The world of graters has changed a lot since the rusty box grater my mother used. Now there are so many styles, you could have a whole drawer full of them and still not own every possibility.
The Japanese grater from Chubo Knives ($49) is different from the usual American-style grater. Instead of the grated material falling through holes in the grater, with a Japanese grater, called oroshigane, the grated material stays on top. This type of grater is designed for grating wasabi or ginger, but it works just fine for any vegetable with a similar texture, like garlic, horseradish, or even carrots.
Chubo's grater is two-sided. The finer teeth on one side reduce the grated vegetables to what's nearly a smooth purée. The slightly larger teeth leave just a little more texture.
While a sharkskin grater is more old-school for grating wasabi, the nice thing about this grater is that since it's made from stainless steel (the product description says it's aluminum, but the one I received was stainless), it can be cleaned in a dishwasher. Even on the fine grating side it pretty much rinsed clean, so I wasn't picking bits of things out of the teeny, sharp teeth.
I don't know if I'll ever need to grate fresh wasabi, but ginger, garlic, and radishes, and onions are a lot more likely.
This grater is made in Japan and the one I recieved was shipped directly from there. While the packaging looked cool, the downside was that everything was written in Japanese. Then again, I can't imagine there was any critical information there—I mean, it's a grater, so it's not too complicated.
Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.
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