If you answer with Scottish Bonnets or Ghost Peppers, then you are wrong. Close, but not what I mean in this post. Different genus, but within the same family if you want to get scientific.
From my own research, I found out that the heat we get from eating this herb root, or the leaves, is from oils like we find in chili peppers, but so it doesn’t last long if you drink or eat more. Water has the desired effect of quenching the fire than it does against my cold cure chili. But, I also found out that there are vapors coming off the grated root entering the nose than what it does to our tongues. Further proof that the nose plays a part in how we taste things.
What I find fascinating is the Wasabi plant is related to horseradish, cabbage, and mustard. There’s a lot of heat coming out of each of those one way or another. >.< But, they are good eating. With some exceptions in my honest opinion. Out of these, wasabi is the hottest and that ain’t no lie!
If you’re looking for a few plants of your own to grow here in the States, don’t be surprised if what you get is not the actual plant. It doesn’t grow well outside of Japan and China and even in those locations, it’s difficult enough to keep the prices high. It needs some very specific conditions in order to grow. Now, there are a few farms here in the States that do grow Wasabi and are doing well, but not enough to make it available all over and for reasonable prices.
On to the recipe!
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
10 fluid ounces white wine
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon wasabi paste, or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
6 (6 ounce) fresh tuna steaks, 1 inch thick
- Combine the white wine vinegar, white wine and shallots in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Strain out shallot and discard, return liquid to the pan.
- Stir the wasabi and soy sauce into the reduction in the pan. Over low heat, gradually whisk in butter one cube at a time allowing the mixture to emulsify. Be careful not to let the mixture boil. When all of the butter has been incorporated, stir in cilantro, and remove from heat. Pour into a small bowl, and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush tuna steaks with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the hot skillet, and sear for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook, this fish should be served still a little pink in the center. Serve with sauce.