We’ll let you in on a little secret, getting fresh wasabi in London is not easy. That bright green paste in your sushi platter, that makes your nose go funny, isn’t exactly true wasabi either. The nose tingling potency is almost always the result of mustard powder or horseradish, with only a small amount of the expensive wasabi stem, or rhizome, added.
Fresh wasabi is actually much harder to get hold of and even grow in the first place. Although it may have benefits beyond the culinary world. Buying fresh wasabi in London or even the UK, is nowhere near as simple as getting sushi grade fish or great sake; as we’ve discussed in the past.
Scroll down for our full list of wasabi retailers in London
However it’s far from impossible to get hold of in the UK, as we have something the rest of Europe doesn’t…
The conditions to grow wasabi are complex and specific, which is why it’s production is limited to the cool mountain conditions of Japan with their natural springs and leafy canopies. Until now that is. In 2010 a watercress farm in Dorset began experimenting with Wasabi seeds and The Wasabi Company brought their first crop to maturity two years later.
Buying Fresh Wasabi in London
Only Available Online.
*You can also get a wasabi powder here, made with 20% real wasabi
Fine Food Specialists are technically in London but they don’t have a physical store. Instead they offer ‘Same Day Delivery’ on many of their products, including fresh wasabi. It’s limited to customers in Central London but you can still get it the next day if not. They also have a very helpful online chat function if you have questions about your order.
Top Sushi Restaurants
Sushi Tetsu, 12 Jerusalem Passage, London EC1V 4JP
Tel: 020 3217 0090
Sushi Masa, 33B Walm Ln, London NW2 5SH
Tel: 020 8459 2971
Google Local Listing
The Araki, Unit 4, 12 New Burlington St, London W1S 3BF
Tel: 020 7287 2481
Nobu London, 19 Old Park Ln, London W1K 1LB
Tel: 020 7447 4747
If you’re just interested in trying fresh wasabi, there are a few top sushi restaurants that will grate this special ingredient over your favourite sushi.
Best of the Rest
Whilst fresh wasabi is hard to get hold of, there are also a couple of places
where you can get high quality wasabi flavoured pastes.
Japan Center, 19 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ED
Tel: 020 3405 1151 (Online Store)
Umai, 19 Air Street, Soho, London W1B 5AG
Tel: 020 3405 2392
Umai, 1 Fresh Food, Great Eastern Market, Westfield Stratford City, London E20 1GL
Tel: 020 3405 2394
Japan Center Cash amp; Carry, Unit 15 – 18 Victoria Industrial Estate, Victoria Road, London W3 6UU
Tel: 020 3405 2388
It’s the go to store in London for all things Japanese and they have a range of wasabi pastes and powders. Make sure you go for the S&B paste as it has a higher wasabi content than the house brand.
Waitrose, The Brunswick, Bloomsbury WC1N 1AF
Tel: 020 7713 6096
Waitrose, 98 – 101, Marylebone High Street, London, Marylebone W1U 4SD
Tel: 020 7935 4787
Find your local branch:
Currently sell Clearspring’s standard wasabi powder, which you mix with water to make a paste. The wasabi content is just 5% compared to Clearspring’s Organic wasabi powder, which contains 10% wasabi.