Does Wasabi Go Bad? How Long It Lasts, Storage Methods and Risk of Eating Bad Wasabi

Does Wasabi Go Bad?

The delicious spiciness and hot flavor of Wasabi might prompt you to store it in your kitchen pantry, either in the form of root, paste, or powder. Due to the varied options, you can use it as a dressing, in soups, or prepare marinades.

But since Wasabi is not used on a daily basis, you might find yourself with unused bottles of it lying dormant. This might make you wonder about its quality.

Here’s a quick answer- Yes, wasabi does go bad. But you can retain its freshness with the correct storage methods. Keep reading to learn more about the ideal storage methods of wasabi, along with several other valuable pieces of information that can help you use it for an extended period.

 

How Long Can Wasabi Last?

What is the Shelf Life of Wasabi

Fresh and raw Wasabi has a shorter lifespan. However, it can keep its quality and freshness for up to two weeks when stored in a fridge.

Both Wasabi paste and powder are commercially prepared, and hence they come with a use-by date printed on its label. So, you have to check this date before using commercially bought Wasabi paste or powder.

The Wasabi by-products can keep their quality and freshness up to the best-by date and possibly after that with good storage conditions.

The powder Wasabi has a shelf-life of six months to one year, and Wasabi paste lasts for three months. After opening the products, you must consume them within a couple of months because the pungency and flavor of the Wasabi paste and powder start degrading.

Products Pantry Fridge
Wasabi Paste Unopened Use-by Date Plus Three Months
Wasabi Paste Opened Three to Four Months
Wasabi Powder (Opened and Unopened) Use-by Date Plus Six to Twelve Months

 

The above periods are the estimate for its best quality only.

 

Signs of Wasabi Spoilage | How do you tell if Wasabi has gone bad?

What are the Spoilage Signs of Wasabi

Anyone using a Wasabi product for the first time may find it challenging to identify when it has gone bad and is not eligible for consumption. So, here are some tale-tell signs of spoilage that can help them know when it is time to discard the Wasabi.

Mold Growth

Mold on the surface of Wasabi is a sure indication that it has gone bad and is not edible anymore. Due to poor storage conditions, Wasabi attracts air and moisture, and it offers a breeding ground for mold and bacterial growth.

You must not use Wasabi paste or powder when you see even the slightest presence of bacteria or mold on its surface.

Texture

Even the fresh Wasabi paste develops a watery consistency. The Wasabi paste tends to get watery after a couple of days or weeks past its use-by date, and you can mix it using a clean spoon to bring back its original texture.

However, this watery consistency indicates that it is time to replace the old Wasabi with a new one.

Smell Test

The fresh commercially-bought Wasabi has a mustardy, peppery, and horseradish aroma. If you doubt its freshness and quality, take a smell test to check for any unpleasant smell.

The Wasabi with an unpleasant and off smell will also have other spoilage signs, like clumping, mold growth, and wateriness.

Taste

Tasting Wasabi that is completely rancid can be serious. But, if you are not sure whether Wasabi is still edible, you must taste a tiny portion of it. If you have Wasabi powder, take a punch of it and rub it between your index finger and thumb before tasting.

If it has lost the original peppery and spicy flavor, then it means the Wasabi has gone bad. You need to take a scoop and taste for any blandness and off-taste for the paste.

Color Change

Another effective way to check the quality and freshness of the Wasabi is to find if there is any color change. The fresh Wasabi usually has a light green color, and the stale Wasabi will have tints of yellow and grey color.

If you see yellowish or grayish color on the surface of Wasabi, it indicates bacterial growth on it, and it is no longer edible.

In a nutshell,

Wasabi Paste: Presence of mold, watery consistency, change in color 
Wasabi Powder: Presence of mold, unpleasant smell 
Wasabi Root: Change in color 

What Happens if you Eat Expired Wasabi?

What are the Risks of Consuming Bad Wasabi

As mentioned, Wasabi, whether powdered or paste, can last for a couple of years, provided that it is stored properly. Wasabi products don’t have any expiry date, and hence it is safe to consume even after their use-by date is printed on the label.

However, mold growth is common in Wasabi, especially when exposed to air and moisture. If you see any mold or bacterial growth on the surface of the Wasabi, you must discard it without consuming it, even if the use-by date is in the future.

You must not scoop out the moldy part of the Wasabi paste and powder and use the remaining portion. Mold can grow further and flourish in other parts which are not visible with naked eyes.

The mold and bacterial growth can produce a poisonous substance, like Mycotoxins. It can make you sick if consumed accidentally. Apart from mold, there can be bacterial growth, and it can cause food poisoning if consumed accidentally.

Apart from this, the main drawback of stale and old Wasabi is that it starts losing its unique aroma and taste, and you won’t enjoy consuming it after the use-by date.

 

Can You Freeze Wasabi? Refrigerated Vs. Shelf Stable

Can You Freeze Wasabi Refrigerated Vs. Shelf Stable

Wasabi can be stored in a freezer to preserve its flavor.

You can freeze the leftovers of Wasabi. But it will do nothing to extend its shelf life.

Freezing may hamper the quality and taste of the powder, grated, and paste of Wasabi.

Freezing Wasabi for a long period is not good as it turns watery when you thaw it after freezing, diminishing its culinary uses. Besides, the powdered Wasabi tends to trap moisture when stored in a freezer, and the extreme cold temperature may affect the flavor and texture of the spice.

