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What is wasabi made of?

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Quick Answer

The wasabi that comes in the form of a green paste and is commonly used as a condiment on sushi and other types of seafood is made of the wasabi plant. Since wasabi is difficult to cultivate, most wasabi in supermarkets and restaurants is merely colored horseradish.

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Full Answer

Wasabi is grown in the mountain valleys of Japan alongside steam beds; however, even in ideal conditions, wasabi cultivation is quite difficult, especially on a large scale, which makes genuine wasabi such a rare treat. Wasabi plants are only grown in a few locations in Japan, and real wasabi plants are rare outside of Japan. Due to the high demand, a wasabi imitation is often produced using horseradish, mustard, starch and green food coloring to imitate the appearance of genuine wasabi.

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