A Complete Guide to Wagyu Steaks 

Wagyu beef is known as one of the most prized and expensive cuts of beef on the market. It’s renowned for its exceptional marbling, tenderness, and rich flavour, but what really is wagyu beef and why is it so special?  

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about wagyu beef from what makes Wagyu beef special to the reasons behind the high price tag.  

Where Did Wagyu Originate From

Wagyu beef originated in Japan, from a special type of Japanese cow. ‘Wagyu’ translates to Japanese cow, hence the name. The cattle were originally raised in Japan where there are highly strict guidelines farmers need to follow when it comes to the cut, an attribute that has made them some of the best.  

What Makes Wagyu Special

Meticulous breeding practices have led to the development of different strains of Wagyu from four different cows – the Black, Brown, Shorthorn and Polled. The Black Wagyu, also known as the Kuroge is the more commonly seen served in restaurants next to the Brown Wagyu, where the latter two are less common. These breeds have a genetic predisposition to have heavy fat marbling on the inside of their muscle tissue, which is the main feature that makes the taste so unique. Breeds that produce an average piece of steak have a fat cap on its outside, with Wagyu the fat is metabolized internally so it's integrated within the muscle, making the flavour much richer.  

Does Wagyu Only Come from Japan 

Wagyu Beef does not have to be produced in Japan. Though the cattle originate there, many countries have raised the cattle and emulated the Wagyu produced in Japan by cross breed them.

What Makes Wagyu the Best 

The cattle used to make Wagyu are raised in a very different way than regular beef cattle. These cows are looked after extremely well, with their farmers playing close attention to their well-being. They’re fed a gourmet diet of rice straws, grass and grass-based products, which adds to the flavour. They live a longer life than regular cattle, typically around three years as opposed to 15 months this ensures the cow has high levels of fat. They go through a ridging grading process that was developed by the Japanese. They’re graded based on the taste, texture, and colour on a scale from 1-5 with five being the best. Wagyu is so expensive due to these added factors and the extra care taken to ensure these cows produce the best meat.  

What does Wagyu Taste Like 

Wagyu has a distinct melt-in-your mouth texture. With exceptional levels of marbling throughout the cut making it incredibly tender, buttery and juicy. The meat doesn’t need any extensive flavouring as it carries such a distinct flavour by simply adding some salt and pepper and searing in a pan. Read here for the different types of Wagyu we sell and the best ways to cook them.  

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