Wasabi is Japanese horseradish. It is most famous in form of a green paste used as condiment for sashimi (raw seafood) and sushi. However, wasabi is also used for many other Japanese dishes.
Wasabi is a root vegetable that is grated into a green paste. In supermarkets, wasabi is widely available as a paste or in powder form. Wasabi powder has to be mixed with water to become a paste. Wasabi has a strong, hot flavour which dissipates within a few seconds and leaves no burning aftertaste in one's mouth.
Many "wasabi" powder and paste products that are available in supermarkets (and even some restaurants) contain only very little or no real wasabi at all and are made of coloured horseradish instead. This is due to the fact that cultivation of real wasabi is relatively difficult and expensive.
The soya bean appears in several forms in the Japanese cuisine:
| Soya sauce (shoyu)
Soya sauce is the most important Japanese condiment and is used in many Japanese dishes.
Natto are strongly smelling, sticky, fermented soya beans. It is often enjoyed for breakfast with cooked rice. Natto is famous for being unpopular among many foreigners (and Japanese people), but also for being very healthy.
Miso is brown soya bean paste. The popular miso soup is basically made by dissolving miso paste in hot water.
Tofu is soybean curd. The Japanese cuisine offers various delicious and tasty tofu dishes. Tofu comes in various consistencies. Furthermore, deep fried tofu (aburage and atsuage) is used in many dishes, for example, for inari sushi).