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A small food grater, commonly used to grate wasabi root or daikon radish.

Oroshigane is a specialty Japanese food grater. It’s used often for wasabi, daikon, horseradish, mountain yam, and ginger, among other ingredients.

Unlike the customary design of Western graters, the “teeth” of oroshigane are much smaller and more concentrated. The end result is a much finer grating instead of the bigger food strands that come out of a Western grater design. For example, real wasabi (as opposed to the imitation wasabi we usually encounter in the US) is grated very shortly before consumption with an oroshigane, where the wasabi root ends up looking less like it’s been “grated,” and more like a finely textured paste.

Depending on the usage and the expense, oroshigane can come in metal — usually steel or tin-copper — wood, ceramic, plastic, or even shark skin. Along with the grating teeth, they also often have a well to collect the shavings.

Uwajimaya carries oroshigane in our kitchen and appliances department alongside other cookware and utensils.