Wasabi is a popular Japanese condiment known for its spicy flavor. Traditionally used on sushi, it has other uses as well. It is typically served in small portions so if you have some around your house, you may wonder if it goes bad.
It is important to note that authentic wasabi is very expensive because it is hard to grow. What you find in your local grocery store is a mixture of horseradish and artificial color. That being said, the wasabi paste does go bad. The paste can last for about 12 months and so does wasabi powder. If you’re able to find wasabi root, it can last up to 1 month in the fridge.
Whether you were able to find the real thing or you enjoy the substitute, you need to know how long wasabi lasts under different storage conditions.
Does Wasabi Go Bad? How Long Does Wasabi Last?
The shelf life of wasabi varies greatly depending on whether it is wasabi root, wasabi paste, or wasabi powder and how you store it.
How Long Does Wasabi Last Outside?
Wasabi Paste that has been unopened can last in the pantry for about 12 months. Once it has been opened, it should be refrigerated. If left out over a few hours, it would be best to replace it.
Wasabi powder can last a very long time. It will be good for 3 to 4 years when stored in your pantry regardless of whether or not it has been opened.
If you have wasabi root, it does not last very long outside of the refrigerator. If it gets left out, it is only good for about a day.
How Long Does Wasabi Last In The Fridge?
Wasabi paste should be stored in the fridge once it has been opened. When properly sealed, it will remain good in the fridge for up to 12 months.
Wasabi powder does not need to be refrigerated whether it is opened or unopened. If you do store it in the fridge, the shelf life is the same as storing it in the pantry which is about 12 months.
Wasabi root should be stored in the fridge. There are special methods to storing your wasabi that we will discuss later. Wasabi root can last in your fridge for about a month.
How Long Does Wasabi Last In The Freezer?
Wasabi paste can be frozen and it helps maintain the freshness for longer. The wasabi paste stored in the freezer will be good for a couple of years and remain safe to eat indefinitely.
Wasabi powder reaps no benefits from being stored in the freezer, it can lose quality. It can absorb moisture that can ruin the texture and flavor. It will be safe to eat but the quality will have deteriorated.
Wasabi root, when stored correctly, can last in the freezer for about two months. It should be wrapped tightly and frozen immediately after grating.
Each type of wasabi has its optimal storage options. Wasabi paste when unopened does best in the pantry and once opened needs to go in the fridge. The powder does best in the pantry and wasabi root must be refrigerated.
How To Tell If Wasabi Has Gone Bad/How To Know Wasabi Is Fresh?
There are ways to tell if your wasabi is bad whether it is in paste form, powder form, or fresh wasabi root. Read on to find out how to tell if your wasabi has gone bad.
Check the date: Wasabi paste comes with a best-by date stamped on the bottle. Check this first if you are concerned it is old. Keep in mind it can stay good for several months after the best by date when stored properly. If the date has not passed, you may need to look for other signs of spoilage.
Check the opening: If you see any blue or gray specks at the opening of the bottle or tube, throw it out. This could be mold and should not be consumed.
Smell it/Taste it: If you’re still unsure, smell it or taste it. If it smells or tastes off at all, it would be best to discard it.
Check for moisture: Wasabi powder can remain safe to eat indefinitely unless it has gotten moisture inside. If there are no signs of moisture, it is good to eat.
Check the texture: When the wasabi root has gone bad, it will become soft and mushy.
How To Store Wasabi?
Each type of wasabi has its own storage needs.
Wasabi powder: Wasabi powder should be stored in a cool, dry place. It would fare nicely where you store other spices in a pantry or cabinet.
Wasabi paste: Unopened wasabi paste can be stored in a cool, dry place such as a pantry. Once it is opened, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator and remain tightly sealed.
Wasabi root: Wasabi root should be stored in the refrigerator. For best results, it can be kept in a glass of water in the fridge. Keep the stems out of the water and change the water daily. You can also store it in the refrigerator wrapped in muslin.
Can You Freeze Wasabi? How?
Wasabi paste and fresh wasabi can be frozen. Putting wasabi powder in the freezer is not recommended because it could get moisture in it.
Wasabi paste: Wasabi paste can be placed in the freezer in the tube or bottle it comes in. Simply make sure the lid is on tight and place it in the freezer.
Wasabi root is certainly best when fresh but if it must be frozen it can be done. There are a couple of steps to follow to help maintain its quality.
Grate first: You can grate fresh wasabi root and immediately wrap it in several layers of cling wrap to protect it from the air. The tightly wrapped wasabi root can be placed in the freezer.
Grate frozen: If you freeze the entire wasabi root, you will have to grate it frozen. If it is allowed to thaw first, it will be a little mushy and you will not be able to grate it.
How To Thaw Wasabi?
To thaw wasabi paste, place it in the refrigerator overnight. If the paste is made from wasabi root and thaws too fast, it could lead to separation resulting in a mushy product. If it is a store-bought paste, it will not have the same problems.
Wasabi root if frozen whole should not be thawed before grating. If you grate it first, thaw it in the fridge. Note that it will not have the same consistency as fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wasabi
My wasabi had mold, will I get sick? Eating mold is not likely to cause food poisoning. It is not good for you but eating a small amount accidentally will not cause you to get sick. You may experience nausea or vomiting caused by the taste or knowledge that you ate the mold. You may also experience symptoms such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat if you are allergic to the mold.
Can I get food poisoning from wasabi?: It is highly unlikely that you would get food poisoning from wasabi. Wasabi is known for helping people avoid food poisoning which is why it is served with sushi: to prevent food poisoning from the raw fish. It can kill many types of bacteria and viruses such as E. coli, V. Cholera, and Salmonella.
Wasabi comes in many forms and authentic wasabi is rare. Whichever form you have procured, be it fresh, paste, or powder, make sure you store it properly and check for freshness.