Ah, wasabi. The polarizing Japanese horseradish traditionally found in sushi has a pungent taste that triggers a burning sensation in your nose. A plentiful swipe of this delicious green paste will generously clear your sinuses and make your eyes water.
Served grated or as a ready-made paste, wasabi is usually served with sushi because of its sterilizing effect on the raw fish. Sushi chefs will typically add a thin layer of wasabi between the rice and the slice of fish.
Sushi with wasabi or without wasabi?
Wasabi is a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine but its strong flavor is not to everyone’s liking, in particular children. One bite too many and we’d probably ask for help too.
Sushi chefs themselves aren’t always lovin’ it for they feel wasabi actually ruins the flavor of sushi’s raw ingredients.
In recent years, sabinuki (without wasabi) seals have popped up in supermarkets and bento shops. Sushi restaurants started offering both sabinuki and sabiari (with wasabi) options—the color of the plate letting you know which one is which. Some conveyor belt sushi restaurants went as far as no longer serving sushi with wasabi. Like ketchup at a fast-food restaurant, diners can help themselves freely to wasabi packets to add some spicy green to their meal.
While our sinuses highly approve the sabinuki option, wasabi farmers see things differently and aren’t thrilled by the idea of a wasabi-free world.
— テクダ (@FAXXXX) June 11, 2020
“What wasabi farmers think of wasabi free seals.”
The illustration lists the most frequent わさび抜き and わさび入り seals you can find in Japan. Next to each one of them is a strong-minded reaction to the words and logos, showing disapproval of no wasabi and approval for the options with wasabi.
抜くな = Don’t take it out!
ありがとう！= Thank you!
別にすんな！= Don’t separate them!
笑うな = Don’t laugh!
ピースすんな！= Don’t do the peace sign!
ウインクすんな! = Don’t wink!
笑え = Laugh
Expressing “without” in Japanese
抜き, which can be written with or without its kanji, is an adverb and suffix attached to a noun that expresses something is not included or has been left out. It can be used in various sentence constructions.
わさび抜きの寿司 = sushi without wasabi
寿司はわさび抜きで、お願いします= please give me sushi without wasabi
冗談は抜きにして、そろそろ本題に入りましょう = Joke aside, let’s get down to business
Are you a wasabi lover or would you rather spare your nose and eat your sushi without this pungent green paste?
|さびぬき(わさび抜き)シール||wasabi nuki shiiru||Wasabi free seal|
|に対して||ni taishite||against, regarding|
|わさび入り||wasabi hairi||with wasabi|
|に入る||ni hairu||go into|