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The Wasabi You're Eating May Not Be Real Wasabi

Fact Checked

Fresh Wasabi

Story at-a-glance -

  • Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family, commonly called the mustard family. It is native to Japan, where it thrives in cool mountain streams with lots of shade and running water
  • Wasabi is abundant in a unique antioxidant called isothiocyanates that provides a wide array of health benefits, which also happen to be the reason for wasabi's unique flavor and aroma

Wasabi (Wasabia japonica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family, commonly called the mustard family. It is native to Japan, where it thrives in cool mountain streams with lots of shade and running water. It is prized for its stem which grows to around 2 to 4 inches in diameter and 6 to 12 inches in length, and this is where the actual wasabi condiment comes from. Due to its very specific growing conditions, experts consider wasabi to be one of the hardest plants on the planet to cultivate.


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