How Long Does Wasabi Stay Fresh?

Chances are if you've ever eaten traditional sushi or even a vegetable roll from your local grocer, you've had some form or variation of wasabi served up alongside it. Wasabi, as most of us know it, is that spicy green paste that is often included among your sushi's pickled ginger and soy sauce packets. Per The Daily Meal, this type of wasabi is comprised of horseradish, mustard and green food coloring. The heat from this paste comes on strong, but then it quickly tapers off.

But wasabi can also come from a plant. This is what most people consider real wasabi, and per Business Insider, it is very expensive — about $250 per kilo — and incredibly difficult to grow commercially. 

In fact, wasabi is so expensive, that's why most of us buy and eat the paste form. Why is the paste a common substitute? Because wasabi and horseradish are from the same plant family, horseradish is a good and much cheaper surrogate for the Japanese plant. It has given way to other options like tubes of the condiment and powders, making it much more affordable to prepare your favorite Asian dishes at home. But have you ever wondered, what is the shelf life of wasabi? According to Eat By Date, "it all depends."

Wasabi's shelf life depends on how you store it

Fresh wasabi has the shortest shelf life, according to Eat by Date. It will last about a day or two before it turns mushy and it's time to bid it adieu. Wasabi paste, sold in a tube, per Lucky Belly, can last up to two years past its sell-by date, but only if it is unopened; however, Eat by Date suggests that a year is the maximum life expectancy for an unopened tube of wasabi regardless if it is stored in the pantry or the refrigerator. If your tube of wasabi is opened, then you need to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for it to last for 12 months. 

The powder, on the other hand, has a much longer shelf life, according to Lucky Belly. They note that it can last in your pantry for three to four years past its expiration date. In contrast, Eat by Date is not as generous with its range. The site shares that wasabi powder also only lasts a year regardless if you store it in your frig or pantry. They also explain that you can generally tell if it's time to throw your wasabi — paste or powder — in the circular by smelling it and looking for any separation of ingredients, change in color, or mold. These are all indicators it's time to toss it.