasts ten to twenty minutes. It is said the finer you grind, the better it is. The traditional grinder is made of shark skin - said to produce a hot but mild sweet taste when wasabi is grounded.

But, wasabi roll does not use ground wasabi normally put on nigiri, or used for sashimi. Instead, wasabi is thinly cut – matchstick, or Julienne– and rolled into Nori/Seaweed out, cut into 6 pcs. The result is much different taste characteristics than ground wasabi. Matchstick wasabi is not hot at all because oxidization occurs only on the outside cut surface of wasabi.

In Japan, a Wasabi roll is generally served at the end of the sushi meal, regarded as one of the finishing pieces.

(Fresh Wasabi root)


Use Fresh Wasabi

In the US, there are some wasabi farms in Oregon and California. Half Moon Bay Wasabi Company is one of them, who can ship fresh wasabi.

Storing Wasabi

Soak fresh wasabi in water and store in the refrigerator for several weeks. Alternatively, you can freeze wasabi. To use frozen wasabi, never thaw frozen wasabi. Grind frozen on the grinder. Once finished, put back into the freeze immediately. Should last for a month or two.

Ingredients (for one roll):

  • 1/4 (100g) cup Sushi Rice

  • 1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet

  • 20 - 30 g Thinly cut wasabi root


  • Cutting Board

  • Knife

  • Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat


Make Sushi Rice (follow this recipe)

Cutting Wasabi

Cut wasabi into thin matchsticks

Making A Roll

  1. Wipe the cutting board with a wet towel to moisten

  2. Place half sheet nori horizontally, rough side facing up

  3. Wet your hands

  4. Grab sushi rice, half the amount of inside out roll, approximately 100g

  5. Leave top ½ inch/1cm blank

  6. Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure, spread the sushi rice horizontally

  7. With your right hand, making a “U” shape, guide the sushi rice so that it covers the top half to 2/3 of the nori

  8. Rhythmically, turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the nori with rice

  9. Clean your hands with the wet towel, dip your fingers in the water

  10. Using fingertips, apply the pressure, spread the rice leaving 1/8 inch /3mm left, right and bottom edge

  11. Lift up Nori and place makisu on the cutting board

  12. Put down nori on makisu, aligning the bottom edge

  13. Place wasabi matchsticks on the center

  14. Roll - Pick up the bottom part of Makisu, seal the roll by placing the bottom edge against the top end of the sushi rice

  15. Press to seal

  16. Life up makisu halfway, roll forward the entire roll 90 degrees, so the seam will be at the bottom

  17. Seal with Makisu one more time, from the front, top and backside

  18. Cut into six pieces

  19. Place and serve


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