Quick Note If You’re Busy

Wasabi is a keto-friendly item, it is quite low in carbs and you might only eat a tiny portion along with your sashimi or sushi. So, it is a safe thing to eat if you are on ketogenic diet.

What is it Wasabi?

Wasabi is a spicy vegetable that you use as condiment when eating sushi or sashimi. It is made of vegetables in horseradish family. It is the green matcha look-alike stuff served beside your sushi/sashimi plate.

A bit of wasabi mixed with soy sauce completes your sushi/sashimi eating experience. Either you love it or you hate it. Some people can’t stand the gushing experience in the nose after swallowing it.

Real wasabi paste is from the root of the Wasabi Japonica plant. It has a taste of spiciness from allyl isothiocyanate. Its spicy taste is not the same as pepper’s capsaicin. It gives gushing sensation through the nose, clearing all the sinus blocking right away after you eat it.

wasabi keto

The color is bright green, you can see it served along with sushi or sashimi. People usually use a little of it in soy sauce dipping for the sushi or sashimi, or hidden under the fish slice in sushi.

Types of Wasabi

The Real Wasabi / Fresh Japanese Horseradish

Japanese horseradish or wasabi comes from the cruciferous family, the same as cabbage, broccoli, mustard, and Brussels sprouts. Its native source is Sakhalin Island north of Japan.

This is called the real wasabi because it is usually freshly grates straight from the root. It does not come in a packaged form. You can find this only in high-end Japanese restaurant or if you harvest the radish and grate it right away yourself.

Japanese horseradish is harvested for its bright-green stem. It has a complex vegetable flavor in it, some floral components and a little sweetness.

The real wasabi root is very expensive and can cost as much as $160 per kg.

Wasabi Paste

Most wasabi paste you find in Japanese restaurants or grocery stores does not contain real wasabi in it, or even if there is, it should be a tiny amount of real wasabi.

It is mostly a blend of horseradish, mustard powder, spices, food coloring, and very small amount of real wasabi.

wasabi keto

Wasabi Powder

Real wasabi can be found in wasabi powder. It is easy to serve by mixing a little water and you have the paste right away.

Wasabi powder found in grocery store is not actual wasabi, similar to wasabi paste, it is also a blend of horseradish, mustard and tapioca starch.

Is it Keto Friendly?

If you are on a strict ketogenic diet, you will wonder if it is ok to have some wasabi with your sashimi. Good thing is you don’t need to worry because real wasabi, wasabi paste, and wasabi powder contain little carbs and sugar.

Take a look at the nutrition inside wasabi paste.

Nutrition Facts

nutrition fact wasabi
Nutrition fact wasabi

Serving size 1 tbsp ( 15 g) – Calories 16.3 and the total carbs is 3.5 g, net carbs is 2.4 g. (1)

As you can see there is 3.5 g of carbs in 1 tbsp of wasabi paste. You don’t need to worry so much about the carbs from wasabi. If you’re eating sushi/sashimi in a Japanese restaurant while on keto, the only thing you need to worry about is the rice in sushi or the pickled ginger that contains sugar.

Most wasabi paste at the grocery store is made of horseradish, mustard powder, tapioca starch, a little wasabi, and food coloring.

And if you already know the taste of wasabi, chances are you won’t be using much wasabi in your meal.

Health Benefits of Wasabi

Wasabi contains a good amount of  isothiocyanate (ITC). This makes the pungent flavor of green stuff.

This ITC in wasabi is the one that gives a lot of health benefits to people who consume it. The various isothiocyanate antioxidants are very beneficial in eliminating free radicals throughout the body’s systems. Studies have shown that one form of isothiocyanate in wasabi, 6-MITC, has been clearly shown to inhibit the expansion of leukemia and stomach cancer cells. It actually promotes apoptosis (cell death) within 24 hours of consumption. The use of wasabi may prevent the growth of tumors, even at a pre-clinical or pre-treatment size. The most attractive thing about this type of treatment is that isothiocyanates appear to kill cancer cells without damaging the healthy, surrounding cells.

