Wasabi Scoville: How Spicy is Wasabi? (Explained!) (2023)

Wasabi is one of the world's best-known spicy ingredients. But how hot is it really? Read!

How hot is the wasabi?We can compare wasabi pepper with 1,000 Scoville units. But the taste is more refined. Wasabi's spiciness is caused by a different compound than chili peppers and lasts for a shorter time. Also, real wasabi has more umami than spice.

If you want to know how wasabi compares to pepper and more, keep reading.

  1. How many Scovilles does wasabi have?
  2. How spicy is wasabi?
  3. Why is wasabi spicy?
  4. How hot is wasabi compared to hot peppers?
  5. Is wasabi hotter than habanero?
  6. Is wasabi hotter than jalapeno?
  7. Wasabi hotter than Carolina Reaper?
  8. Is wasabi hotter than a ghost pepper?
  9. Is wasabi hotter than pepper?
  10. What is spicier, wasabi or sriracha?
  11. Is wasabi hotter than horseradish?
  12. Why are some wasabi hotter than others?
  13. Summary
  14. Resources
Wasabi Scoville: How Spicy is Wasabi? (Explained!) (1)

How many Scovilles does wasabi have?

There is an old myth that wasabi is hotter than pepper.

The truth is that there is no such thing as Scoville wasabi, because wasabi is not pepper and does not have capsaicin. But we can make comparisons based on our tastes. In this case, the heat level of wasabi is comparable to peppers that have 1000 Scoville Units or less.

The technical definition ofscoville unitsis the amount ofcapsaicin(the spicy chemical in peppers) inside the pepper. And wasabi doesn't have capsaicin.

Wasabia japonica (the scientific name for this spicy root vegetable) is in the same family as mustard, cabbage, and horseradish.

(Video) The Truth About Wasabi - Speaking of Chemistry

What is the temperature of the wasabi paste in Scoville units?

The theory for wasabi paste is that it is comparable to 1,000 Scoville Unit peppers like pepperoncini, anaheim, or poblano. But we can't be sure since we can't use Scoville units for wasabi hotness.

How spicy is wasabi?

The heat you feel from wasabi is caused by a different compound than the heat from peppers and doesn't last as long. Plus, real wasabi has more umami than spice, which evens out the flavor profile even more.

It also means that if you're used to eating spicy food, you probably don't have to worry about the wasabi overpowering you.

If you've tried eating hot peppers raw and without ill effects, it's unlikely that even a heavy dose of wasabi would exceed your tolerance.

Why is wasabi spicy?

The main reason that wasabi is spicy is due to a chemical calledallyl isothiocyanate. This chemical compound plays a role in the defense mechanism of many plants, and is also responsible for the spiciness of mustard, cabbage, and horseradish.

The strong taste is suspected to be an evolutionary defense mechanism to repel animals.

A strong flavor would make the plant less attractive to animals, so they would move on to other food sources.

(Video) Why Does Wasabi Burn Your Nose?

How hot is wasabi compared to hot peppers?

If you've ever tasted wasabi and felt aburning sensation in the nose, you probably had the wrong idea that it was as hot as pepper. You can also compare it to chili, sriracha, or habanero.

That is not true. Wasabi has nothing on any of these hot seasonings. It is actually very mild compared to chili based spices and sauces. But beware: its effects can be more powerful than you think!

Is wasabi hotter than habanero?

The short answer: no, wasabi is not hotter than a habanero. Habanero peppers are between 100 and 350 times hotter than wasabi on the Scoville scale. Wasabi has a tangy flavor, but it's not necessarily hot like habanero peppers.

The heat of peppers comes from a chemical compound calledcapsaicin. Wasabi's heat comes from a different chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC).

If you've ever been to a sushi restaurant that served fresh wasabi and ginger, you may have noticed the difference in the effects of both foods on your mouth: while spicy food makes you cry, wasabi makes your sinuses sore. swarm

Is wasabi hotter than jalapeno?

No, wasabi ranks way below jalapeno on the Scoville scale. Jalapenos typically have between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), while wasabi is comparable to 1,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Of course, it all depends on where you eat your wasabi. If you think your sushi restaurant has a particularly potent green paste called wasabi, try ordering some sushi with real Japanese horseradish and see if it hits harder.

Wasabi hotter than Carolina Reaper?

No, wasabi's heat pales in comparison to Carolina Reaper. The average Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) for wasabi is just 1,000. The Carolina Reaper has an average SHU of 1,641,000—that's 1,641 times hotter than wasabi!

And if you thought that meant wasabi wouldn't do much in the way of flavor or heat because it can't compete with peppers like the Carolina Reaper and ghost pepper, think again.

(Video) Comparison: Spiciest Things

Wasabi packs a punch with its strong, spicy flavor, making itperfect for sushiand other dishes to which you want to add an extra touch.

Is wasabi hotter than a ghost pepper?

No, wasabi isn't as hot as a ghost pepper. Wasabi compares to around 1,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), while ghost peppers clock in at over 1 million SHU! That's 1000 times hotter than wasabi!

Wasabi also has a short heat duration that doesn't compare to the burning sensation time caused by the capsaicin in chili peppers.

Is wasabi hotter than pepper?

No, wasabi is not as hot as chili. Wasabi typically measures around 1000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). By comparison, the average bell pepper measures around 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. So while wasabi may have a strong flavor, it doesn't have the same level of heat as chili.

Then you also have extreme peppers that can measure up to 2 million SHU! These include the Carolina Reaper and the Ghost Pepper. On balance, wasabi is really mild compared to most chili peppers.

What is spicier, wasabi or sriracha?

Many are surprised to learn that wasabi actually isn't that spicy, and in fact, there are several more common foods that pack a bigger punch.

For example, Sriracha has a Scoville rating ranging from 1,000 to 2,500. Meanwhile, wasabi can be compared to 1,000 Scoville units. This means that sriracha is slightly spicier than wasabi.

While wasabi might not be the best there is, it's still a powerful flavor that can really add pizzazz to your meal. So if you're looking to add some heat to your next meal, reach out for wasabi!

Is wasabi hotter than horseradish?

Well, it's a little more complicated than that.

(Video) The science of spiciness - Rose Eveleth

The paste you find at most sushi restaurants is not made from actual wasabi, but from horseradish mixed with mustard andgreen food coloring. So if you were to taste horseradish and wasabi at the same time, horseradish would definitely be spicier than wasabi.

True wasabi is the rhizome of a plant grown in Japan and China (it can also be grown in other regions with the right environment). If you've ever eaten real wasabi, you know it has an earthier flavor and a much more moderate heat level.

Wasabi Scoville: How Spicy is Wasabi? (Explained!) (2)

Why are some wasabi hotter than others?

There are several factors that affect the taste of wasabi. They include:

  • The quality of the ingredients used.
  • How fresh are the ingredients?
  • Wasabi Plant Growing Conditions
  • The freshness of the wasabi paste itself
  • Amount of wasabi used in a dish
  • What is it mixed with (if any)
  • how longstored before use/eat

All of these factors can affect the overall heat level of the wasabi paste, so it's hard to give a definitive answer as to why some wasabi pastes are hotter than others.


Wasabi is relatively mild compared to other peppers. It's hard to compare since we can't use the Scoville scale for wasabi since wasabi doesn't have capsaicin. Also, most of the wasabi consumed in the United States is not actual wasabi, but rather horseradish mixed with other ingredients.


  • Wasabi is hot to taste?
  • Why is Wasabi burning my brain??
  • How much Wasabi is too much??
  • Wasabi can kill you?


Image Credits – Canva


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