Wasafuru

Good morning everyone,

To hear the way people were talking yesterday, I was expecting to wake up to a scene from "The Day after Tomorrow" this morning...but there was...nothing. It was so funny seeing people buying bags and bags of groceries yesterday at the supermarket-I think they were preparing for Snowmageddon...ha ha! That's not to say it isn't going to snow at some point today, but I'm not expecting a full-scale blizzard. It's going to be cold today and tomorrow with a high of 1C today and 4C tomorrow. It's going to warm up a lot throughout the week and by the end of the week, we'll be looking at highs in the mid-teens.

Shizuoka is generally known for two things, and they’re both green. The prefecture is one of Japan’s biggest producers of not only tea, but also the fiery condiment paste wasabi.
WS 3

While bottles of tea aren’t anything unusual, I'd never seen wasabi in liquid for until a recent visit to Don Quijote. Since spicy is one of our favorite flavors (we’d put it right up there with sweet and salty), we grabbed a bottle of wasabi sauce to try for ourselves. We were not disappointed.

Japanese travelers love buying souvenirs, and shops across Shizuoka are stocked with all sorts of wasabi products and apparently this is one of their more popular sellers.

Called Wasafuru (a shortened version of Furikakeru (“Pourable”) Wasabi), the shape of the bottle leaves no question what inspired the product, as it’s almost exactly the same as a container of Tabasco.

Our bottle cost us Y500, but if you find yourself in Shizuoka, you can probably pick one up at one of the highway rest stops there, where it goes for about Y100 less than I paid.

Regular wasabi is mixed with soy sauce, after which you dip your food into the resulting solution. Wasafuru, on the other hand, is poured straight onto whatever you’re eating to give it an extra kick. In Japan, the most popular thing to add Tabasco to is pizza, so that’s what we decided to use for our first Wasafuru taste test.

Because of the oil the sauce contains, we gave it a few shakes before unscrewing the top, which immediately released the piercing smell of wasabi. We hadn’t expected anything less from a product made with Shizuoka’s prized Izu Amagisan wasabi, and as we let a few drops fall onto our pizza slice, we steeled ourselves for some serious spice.

WS 5

That turned out to be a good idea, because Wasafuru is powerful stuff. There’s just a tiny bit of sourness, but the rest is all hot, not to mention absolutely delicious.

Since wasabi is most commonly used with sushi and sashimi, both of which have mild tastes, we hadn’t been entirely confident that Wasafuru would go well with the heavier flavors of pizza. The sauce was more than up to the challenge though, and it also passed our follow-up tests on salad, tofu, and grilled fish and pork.

What’s more, the package also recommends using it on Japanese-style karaage fried chicken, okonomiyaki, and steak. We’re planning to try all those combinations in the near future, and in the meantime, we’re clearing out a dedicated spot in our fridge so we can always keep a bottle of Wasafuru at the ready.

Have a great day!

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