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June 19, 2009


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Alistair Little mentions in his book Keep it Simple that the mustard they use to make the cheap wasabi is none other than imported English mustard. I am not sure how true this is though.

He follows up with a brilliantly simple recipe for pan fried duck breast with wilted Pak Choi and a blob of Coleman's in a hat tilt towards the wasabi/mustard connection.

Michael Booth

I have heard that English mustard powder is often used, yes. Wouldn't be surprised if they just coloured it and added water. It is a most underrated ingredient, with its horseradishy feistiness.

Unfortunately, the only way you can source it is to trick your way into the home of an unsuspecting elderly lady: they always have some Coleman's in a rusty tin dating from the Crimean War at the back of their larders.

Whatever happened to Alistair Little? He was such an important pioneer in the '80s but never achieved Rowley Leigh/Antonio Carluccio celebrity status.


He runs a deli in Notting Hill called Tavola. I think he got fed up with the pressure of the service thing - much like Simon Hopkinson did to be honest. I wish he would write still though - he has a caustic and no nonsense style I like very much.

MVH-in Japan

I am living in Chiba, and my favorite combination is wasabi and cheddar. Although it is very hard for me to find a good vintage matured cheddar in Japan, I sometimes get a friend to bring a big chunk.

I cannot begin to describe the smack in the mouth you get from this combination, and yes, I started off with the supermarket wasabi, admittedly better in JP. But I was soon onto buying wasabi risomes for the sole purpose of the cheddar combination.
There are few better taste moments then a good vintage cheddar with a slice of wasabi ontop. Failing that just use the mustard powder stuff to give you a hint of what it is like.


Dr Brian Oates

To learn more about real Wasabi please go to www.wasabia.com.

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