Why Wasabi Always Served With Sushi And How To Enjoy Sushi with Wasabi In The Right Way

Today, sushi is one of the most popular healthy convenience foods. It seems nearly every grocery store in town has a sushi counter, and many convenience stores carry it prepackaged. Also, sushi restaurants are springing up everywhere, even in smaller cities, and you'll often see sushi served with pink pickled pieces of ginger, but why was wasabi used with sushi?

Wasabi is used with sushi for three reasons. First, it's a traditional accompaniment and has been around for centuries. Second, the flavor of wasabi enhances the beauty of the other flavors in the sushi. Finally, wasabi masks the fishy smell of sushi, so you can focus on the taste buds.

This article will look at each answer to why wasabi is used with sushi. We'll also discuss how to enjoy wasabi with your sushi, think about preparing it at home, and whether you can make sushi the night before the party.

Why Wasabi Served With Sushi?

It's quite natural to ask why wasabi is used with sushi. The truth is, wasabi is a traditional condiment that goes with a lot of things. Sushi is simply the most famous dish associated with wasabi. Let's see why wasabi is an essential addition to sushi dishes.

Wasabi is a traditional condiment in Japan

Although most of us in the West have only heard of wasabi in the last few decades, wasabi has a very long history in Japan. Experts in Japanese cuisine will tell you that wasabi has actually doubled as a spice and medicine for centuries. The value of wasabi in both contexts is well known.

Wasabi in the West is mainly associated with sushi. However, a closer look at the Asian food section in many grocery stores today reveals other culinary uses. For example, wasabi beans and soybeans are very popular. Western adaptations even add it to chips and other snacks, which means it's trendy. So our first reason is that it is an integral part of Japanese cuisine.

Wasabi's flavor complements other Sushi ingredients

Another answer to our question revolves around taste. According to many sushi chefs, wasabi's spiciness goes well with fatty fish and fragrant soy sauce. The mild spiciness is very beneficial for the palate in this case and makes the overall dish more flavorful. Interestingly, the fatter your fish, the more wasabi added to the flavor. Spices and fats mix well in your mouth. Sushi can be pretty bland without this dish.

The smell covers the flexibility for better taste enjoyment

For most of us in the United States, the raw fish smell of sushi is usually relatively unnoticed. After all, very fresh fish tend not to smell as much. At least, not with the lighter fish we are used to eating in North America. Many of us associate fish without a lot of smell with freshness and quality.

However, the situation is somewhat different in Japan. As one Japanese restaurant owner in Australia pointed out, Japanese sushi has a much spicier taste. That's because the Japanese usually ferment some of their fish, and in addition, many of the fish used in Japan have a stronger smell. By adding wasabi to each sushi plate, the smell will be less noticeable. The flavor-enhancing properties of wasabi can contribute to making the dish more enjoyable for diners.

Do's And Don'ts When Enjoying Wasabi With Your Sushi

Now that you understand why we serve wasabi with sushi, let's take a look at the best way to enjoy it. Sushi chefs, restaurateurs and everyday consumers have disagreements about the best use of wasabi. However, most would agree that it's the perfect addition to your sushi dinner. Let's look at some general rules.

Don't Add a Little Wasabi to Your Soy Sauce

While some sushi restaurants say you can add wasabi to your soy sauce, most experienced chefs disagree with this practice. In fact, according to chef Nobu Matsuhisa, adding wasabi to soy sauce is the worst thing you can do. It encourages the overuse of soy sauce and spoils the taste of both.

Add Wasabi on top of your Sushi

Chef Matsuhisa shows us the best way to use wasabi. After dipping sushi in soy sauce, spread a little wasabi on top of each piece. Then eat the whole piece at once. Chefs recommend this because it allows the flavors to blend on your tongue, not in the dish.

Do not use too much wasabi

Like most other spicy condiments, wasabi can ruin the taste of fish if you add too much. It's easy to kill off the taste because of the subtle flavors of the fish and rice. If you've added too much wasabi a few times, don't worry. A lot of people new to sushi make this mistake. Remember, there is always the next time.

Start with just a little bit

As with many things, it's easier to add a little wasabi next time than to make up for having too much. Similarly, you can ask the sushi chef to add some wasabi for you, instead of serving it on the side. Sushi chefs know how much wasabi to put in each type of fish and they will carefully prepare your sushi this way. In this case, you're really telling you why wasabi and sushi go together so well.

How to cook Sushi at home

Finally, we'd like to give some thoughts on preparing sushi at home. The main concern with home preparation has always been cleanliness. Because you won't be cooking any ingredients after final assembly, food safety is very important. And, if you're doing a lot of raw fish, sanitation is even more important to prevent food poisoning. Here are some other tips:

Invest in Sushi Kits & Rice Cookers

Your first concern is having the right tools. Observe any sushi chef, and you will find that they have special knives, reed sushi rolls and other equipment. You can buy inexpensive sushi kits on Amazon, such as this Delamu Sushi Kit.

Another thing to watch out for is the rice cooker. It's best to cook sushi rice so that they stick together easily. Among other brands, the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker can cook rice perfectly.

Buy high quality Sushi Rice, Seaweed Plate and Fish

To successfully make sushi at home, you need the right ingredients. For example, there is a type of rice called “sushi rice”, a type of rice imported from Japan. Many sushi recipes also call for seaweed sheets, which you can usually buy at Asian food markets and some supermarkets. In the end, earn the best fish possible. Since the fish is eaten raw, you don't want to lose quality.

Can You Make Sushi The Night Before?

Technically, it is good to make sushi the night before a party. With careful planning and storage, you can keep it safe to eat overnight. However, experts all agree that sushi is best when eaten fresh. The texture and flavor of the ingredients spoil very quickly, which means that the old sushi doesn't have much flavor left.

If you choose to make sushi the night before, experts recommend making sure everything you store the sushi in is spotless. Good hygiene helps prevent the growth of bacteria that cause food poisoning. In turn, never refrigerate for more than a day. If you have a large party where you will be serving sushi, consider doing everything else first. Then make sushi early before guests arrive.


Wasabi is used with sushi because it is a traditional Japanese condiment with a long history. Second, wasabi complements other flavors in sushi while masking the strong smell of some conventional sushi. For these reasons, sushi is also better served with wasabi.

However, you can "overuse" wasabi, and it kills the flavor when you do. However, if you know how to add wasabi to your sushi, the chances are much smaller. Finally, we recommend that you only prepare your sushi early before you eat it. Freshness improves the overall quality of your experience and reduces the risk of food poisoning.