Kay, who’s guest hosting this month’s ‘Think spice…‘ thought I was crazy enough to let her do the honours. But, after seeing her choice of spice, I was sure I did the right thing. For isn’t a little challenge, a little craziness, is what we all need now and then ? Familiarising and adopting ingredients we had no idea how to use before…making us push ourselves that extra mile to explore and expand our horizons, rather than to grow roots in our comfort zone.
If you are still wondering as to my former babbling, let me put you out of your misery. Kay has chosen Wasabi as the chosen spice for this month’s Think spice…now hasn’t that make you search for your thinking caps already
A little introduction to this spice…
Wasabi is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard. Known as “Japanese horseradish”, its root is used as a spice and has an extremely strong flavor. Its hotness is more akin to that of a hot mustard than the capsaicin in a chilli pepper, producing vapors that irritate the nasal passages, more than the tongue. The plant grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan.
Wasabi is generally sold either in the form of a root , which must be very finely grated before use, or as a ready-to-use paste, usually in tubes approximately the size and shape of travel toothpaste tubes. Once the paste is prepared it should remain covered until served to protect the flavor from evaporation.(source)
I could not get hold of the fresh one and made do with the tube version, which I managed to get hold of, at our local Indian grocers.
I have never attempted to make anything with it before, so decided to make something simple to see how it works out. I made a simple marinade for some cod fillets and baked them.
I was quite pleased with the results, though I feel that I could have added some more wasabi (probably, double the amount) , which I avoided, for fear, of it being too overpowering.
Nevertheless, we did enjoy our dinner yesterday and so am noting down the recipe -
3 cod fillets, cut into medium sized pieces
1 tsp wasabi paste
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tblsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
a handful of sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Whisk together the wasabi, soy sauce, 2 tblsp of breadcrumbs,olive oil and eggs.
- Rub the marinade all over the fish pieces, cover the bowl, and leave to marinate for about half an hour.
- Pre heat the oven at 220 deg C and line and grease a baking tray.
- Arrange the fish on the tray, in a single layer. Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs and the sesame seeds, and bake in the centre of the pre heated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or till the fish is cooked and nicely browned.
- Serve hot on it’s own or with a dipping sauce or as part of a meal.
We had the fish with some steamed garden peas, roast potatoes and a fresh salad. Not a bad try with a new spice, I must say. It is a very pungent spice, so I think it is better to use little quantities of the spice to check your tolerance.
There, another new spice explored…now off it goes to Kay as my entry for Think spice…think wasabi. And, if you have not already thought of it, there is still time…ends on the 25th of this month.