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Horseradish is commonly used at the seder. Wikipedia explains that wasabi is a different plant than horseradish, though from the same general family.

Can one use wasabi? If so, must it be used only in its plant form or can one mix wasabi powder with water (before Shabbat, this year) and use that, similar to what sushi places serve?

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    How do they make the powder? Is the wasabi processed at all? The maror cannot be cooked/steamed/boiled but it (if it's a stem) can be dried (Mishna Pesachim 2:6). Just eat the powder! – Double AA Mar 11 '15 at 19:59
  • @DoubleAA - good point. Perhaps, there's a separate question is who "diluted" it is allowed to be if I mix the powder with water. It's not cooked, then. – DanF Mar 11 '15 at 20:01
  • Apparently wasabi "roots" are actually stems so they might actually be kosher to use, as plant roots cannot be used for Maror (ShA OC 473:5). – Double AA Mar 11 '15 at 20:04
  • In any case, you have to make sure to eat the full shiur of maror. Since people are generally strict about the requirements to fulfill the obligation on seder night, It's hard to reach the shiur using anything other than lettuce. – Daniel Mar 11 '15 at 20:04
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    Most likely any Wasabi you will ever eat in your life is actually horseradish. Even in Japan.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/50329/… – user6591 Mar 11 '15 at 20:04
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Horseradish has the weight of Ashkenazic tradition behind it, but botanists would tell you the Gemara seemed to have intended members of the lettuce/endive/chicory/dandelion family.

Rabbi Hershel Welcher, head of the Vaad of Queens, told me he uses "lettuce, plus a little horseradish for tradition's sake. (That's "sake"-rhymes-with-bake, not rice-wine.)

Wasabi has neither tradition nor textual/scientific support, so I'd advise against it. Not to mention the questions of its preparation.

  • Wasabi "root" is definitely to be preferred over horseradish root, at least, since it's technically a stem. Lechatchila of course you use lettuce. I assume the OP is asking in a somewhat bedieved situation. – Double AA Mar 11 '15 at 20:54
  • @DoubleAA Is it preferred? If there are no opinions that place it in any of the maror categories listed by Chazal, then there is no סמך on which to say you are fulfilling this d'rabbanan at all. Refer to our conversation and my comments here and here, that the type of root eaten for horseradish may be fine... – Fred Mar 11 '15 at 21:07
  • @DoubleAA ...qua roots (and also presumably according to the Hagahos Maimoniyos and the acharonim who follow his identification). Also, I'd think Rabbeinu Tam could also be read as referring to stringy roots as the problem. – Fred Mar 11 '15 at 21:09
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    @Fred A) It may be closely enough related to horseradish, species-wise. B) Some Rishonim permit any bitter vegetable and Rama says to do so when stuck (see MB 473:46) albeit without a bracha, but who can reasonably say a Bracha on horseradish-root anyway? That would be relying on multiple minority opinions together without an old minhag: even the Magen Avraham who defends the 'stringy' thing said they used the leaves for the bracha. – Double AA Mar 11 '15 at 21:10
  • @DoubleAA A) Whether that is true is very material to this question, I think. B) You are right, except it has to fit certain criteria to fit into Chazal's umbrella category for maror. If it does seem to meet those criteria, then you are right that there is a semech for using it (though the MB still says to omit the blessing in that case). Does wasabi meet those criteria? (I don't really know. I haven't looked into it). As far as a b'racha on horseradish, I would say CYLOR (though I'd guess there are reasonable LORs who would say yes). – Fred Mar 11 '15 at 21:16

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