Watch Johny Lever's Tryst With Wasabi And Its Origins
Image Credit: iStock, Johnny Lever and Wasabi

A few days back ace comedian Johny Lever posted a video of him trying Wasabi for the first time. His expression just nailed it. The Instagram clip shows Johny Lever trying pungent Wasabi or Japanese horseradish as someone warns him saying “Little bit, little bit,”. Having taking very little of it and then tasting it, his eyes just roll up with this signature expression. Someone accompanying him is heard saying “wasabi” and he nods in agreement saying “wasabi”.

This video saw comments like ‘Arrey bhai aapko kahi dekha dekha sa lagela hai😂, Best reel on the internet, Expression se hi logo ko hasade ye talent hai apne Johny sir ka, All the best mein achaar khaa ke jo looks aaye they ! 😝😝😝 You are Gold sir @iam_johnylever 🙏🏻and more. 

But having said that do you know what is Wasabi? This botanical spice which is native to Japan, get’s it’s name from the term “wasabia” that is derived from the Japanese term wasabi, and the fact that this plant is native to Japan. Wasabi has been a part if Japansese lifestyle for medicinal purposes and the same can be tracked back as far back as the Nara period (710-793 AD). It’s said that in Mie Prefecture (a prefecture located in the Kansai region of Honshu), around the time 786, a Japanese Buddhist monk by the name Kohbou-Daishi had  transplanted wild-growing wasabi to the area that is surrounding the Chuzen-ji Temple. This ingredient that is now a crucial part of Japanese culinary culture, also finds it’s mention in "Wasabi Sansho" the oldest known wooden strip that was used to write. The word "wasabi" can also be found in "Honzo Wamyo," by by Sukahito Fukae, one of Japan's oldest encyclopedia of medicinal plants. 

Evidence of Wasabi being grown in valleys of Mt. Heike, Mt. Mizuo, and Mt. Bahun, in the Kitani-Kyo watershed can be found and also that wild Wasabi was used as seasoning for slices of raw yamame (a kind of trout), and raw venison. Back then as there were no refrigerators, it’s said that people back use to wasabi as it was known to reduce the fishy smell of food, stop bacteria from growing along with preventing food poisoning.

Source: iStock

It is assumed that wasabi was first cultivated in the early Edo period, but not many know that fact that growing wasabi is very critical as the plant is highly vulnerable. With an ingredients that sees more 400 years of history, the  spicy green mass that is eaten with Sushi is actually the lower portion of the plant's stem, not the root! Just like any other fancy product this one is sees a limited supply and high demand. This versatile condiment apart from being an indispensable part of sushi is also used in soba noodles, to dipping sauces served with  yakiniku or the simple wasabi rice bowls and more. 

Today due to the rise of demand of, the real wasabi also comes in powder form that is made into easily consumable capsules, which is dairy free, soy, gluten, preservatives. When in Japan be ready to try wasabi in number of ways.