Whoah! Check out the wasabi root – and how expensive it is! – I thought when I spotted it on offer in the vegetable section of the Uwaji-maya grocery store in Seattle’s International District on Sunday night. Wasabi root has an extremely strong flavor and in this form is finely grated BUT : it loses its flavor after just 15 minutes if left uncovered! The plant grows naturally along stream beds in mountain river valleys in Japan, and is also cultivated, but it is difficult to do so. Japan imports wasabi from China, Taiwan and even from New Zealand. Wasabi is sometimes called Japanese horseradish, but horseradish is a different plant.