Hot Japanese Spices
Wasabi (Japanese horseradish), Sansho (Japanese pepper) and Karashi (Japanese mustard) all play an important supporting role in Japanese cooking. This episode looks at what makes them so special, providing a detailed introduction to these seasonings that have been developed in Japanese cuisine. There is an interview with a sushi chef about how to get the most out of a premium variety of wasabi grown with spring water from Mt. Fuji. Also featured is Chirimen-sansho, a favorite in Kyoto home-style cooking made with fish sprats and Japanese pepper, as well as a rare, red-colored variety of Japanese pepper produced in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. The episode in addition looks at the traditional method of preparing Japanese mustard that removes the harshness but preserves the spicy flavor, and the origins and the painstaking work involved in preparing Karashi-daikon, a Kumamoto Prefecture specialty of lotus root stuffed with miso paste and mustard.