Growing wasabi

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by vitog, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Added by moderator: this post and the ones following it were in response to a forums spammer -- the original post was deleted, but the rest of the thread has been retained below.

    Where are you located? Hue brings up no location in Google. I grow Wasabi outside in Burnaby, BC, Canada. I repotted a plant that I bought, and it grew really well in our basement, adjacent to a heavily shaded, small window facing south. The single plant proved to be easy to propagate from new shoots arising at the base of the main stalk; so, I planted some of the new shoots in the ground outside and found that they grow really well in our climate in a heavily shaded and moist environment. I now have more Wasabi than we can ever use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2021
    Sulev likes this.
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    There’s wasabi and then there’s WASABI. Personally I don’t really like either; both too hot for my palate. For true aficionados however, there is a world of difference. My husband got to know a top producer of REAL wasabi a few years ago not far from us in Nanoose Bay. This article explains things better than I can.

    Wasabi Empire: B.C. growers backed by top-secret technology challenge Japanese domination of world market | National Post

    Not knowing the botanical name of real wasabi I cannot say if the species sold at garden centres are varieties of horseradish or authentic wasabi. I’ve read that the ‘real’ wasabi is either Eutrema japonicum 'Daruma' or E. 'Mazuma'. Do you know the name of your wasabi, @vitog?

    I hope to learn more from this thread.
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    I grew WASABI for several years in Brantford, ON. It was never prolific due to my outside area was not well shaded. I eventfully gave up and this year I don't see any plants. However I do grow horseradish well. Apparently much Wasabi is often really horseradish.

    I do know a person who grows WASABI near Oshawa and has a nice patch and doesn't use it. The few times seen some insect attack the leaves and makes unsightly holes.
     
  4. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    349
    Location:
    Estonia
  5. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
  6. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    This may be a good lead: wasabia.com The website is very informative and gives Canadian retail sources. Although they don't mention growing your own, I don't see why you couldn't plant fresh rhizomes.

    I said earlier that I had read that ‘real’ wasabi is either Eutrema japonicum 'Daruma' or E. 'Mazuma' but I notice this company refers to it as Wasabia japonica. According to them, the superior variety is Semi-aquatic sawa-Wasabi while another of lesser quality is Field oka-Wasabi. I'm sure I couldn't tell the difference.


    WASABIA
    We supply

    fresh premium sawa-Wasabi rhizomes, leaves and petioles and freeze-dried Wasabi powder in bulk and in capsules. Express shipping is available throughout North America and Europe.

    We sell to
    both the retail and wholesale markets.
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Margot, I bought a potted plant at Granville Market; and it was labeled "Wasabi Mazuma". According to Wikipedia, this is a variety of Eutrema japonicum.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Sounds like the real deal! How exciting. Did you have any trouble with it during the really hot days this summer? Have you tasted it yet?

    What my husband's acquaintance told him (the fellow nearby who had the big wasabi operation) was that the imitation wasabi - the stuff we're all used to in local Japanese food restaurants - tastes hot when you eat it and that the heat lingers. So he was told, the difference with the authentic wasabi is that it is hot when you eat it but then the sensation quickly dissipates. I'd be really interested to know if you agree.
     
  9. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Margot, surprisingly, the Wasabi didn't seem to mind the hot weather. I did sprinkle water on the patch during the hottest part of the day whenever I thought of it. All of the plants really grew well this spring, despite being chewed upon by slugs and developed really large leaves that shaded the stems completely. Perhaps this helped, because last year the leaves yellowed just from being exposed to the morning sun for a short time. I set up some shade cloth last year but didn't use it this year.

    As far as taste, I read that all parts of the plant are edible; so, I was picking off and eating some of the side shoots. They added a pleasant accent to a salad or a sandwich but were not particularly strong flavoured. I only tried a very small amount of ground stem, and it seemed to taste similar to the Wasabi served at restaurants; but I didn't have enough for a real test.

    By the way, I was looking through Phoenix Perennials' website and noticed that their Plant Encyclopedia includes two varieties of true Wasabi: Daruma and Mazuma. I don't know if they have any in stock, but they can probably order it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
    Margot likes this.
  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    1,283
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Thank you. I'll check the Phoenix Perennials' website and see if I could order one or the other - they are the 2 I had read about (#3 above). It would be fun to grow just for the novelty but I do make sushi quite often and the idea of growing my own wasabi appeals to me.
     
  11. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    After the unusually cold temperatures this past winter, I can say that Wasabi tolerates at least -13 degrees C without protection in a sheltered location. Not only did the plants survive, but in March I was able to harvest about a dozen reasonably large rhizomes for grating and using as a condiment. I think that the taste is not as sharp as the fake Wasabi supplied by most sushi restaurants but is otherwise similar. I found that some or all of the plants produce several rhizomes, which I was not aware of. I didn't need that much Wasabi at this time, but the multiple rhizomes grow out horizontally and take up too much space, crowding the plants significantly.

    The plants have been producing flower shoots and blooming for at least a month; I'm removing the shoots as soon as the flowers start to open and using them as mentioned above. I assume that leaving the flower shoots on will reduce rhizome productivity.
     
    Margot likes this.
  12. into the abyss we go

    into the abyss we go New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buckley Bay, BC
    Margot, if you are still looking for wasabi this year, i think i saw some today at Arrowsmith Greenhouses by Coombs (maybe contact them to make sure before heading there though, as I've hit quite few places recently).
     

Share This Page