I love going shopping at New Seasons here in Portland, because they manage to get some of the coolest local farmers/food innovators into the shop, to table. This week, there was a local Wasabi farmer there, and I decided to buy a tiny expensive Wasabi stalk because it was so fresh and delicious, and I was told I could plant the rest of it to keep growing more! Anyway, most wasabi on the market isn't actual wasabi, so it's pretty exciting to see the plant in real life and know it's the real deal. Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) is medicinal in a lot of ways, including its high anti-bacterial, anti-inflammation, anti-allergies, and even anti-cancer. It's definitely a good immune-booster, but it's recommended that you eat it as freshly grated as possible so that it doesn't lose its pungency.
Here are the two things I ended up making with it, they are both SO tasty:
Fresh Wasabi Honey Glazed Chicken
1/2 lb. Organic Chicken Thighs (or sub fake meat if you're vegan)
1.5 Tbsp. Local Honey
1 Tbsp. Fresh Grated Wasabi
1 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
Salt to taste
Chop the chicken into pieces. Mix all ingredients besides wasabi together and marinate the chicken, adding the fresh wasabi last (because it will be sticky and hard to marinate evenly if you add the wasabi at first). Bake in the oven on 375 degrees for 35 minutes, or until fully cooked according to your thermometer.
I added the chicken on top of a bed of arugula and black rice. It looks pretty and tastes delicious!
Bonus: add freshly grated wasabi to the top when plated, for extra zing!
Fresh Wasabi Blueberry Martini
1 oz. Local Gin (or omit and add triple the amount of soda water)
1/4 oz. Fresh Lemon
1/2 oz. Wasabi infused simple syrup*
small handful blueberries
7 drops of Roots & Crowns In Joy Tincture
Muddle the blueberries at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Add the entire cocktail to a glass of your choice (including the muddled blueberries!), top with a bit of freshly grated wasabi, and In Joy tincture. Enjoy!
*To make Wasabi infused simple syrup, simply chop a few slices of fresh wasabi, add it to 1/2 cup of water & 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a slow simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes before shutting off the flame. I let mine sit for about 12 hours before use. But really, the zing for this drink comes from the fresh-grated wasabi added at the end!
I got my Wasabi through Davy Crockett Farms in Oregon. You can visit www.wasabia.com for more information about this wonderful plant!