Chefs like wasabi cress as it's pungent on the taste buds but offers the lightness of other micro cresses
Described as “horseradish-hot”, wasabi cress is the latest of the micro cresses to be singled out by chefs
Having had some success in the US, wasabi is now being grown as a micro cress by West Midlands grower, Westlands. Following a great reception at this year’s Hospitality Show at the NEC in Birmingham, it’s only a matter of time before this seriously mustard-tasting cress takes off like wildfire in the UK.
Wasabi cress profile
Production: Grown as a micro cress in soil-free media within a controlled glasshouse, just like other micro cress.
Key growers: Westlands.
Cultivated season: Year round.
Flavour: Spicy and peppery, with a radish-like heat, just like wasabi root.
Chef fans: Daniel Boulud and Russell Bainbridge.
Why chef’s like it: It’s pungent on the taste buds, whilst having the lightness of other micro cresses like rocket. It’s a cheaper and more unusual alternative to fresh horseradish root and the Japanese radish wasabi itself.
How it’s being used: Wasabi cress can be used alone as a salad or paired with crab and asparagus; beef carpaccio; sushi; sashimi; lamb rump; and quail with pickled hon shimeji, served with Muscat grapes, sherry gelée, wasabi cress and dandelion marmalade [Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental hotel, London].
Extra info: Wasabi cress originates from Japan, but Westlands have conducted their own innovative research to produce a micro cress. Its appearance is particularly like a traditional mustard cress.
Upcoming trend: Sliced pickled wasabi root.
Westlands is exhibiting at the London Produce Show and Conference, on June 3-5 at Grosvenor House on Park Lane.
Click here to register.