Have you ever had Wagyu (Japanese beef)?
Among beef that is evaluated as the king of meat, Wagyu is drawing attentions from all over the world for its high quality.
Marbled Wagyu beef with wonderful flavor and melting texture is preserved as beef carcass during ripening period before served.
Matsuzaka beef is especially renowned. The Matsuzaka beef competitive exhibition is held every year and the auction after competitive exhibition is often featured in news. “Yoshitoyogo”, which won the 53rd top honor, was auctioned for 50 million dollars. It could be the best beef in the world.
This time we would like to introduce “Teppanyaki”, one of the best ways to eat Wagyu.
What is Teppanyaki?
Teppanyaki is a cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook ingredients such as meat, vegetables and seafood. It is seen everywhere in Japan from East side to West side. The representative Teppanyaki food in Eastern regions can be Okonomiyaki and Hiroshimayaki (from Osaki and Hiroshima respectively), and that of Western regions can be Monjayaki (from Tsukishima). In Hokkaido, Seafood Teppanyaki such as scallops is popular. Also, Yakisoba is one of representative Teppanyaki food.
These days there are more and more expensive Teppanyaki restaurants serving top quality. So the new Teppanyaki culture has taken root, which is sort of different from the one that is familiar to general public. Wagyu is the main ingredient of new expensive Teppanyaki.
Brands of Wagyu
There are lots of brands for Wagyu. Below are the representatives.
Needless to say, Matsuzaka beef in Mie is well known. They are undelivered cows that are all registered and managed in the Matsuzaka Cow Identification System. They feature tender meat and good-quality fat, used for steak and Sukiyaki.
Hida beef is a brand in Gifu. Among cows raised for over 14 months by the farmers who are registered in the Hida Beef Promotion Council, only high-grade cows can get an honor of this brand.
Maezawa beef is a brand in Iwate, raised for over a year by farmer living in Maezewa ward. Only cows confirmed birthplace with official certificates can get an honor of this brand. The cows are closely managed, and yield grades and quality standards are strictly stipulated.
Saga beef is a brand in Saga, high quality Japanese beef raised by JA group farmers in Saga. Quality standards and fat ratio are strictly defined.
Sendai beef is a brand in Miyagi, individually managed by certificated farmers. Among Japanese black beef, only high-grade beef can get an honor of this brand.
Oumi beef is a brand in Shiga. High quality cows and rated castrated bulls are certified for this brand.
Yonezawa beef is a brand in Yamagata, raised for more 32 months by the farmers certificated by Yonezawa Beef Brand Promotion Council.
Kobe beef is a brand in Hyogo. Only stallions that are raised by Kobe Beef Promotion Council and meet the strict requirements can get an honor of tis brand.
How to Enjoy Teppanyaki
Not only to eat, but Teppanyaki is also fun to see while chefs are cooking. Seeing juicy meat being grilled will appetize anyone.
Wagyu steak is good for simply savoring with salt and pepper, but having horseradish as garnish is even better. Also, you can make sauce by adding red wine, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to residual fat in the pan.
At professional Teppanyaki restaurants, thick grill pan, carving knives or carving forks are usually used. Mac carving knives are highly recommended. They have excellent sharpness and thin blades, ideal for cutting steak or roasted beef. One of the best parts of Teppanyaki is skilled chef’s performance to use these tools. With these tools, you can enjoy authentic Teppanyaki even at home.
The carving fork in the picture above is from TOJIRO. TOJIRO knives are highly recommended for their luxurious design and professional functions.