I love fresh wasabi.

Many years ago, I had a Japanese girlfriend whose father was a keen amateur fisherman, in the Kansai region of Japan. He used to go on all-nighter sea fishing trips and bring back the most amazing fish I had never seen, let alone tasted (many of the species don’t live in European waters).

Once, Sadanobu san arrived home triumphantly announcing that he had found some wild wasabi. This only grows in certain mountain streams, in just the right conditions of shade and water flow etc. Because it’s so hard to come by, it’s rare to find even in Japanese restaurants — typically it’s reserved for the top-end Tokyo sushi bars.

We ate it for breakfast! With tempura, but also just on its own. The flavour was indescribably good — powerfully spicy, but with delicate, sweet notes.

I like to think I can still taste it, 10 years on.