Hon Wasabi vs. Nama Wasabi: What’s the Difference?

Known as an essential condiment for Sushi and Sashimi, Wasabi is a green paste prepared by grating the roots of Japanese horseradish, which comes in various varieties in Japan.

Among those, Hon Wasabi (本わさび) and Nama Wasabi (生わさび) are the most common types available mainly in tubes in most supermarkets.

Hon Wasabi vs. Nama Wasabi

S&B Hon-Nama Hon Wasabi Tube

But until now, I didn’t know how Hon Wasabi and Nama Wasabi differ. So today, I researched that online, and here, let me share the result with you.

Hon Wasabi (本わさび)

First, in the name of Hon Wasabi, Hon (本) indicates that the Wasabi paste contains a large proportion of Japanese horseradish. In this case, the word Hon (本) derives from Honrai (本来), meaning native in Japanese.

In modern times, some Wasabi products contain a substantial proportion of Western horseradish. Unlike Hon Wasabi, makers color those pastes green, adding food additives.

Nama Wasabi (生わさび)

On the other hand, in the name of Nama Wasabi, Nama (生) means raw and indicates that the Wasabi paste consists not of dried pulverized horseradish but of fresh one.

That is because when makers began to sell Wasabi tubes for the first time in the 1970s, the mainstream was Neri Wasabi (練りわさび: kneaded wasabi).

Unlike Nama Wasabi, Neri Wasabi is a paste made by kneading Kona Wasabi (粉わさび: powdered wasabi) with water.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia ワサビ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

1 Response

  1. Ian Bruce says:

    I have a very strong mustard allergy. The fake wasabi containing mustard can make me seriously ill!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.