Is Wasabi a Vegetable? (Mystery Solved! Answer HERE)

If you love Japanese cuisine, especially sushi, you have probably seen and even enjoyed wasabi from time to time. Wasabi is the typical green-colored paste added on top of sushi. This relish is famous for the spicy kick it gives, immediately affecting our sinuses and with no aftertaste. Still, one thing you may wonder is if this relish is a vegetable or not. So, you may ask:

Is wasabi a vegetable? Yes, wasabi is a vegetable. Also known as Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a cruciferous vegetable that naturally grows along the streambeds of mountain river valleys in Japan. The paste you see comes from the grated wasabi rhizomes, although most pastes in the market are artificially made.

Wasabi gives a spicy kick and elevates the flavor and taste of every dish to a new level. However, some interesting facts about wasabi can help you understand more about it. If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you’re in for a treat!

Below, we will discuss everything you need to know about wasabi. Then, if you’ve heard of several mysteries about this root, we’ll give you definite answers for it. This way, you’ll get answers to some of the questions you may wonder about wasabi!

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Is Wasabi a VegetablePin

What food group is wasabi?

Wasabi (or Wasabi japonica) is Japanese horseradish and belongs to the Brassicaceae family of plants. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable like kale or Brussel sprouts. However, unlike the two, wasabi is enjoyed more as a condiment, seasoning, or relish than as a vegetable.

What vegetable is wasabi made of?

If you’re referring to the green paste, it’s made of wasabi vegetable root.

Wasabi vegetable root is the source of the hot and delicious green paste we often enjoy on top of sushi or other Japanese dishes. 

As a member of the Brassicaceae family, wasabi is a vegetable root that belongs to the same family as cabbage, mustard, and horseradish. Therefore, wasabi is often referred to as Japanese horseradish due to its spicy taste.

Is real wasabi a plant?

Yes, wasabi is a natural plant, and it’s called Japanese horseradish or Wasabi Japonica. Wasabi, which translates as “Japanese horseradish,” is derived from the Brassicaceae plant family, which includes radishes, horseradishes, and mustards.

The ground rhizomes of wasabi plants (Brassicaceae) are used for making an aromatic paste. There have been many attempts to cultivate the plant, but due to its specific growing conditions, it has been restricted to Japan, South Korea, and Sakhalin, Russia.

wasabi plantPin

Is wasabi a herb or spice?

Wasabi is more of a spice than a herb since it comes from the grated root of Wasabi japonica. The wasabi spice is made from a plant from the cabbage family traditionally used as a spice. 

The plant’s root has an intense flavor, and it is used as a spice. As a condiment, the root is used to make a paste of root by grating it.

Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions you may have about wasabi as a vegetable. Take a look at the answers we researched below to see if they also answer your concerns.

Is wasabi a root vegetable?

Yes, wasabi is a root vegetable. Wasabi is a root vegetable with green color, and it belongs to the same family as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard crops. However, it would be best to grate it before consuming it, and its flavor fades away quickly once it is grated.

Is wasabi peas a vegetable?

Yes, wasabi peas are vegetables. A wasabi pea is a green pea that has been roasted and coated with starch, sugar, salt, oil, and wasabi. 

Additionally, depending on the brand, they may contain artificial coloring. Wasabi is a variety of horseradish found in Japan. The roots of wasabi are harvested and ground into powders or pastes for flavoring.

Is wasabi a fruit or vegetable?

Wasabi is a root vegetable, but it is enjoyed more as a paste condiment or relishes. This root can be found in green color and is a member of the same family as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and mustard. 

For consumption, it needs to be grated, and the flavor of the fruit quickly fades away once it has been grated. One thing to note is that most wasabi in the market that’s already made as a paste isn’t authentic wasabi. 

The best way to ensure you’re eating authentic wasabi is to see the wasabi root getting grated in front of you using sharkskin.


The wasabi plant is a vegetable. Wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, grows naturally along streambeds of mountain river valleys in Japan. While most pastes on the market are artificially made, the paste you see comes from grated wasabi rhizomes.

Wasabi gives every dish a spicy kick and elevates the flavor and taste. Wasabi has some interesting facts that can help you learn more about it. We hope this information helped you understand a bit more about wasabi.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Wasabi on Wikipedia

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