Menus hot up for wasabi cress
Chefs like wasabi cress as it's pungent on the taste buds but offers the lightness of other micro cresses

Menus hot up for wasabi cress

Liz O’Keefe

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.



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