Wagyu literally means Japanese cow, wa refers to the country of Japan and gyu to the cow. It is not just ordinary Japanese meat: wagyu is extremely tender and is famous for its buttery structure. The wagyu meat is classified in 12 classifications. They have been set by the Japanese Marbling Standard.
A unique story
Few types of meat are able to tickle the imagination like Wagyu. Some anecdotes have developed into legends of truly imperial proportions. The cattle drank beer and were massaged by geishas. After this, the farmers rubbed the cows’ backs with sake. In short, the Wagyu cattle were thoroughly pampered. No effort was too great, as long as it resulted in a nice piece of beef with a fine marbling of gossamer veins of fat. However, these and other stories are only partly true and have led to many misunderstandings about this meat.
In the past, when the Japanese elite occasionally ate a piece of meat, this would come from the cattle currently known by the name Wagyu. The cattle would work in the rice fields pulling the plough. The Wagyu were exceptionally suited for this strenuous work because they were able to quickly convert fat into energy, thanks to the effective distribution of their intramuscular fat. In the mid-20th century, Japan wanted to produce domestic meat that was superior to foreign products. The ability to distribute numerous veins of fat throughout the muscle tissue offered particularly good opportunities for improvements in the breed. Sophisticated breeding programs and feeding schemes produced excellent results. Would you like to experience this unique meat? Book a table at Teppanyaki Restaurant Sazanka.
Wagyu steak with vegetables at home
The Sazanka chefs share a delicious Japanese grill recipe with you. Give it a try and explore the magic of teppanyaki at home.
4 wagyu sirloin steaks (200 g each)
200 g bean sprouts
120 g Chinese broccoli
7 cloves garlic, finely sliced
Salt and pepper
Brandy to flambé
The oil used for cooking on the griddle is sunflower oil. Do not use olive oil – it is too volatile, and has too strong a flavour. The griddle should always be oiled lightly before cooking starts.
This dish requires an oak fermented dry wine; full and smooth with warm spicy hints (cinnamon, cloves). A glass of Nine Popes, Ch. Milton, Barossa Valley, South Australia complements the scent and flavour of the wagyu steak.
Before you start
The wagyu steaks should stand at room temperature for at least half an hour before you cook them.
1. Toss-fry the Chinese broccoli and bean sprouts together in a shallow pool of oil on the teppan griddle, at high heat. After a few seconds, move the bean sprouts to a cooler part of the plate. Cover the Chinese broccoli and allow to steam, at medium-high heat.
2. Fry the finely sliced garlic in a shallow pool of oil at medium heat, until crisp and golden brown. Take care not to burn it. Remove from the oil and keep to one side.
3. Cut off the fatty ends of the steaks, and chop the fat into tiny cubes (less than 5 mm across), while still on the griddle. Fry them at high heat until crisp. Remove to one side and keep warm. Just before serving, sprinkle the cubes with a little garlic-soy sauce.
4. Fry the wagyu steaks at high heat in the remaining oil, searing one side and seasoning with salt and pepper.
5. The outside of the wagyu steak should have a crisp, char-grilled brown appearance, while the inside should remain pink and juicy. When the steaks are crisp and brown underneath, turn them over. When both sides are crisp and brown, warm a little brandy in a saucepan and flambé the steaks.
6. Cut the steaks into cubes and serve with the vegetables, crispy fried wagyu fat and garlic on the side.
Exclusive import contract
Nice to Meat has been importing the highest quality of Wagyu meat from North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand for years. Thanks to an exclusive import contract, Nice to Meat is now licensed to import and sell Wagyu directly from Japan.