Monday, October 17, 2011

Wasabi Leaves


No 1 Son, Favorite Daughter In Law and No 1 Grandson dropped in for lunch today. We'd been with Favorite Daughter to look at a Church for her wedding next year. No 1 Son is an Uniting Church miniister and will be performing the ceremony.
No 1 son and family live at the beautiful Victor Harbour and there is an excellent Farmers Market there on Saturday mornings. Last Saturday No 1 Son bought some wasabi leaves so he brought a few up to me to try.I was a bit hesitant however they don't have that blow off the top of your head and clear your sinuses while you scream for mercy taste either.
A local farmer at Victor Harbour has started to grow the wasabi. The largest and possibly only commercial grower of Wasabi in Australia is in Tasmania, Shima Wasabi so there is still room in the market for some more growers.
Shima Wasabi do a pack for home shoppers it contains 2 fresh wasabi stems (minimum weight 150g, enough for 12-15 servings, 12 fresh wasabi leaves, 12 wasabi leaf stalks and postage for $42. Understandable why there are others looking at getting into the market.
to correctly make your own paste you really need either a sharkshin wasabi grater or a creamic one. Shima Wasabi have those too.

The ones I got were crisp and green. They have a similar apperance to coltsfoot and these were begging for a bit of experimentation so I whipped up a tempura batter and threw them in.
They didn't like being tempura'd. The batter was crunchy and just as it should have been but the leaves were tasteless after cooking.

I can see why people would pay 50 cents a leaf for them but next time I'll try something else. They were great raw and I think they will be excellent in a salad. If they last till Sunday and are not eaten before I might try them in some sushi. Sushi is the plan for Sunday. I'll show you what I do then.

Tempura Batter
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of ice water

Mix together until smooth and refrigerate until you are going to use it. If the batter gets hot it will not be crunchy.
The batter should have the consistency of cream. This amount is enough for tempura for 6 people.

Toss whatever vegetables, fish or meat you like in a little bit of flour and drop in the batter.
Heat your rice bran oil to 180 degrees Celsius and drop the battered whatever into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd your pan or your batter might not get really crisp. It is the extremely cold batter hitting the hot oil that gives you your crisp delicate coating.

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