  1. It contains a considerable amount of potassium and fair amounts of calcium and vitamin C. As you can see from the nutrition fact stated above, one tablespoon of wasabi paste contains 85.2 mg potassium, 19.2 mg calcium, and 6.3 mg vitamin C.
  2. Its chemical components can kill microbes and prevent food poisoning.
  3. Wasabi can prevent human stomach cancer cells from multiplying, even killing them. It has anti-cancer property.
  4. It can help eliminate excess hormones such as estrogen, thus reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.
  5. Wasabi has anticoagulative properties.
  6. Wasabi can kill bacteria in food and mouth, thus preventing tooth decay. It has anti-bacterial property.
  7. Wasabi helps reduce asthmatic symptoms.
  8. Wasabi may act as anti-inflammatory (2, 3)
  9. Wasabi is anti bacterial (4) It has anti-bacterial effect against two most common bacteria that cause food poisoning: E. Coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This means it helps reduce the risk of food poisoning, especially when you eat raw fish.
  10. It has anti-cancer properties. The ITC found in wasabi help inhibit the growth of cell cancer especially breast cancer, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. (5)
  11. It can help prevent weight gain (6) It contains components that can help prevent the growth of fat cells. No wonder the Japanese ladies are slim.
  12. It has antioxidant properties. It has very strong antioxidant properties that promote overall wellness and help treat respiratory problems like cough, cold, and sinus. (7) Its digestive stimulant properties can help treat diarrhea, increase appetite, and get rid of toxins from the body.
  13. It clears sinuses right away. The instant benefit you get after taking wasabi is you get your clogged sinus cleared right away. It takes seconds for wasabi to clear the nasal passages and let you breathe normally right away. Just take a little of wasabi, you will get your nasal passages cleared instantly. (8)
  14. It helps fight arthritis. The isothiocyanate compounds have been shown to reduce cases of joint swelling, inflammation of joints, ligaments, and muscles that contribute to arthitis and joint pain.

Video of Real Wasabi

6 Easy Keto Friendly Wasabi Recipes

At first I thought wasabi can only be consumed along with sushi or sashimi, but then I tried peanut covered with wasabi and it tasted great.

For those who have never tried wasabi, please use only a little as it has a strong gushing sensation to your nasal passages some will be surprised of its effect.

You can use wasabi paste alone as condiment in your sushi or sashimi along with soy sauce.

Here are 6 great keto-friendly wasabi recipes I found and tried.

Wasabi Cucumber Sesame Salad

wasabi cucumber salad
Picture from SheWearsManyHats.com

You will need:

  • 3 medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi tube
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

I omitted the sugar, but if you want some sweetness in it, you can put in erythritol or stevia.

Full recipe and instruction on She Wears Many Hats.

Wasabi Keto Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus

You will need:

  • 2 cups of shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water

The ginger and wasabi together give a kick in the flavor. It is really great to eat with your salad. So I throw in some lettuce and romaine salad to eat it with.

Wasabi Keto Avocado Dip

wasabi keto avocado dip

You will need:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablesppon cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Wasabi Keto Almonds

wasabi almonds
Picture from www.ketohh.com

You will need:

  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 1.5 tablespoons Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder/paste

Full recipe and instruction on Ketohh.com

Wasabi Keto Mayonnaise

You will need:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup avocado oil/extra virgin olive oil/virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon wasabi paste (if you like it stronger, you can add up to 1 teaspoon of wasabi paste)

Full recipe and instruction on dietdoctor.com

Tuna Steaks with Low Carb Wasabi Keto Sauce

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce / tamari sauce
  • a pinch of xanthan gum (optional)
  • 2 green onions for garnish

Full recipe and instruction on Stepawayfromthecarbs.com