How to Stop Wasabi Burn!

Published Categorized as Sushi Tips

Wasabi and sushi go together like peas and carrots (according to Forest Gump). The only problem is how to stop wasabi burn both while you’re eating and even hours later? And is this even possible?

Stopping Wasabi Burn And Other Side Effects!

Luckily there are a few ways to not only stop wasabi burn, but even prevent it from happening in the first place. And if all else fails there are even wasabi alternatives that taste close, but no irritation. Here is my list…

Portion Control

First just try adding smaller amounts of wasabi to whatever you’re using it for. For me, I like to mix some soy or eel sauce and wasabi for a dipping sauce for my sushi. When I use smaller amounts, I basically get the slight burn I’m looking for, but it far more tolerable. I know it sounds pretty obvious, but give it a go.

You can find out where to buy eel sauce both on-line and off here.


This may sound a bit wonky, but when you eat wasabi it will give you a quick response by giving the sensation of burning your nasal cavity because you breathe through your nose. So, you can minimize the nasal discomfort by breathing in through the nose and by breathing out through the mouth.


Certain carbonated beverages that will help you to minimize the burning effect of wasabi like Coca-Cola. The carbonation will help minimize the burning sensation so I recommend you to drink beverages during eating. Lemonade can also help relieve the sensation some what.

Here’s our list of the best drinks for sushi rolls. It talks all about pairing certain beer or non-alcoholic drinks with sushi.

Similarly, you can drink milk or tea before eating as it will coat the surface of your tongue and mouth which helps weaken the spicy influence of wasabi.


Try a wasabi substitute. When you are eating sushi at home, you can use a paste substitute for wasabi that includes pepper, mustard, and horseradish paste. When you mix these all together it will give you a mixture that will have the same characteristics just like wasabi without a burning sensation. You can even add a little sushi vinegar to give it a more sour flavor.


If it’s too late and you’ve already eaten enough wasabi to kill a horse and you need immediate relief, try heavy dairy products such as cream, milk, and ice cream. While you still have the wasabi taste in your mouth, they will taste horrible. But they will cool down your irritation.

What is Wasabi?

Wasabi is a kind of Japanese horseradish, much like horseradish in the western world. The plant can be found all over the world, and is often use as a condiment or side dish with a nice hot and spicy flavor.

When used in conjunction with sushi, the spiciness and heat of the wasabi is a perfect opposite to the cool and subtle flavors of shush, making a more in depth tasting experience.

Why Does Wasabi Burn?

Well, the problem arises from a chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate (called AITC, for short). Similarly, I can say that Wasabi is not a spice in self just like a chili paste, and does not react just like chili. But it will cause pain because of vapors that are produced by two significant chemicals: Singrin and Myrosinase.

When these two chemical combine, they produce allyl isothiocyanate that influences the mucous membrane, nose, tongue, mouth, and esophagus. Its green paste resembles chili paste because of allyl isothiocyanate, which is competent in giving pungent sensation on the mouth, tongue, and throat.

Are There Wasabi Side Effects?

On a positive note, there are no know side effects from eating wasabi other than the burning sensations I’ve listed above. But that is not to say you may not have side effects if your body is allergic to wasabi. If you are allergic, symptoms vary from person to person and it’s best to talk it over with your doctor.

What are the symptoms of wasabi burn?

When you eat the wasabi, you will follow sensations firstly: 

Coughing, burning, choking, Itching, and tear duct irritation

But you will experience these sensations when you will try to take a huge quantity of green wasabi paste.

Why add wasabi to sushi? 

Adding wasabi to either sushi directly or to a condiment like soy sauce is the same as adding hot sauce to your Mexican food, or hot pepper flakes to your pizza, it just tastes good!

Many people like a little spicy kick. I do. And wasabi is a spicy kick that just matches perfectly with many Asian foods, not just sushi but particularly sushi. Many types of sushi rolls have wasabi added directly to the roll, so always ask so you don’t end up adding more to something already containing it.


So, if you want to enjoy this, then don’t worry about its effect it will be minimized by selecting the appropriate portion of wasabi, by drinking beverages, breathing in the right way, diluting, and neutralizing wasabi. And you can also use a commercial paste of wasabi for acquiring a taste of it. At the time of developing a recipe, start by adding a small amount of it then increase the quantity according to your taste tolerance.

Here I can say, forget its negative effect and enjoy your favorite dish more than If you truly want wasabi in sushi in your favorite cuisine. 

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