Tricks, Tips and a Recipe
Who wants wasabi?
By: Leanne Ely
It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?
Today’s Focus is on WASABI
Nothing can clear the sinuses quite like a good bite of wasabi!
Wasabi belongs to the same family as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli so we know it must be a healthy food.
The sawa wasabi plant grows naturally in China and Japan, in the gravel beds of mountain streams, or in swampy areas. You might be shocked to discover that the wasabi paste you enjoy with your sushi is not actually made with the true wasabi plant. Most often, that bright green paste is made from the European Horseradish root and a bit of green coloring.
True wasabi root is considered a rare delicacy in many different parts of the world. Once grated onto your food, the fresh flavor of true wasabi can disappear in under fifteen minutes.
Wasabi is not only considered a wonderful way to spice up a dish, but it’s been used medicinally for many years. Some say wasabi was first eaten by the Japanese because of its anti-microbial properties, which are very helpful in a diet rich in raw fish since it can help slow down the growth of mold, yeast and harmful bacteria.
Wasabi is considered a superfood by many and it’s easy to see why. A serving of fresh sawa wasabi provides you with:
• vitamins C and B6
Wasabi may be helpful in controlling symptoms of eczema, asthma and allergies. Wasabi has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can also inhibit blood clotting.
Wasabi can even help prevent cavities! Check your toothpaste packaging for extracts of sawa wasabi.
Finally, wasabi can protect your heart and it may even prevent cancer. Compounds found in wasabi have been shown to kill cancerous cells in several types of cancer including leukemia, lung cancer and breast cancer. In colorectal cancer, sawa wasabi has been shown to be especially toxic towards tumor cells.
If you try looking for fresh wasabi root, I wish you the best of luck. It’s almost impossible to find in the US. Instead, look for dry wasabi powder, available at many health stores.
Now that we all want to go get some raw fish for supper (right?)
Let’s look at your Trick!
You’ll know you’ve found real, fresh wasabi root (also known as Japanese horseradish) when the price tag almost knocks you over. Wasabi is hard to grow and harvest, so it’s expensive. Genuine wasabi root can run about $70 per pound.
When you do find wasabi powder, try mixing it into marinades, mustards, salad dressings or even mayonnaise for an unexpected kick!
And your Recipe
Honey Wasabi Shrimp
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons wasabi powder
1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
In a large bowl, stir together the honey, wasabi powder and salt until a paste forms; whisk in the oil. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Thread the shrimp onto skewers. Preheat a lightly greased grill to medium. Add the shrimp skewers and cook, turning once, until pink and opaque, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
NUTRITION per serving: 421 Calories; 16g Fat; 47g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 345mg Cholesterol; 338mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 6 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates. Points: 10