If you have a high quantity of Wasabi powder or paste, it would be best to freeze it and consume it in a couple of days. But, you have to use it within two weeks to prevent flavor and texture loss. Long-term freezing is not good for your Wasabi.

 

Pro Tip for Freezing Wasabi!

  • Use an ice tray to store Wasabi in the freezer.
  • Fill the slot of an ice tray with Wasabi and leave a small space on top to allow Wasabi to expand during freezing.
  • Place it in the freezer and allow it to sit for two-three hours
  • After Wasabi is frozen, remove it in an ice tray and transfer it to a freezer bag and remove excess air before sealing the freezer bag

 

Refrigerated

Wasabi paste needs refrigeration after it is opened. If stored properly in a refrigerator, it can last up to a year. However, Wasabi powder needs no refrigeration, whether sealed or opened.

Storing Wasabi powder in a refrigerator won’t extend its shelf-life as it will be the same as storing it in a pantry, one year. If you have raw Wasabi roots, it needs to be stored in a fridge. It can last for a month if properly refrigerated.

 

Shelf Stable

An unopened bottle of Wasabi paste can last for a year in your pantry. After opening the paste, it needs consistent refrigeration. The opened bottle of Wasabi paste must not be left outside a fridge as it is not a shelf-stable product and may go rancid in a couple of hours.

On the other hand, Wasabi powder lasts up to three to four years when stored in your pantry, irrespective of whether it is unopened or opened. The Wasabi roots are not shelf-stable and hence need refrigeration. It starts degrading within 24 hours when left outside a fridge in your pantry.

 

How to Store Wasabi? 

What are the Best Ways to Store Wasabi

With proper storage, you can heighten the overall quality, aroma, and flavor of Wasabi, both powdered and paste. Here are a few helpful storage tips for Wasabi powder, paste, and roots.

Wasabi Paste: 

Wasabi paste lasts in the refrigerator. Manufacturers always suggest users store the Wasabi paste in the original tube. But, you must ensure to put the lid back immediately after every use and secure it tightly.

It is necessary to store the tube upright when the lid is facing downward to prevent moisture and air from leaking into the tube and damaging the quality of the paste.

Transparent cling film has multiple uses in the modern kitchen. It can be used to prevent Wasabi from moisture absorption. After opening the Wasabi paste, you must cover the tube using cling film before replacing the lid.

Wasabi Powder: 

But Wasabi Powder must be stored in dry, cool, and climate-controlled areas of your pantry. The kitchen cabinet is also the best option to store the powder Wasabi as it protects the spice from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight.

You must not store the Wasabi powder close to the heating vent, microwave, stove, dishwasher, and sink to prevent moisture and heat absorption and keep the mold away from it.

If Wasabi powder is available in a paper packet, transfer it into the airtight container as it helps sustain the spice’s freshness longer.

You have to wrap the spice jar using cling film and secure the cap tightly.

Cling film offers additional sealing benefits and protects your treasured spice from mold and oxidation damage.

Wasabi Root: 

Wasabi roots keep their quality when stored in a fridge. But, you must ensure to keep it in a glass filled with fresh water before putting it in a fridge. It will keep the stems moisturized. For best results, you must store the roots wrapped in muslin cloth.

What are the Alternatives to Wasabi if it has gone bad? 

In case you find your spicy Wasabi sauce of a deteriorated quality, you can still enjoy your Japanese cuisine meal with the following alternatives:

  • Ginger
  • Yuzu
  • Mustard
  • Chilli Peppers
  • Hot Daikon

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the Best Way to Preserve Wasabi?

If you have fresh Wasabi, you can preserve it for weeks. But, you need to store it in a glass of water and refrigerate it consistently. Keep the top out of the water and the stems dipped. Ensure changing the water daily. You can also keep it wrapped in a muslin cloth for the best results. It can help you preserve your fresh Wasabi for up to 15 days.

 

Does Wasabi lose Flavour?

You get a window of 15-20 minutes to enjoy the taste and flavor of the spicy condiment before it starts losing its sharp and intense flavor. Wasabi is prepared by grinding the root of Wasabi Japonica. After a 15 minutes window, the flavor and taste lose their quality and freshness.

How long does restaurant wasabi last in the fridge?

If you end up bringing home some restaurant wasabi, you must store it in your refrigerator in an airtight container. This will help you retain its freshness and quality for a long time. At the same time, it is advisable to consume it in 2-3 days.

Is wasabi supposed to be brown?

Wasabi is naturally green. If your wasabi has turned brown, inspect properly, as it could be a sign of mold. In such circumstances, it is best to throw it away.

Is Wasabia horseradish?

Horseradish and wasabi belong to the same family plant. Horseradish mainly comprises large brown roots, while wasabi’s stem is bright green. However, both share a spicy flavor.

 

The Bottom Line

Fresh Wasabi has a shorter shelf-life, and you are requested to use it fresh to enjoy every dollar spent on it. Wasabi powder and paste have a relatively long shelf life. After the use-by date on its label, Wasabi powder or paste is still safe to consume, but the aroma and flavor may worsen over time.

Moreover, Wasabi doesn’t freeze well, and it is best to consume it as close to the best-by date as possible.

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