Sometimes the magic happens by just bringing several simple ingredients together in the right way. This mashed peas mint and fresh wasabi dip is an excellent example. So versatile, but especially good smeared on sourdough bread.
All About Fresh Real Wasabi
Today, the vast majority of what is considered wasabi is made from horseradish root, mustard, and green food dye. It is, effectively, imitation wasabi. There is a good reason for this situation. Firstly, cultivation of the plant used to produce real wasabi is difficult. In addition, once a real wasabi rhizome is ground into a paste, the intensity of its unique taste declines rapidly.
Sometimes we may resort to imitation products, but we should be aware of what we are missing out on. So why bother? Because real fresh wasabi is so much more delicious. An appropriate comparison can be made with vanilla. Imitation wasabi is to vanilla essence what real wasabi is to the depth of flavour and complexity of real vanilla beans.
The difference between imitation and real wasabi is quite stark. Imitation wasabi hits you in the sinuses then dissipates, leaving no aftertaste. On the other hand, real wasabi exhibits sweet earthy notes and leaves a delicious lingering aftertaste.
The growing number of wasabi producers outside of Japan is evidence of the value chefs and food enthusiasts are placing on using real wasabi. For example, Real Wasabi in North Carolina and Shima Wasabi in Tasmania, Australia.
To learn more about why real wasabi is so expensive…
And If I Cannot Source Fresh Wasabi?
In this mashed peas with mint and fresh wasabi dip/spread, the radically different taste profile between fresh and imitation wasabi will completely change how these three core ingredients work together. By all means, use imitation wasabi if you cannot source fresh wasabi. This dip/spread will still be delicious. When using imitation wasabi, be careful of the quantity used. Of course, if you and your guests particularly enjoy the sinus assault, go for it!
And if you are one who salivates over eating peas mashed with herbs, take a look at these smoky marinated white beans on a pea and herb mash.
Mashed Peas with Mint and Fresh Wasabi
- Add the peas to a saucepan of salted boiling water and boil for 3 minutes.
- Drain and refresh under cold water.
- Add the peas and the other ingredients to a food processor and process until you have a slightly chunky paste.
- Serve on toast or as a dip.