A5 Wagyu beef is the real thing: exceedingly hard-to-find Wagyu beef from Japan. More specifically, it is the Black Kuroge breed of Wagyu cattle, raised in the Miyazaki Prefecture. This is regarded as the finest of Japanese beef, even more so than beef from the Kobe region.
And at the top of the finest is A5 Wagyu, the highest possible ranking in the strict Japanese scoring system.
A5 means the ultimate in excellence; beef scored for yield and quality, then within quality, specifics like: color and brightness, firmness and texture, color, luster and quality of fat. Less than 3% of all the Wagyu produced in Japan scores that high.
There is nothing that can touch this beef for flavor and tenderness. You could say that it is the ultimate beef. For the home cook who has tried the best of everything, this Wagyu beef striploin sets a new bar.
Please read the tips tab for cooking recommendations. Wagyu beef this fine needs special care.
Just the facts
- Authentic, native-breed Japanese Kuroge cattle
- No antibiotics or hormones
- Top-scoring A5 graded, the highest possible Japanese beef ranking
- Graded by third party auditor using BMS scoring system
- Ships in an uncooked state
- Product of Japan
- For best taste on fresh products, use or freeze within 3-5 days of receipt; for frozen products, use within 1-2 days after thawing
A network of farmers in the Miyazaki Prefecture raise the Kuroge cattle to exacting specifications and take the concept of “small farm” to the extreme. Many raise only four Wagyu cattle at a time, which means the cattle receive a lot of attention and personalized care. Like many things in Japan, this process has been taken to the level of art.
The Kuroge breed cattle are humanely-raised for more than two years, on grass and then in the traditional Japanese fashion: on a proprietary diet devised by the individual farmers, with incremental amounts of barley, vegetables, greens and silage. The diet builds on the breed’s natural propensity to exquisite and abundant marbling.
The farmers provide a stress-free environment, and never use antibiotics, hormones or growth stimulants.
Whatever you do, never overcook this Wagyu beef. Keep it rare, or you lose too much of the precious fat.
The serving size for Wagyu beef this rich is 3 - 4 ounces; think of it as the beef equivalent of foie gras. So you will not be enjoying a 24-ounce Wagyu steak. This piece of beef can serve 30 people; to serve only a few, cut off a 16-ounce steak.
Before cooking, allow the steak to come to room temperature, causing the fine network of fat to warm up. You will be searing it for such a short time that some of the fat might still be cold if you do not take this step.
Heat a cast iron skillet or grill to the highest possible level. The hottest you have ever heated a skillet would be almost hot enough. Season the steak simply with salt and pepper, in order to allow the extraordinary flavor to shine. Sear the Wagyu for a very short time on each side. Keep in mind that you can lose 20% of the weight while searing, much like foie gras.
Let it rest a moment (it’s still virtually raw inside, so not too long), and then cut into serving portions of 3 - 4 ounces each.
You could also cut a half-inch thick steak, and char the exterior of the beef with a torch, leaving the inside rare.
Many chefs cut A5 Wagyu into carpaccio and serve it raw. For the beef to be cut wafer thin requires that it be very cold before you slice it. Chefs often freeze it for a short time to ensure the desired carpaccio thinness.
If you are not serving the entire striploin at one dinner and want to store the rest of it, then cut it into several 16-ounce portions. You must vacuum seal – oxidation is the enemy of fat – and then freeze the steaks. Because there is so much fat, Wagyu will freeze nicely and be ready for another special occasion.