Saturday, May 9, 2009

Grilled Kobe Style Beef

While visiting a Japanese market in Los Angeles I found some American Kobe Style Beef and decided I needed to try it. I have previously eaten Kobe beef sashimi at Kaikaya-By-The-Sea, an incredible restaurant in Tokyo, but never cooked.
In Japan, Kobe beef is beef from the Tajima cattle, a species of Wagyu cattle, born, fed and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture, with a marbling ratio of 6 or above, a meat quality score of A or B and gross weight of the beef of 470 kg or less. The cattle are fed a beer a day, are massaged daily with sake and are slaughtered in a humane, painless way.

With the increase in popularity of Kobe beef in the United States, Kobe style beef was developed here. Domestically raised Wagyu beef were crossbred with Angus cattle to provide a meat that is less-white, more in keeping with American tastes. The cattle are fed a mixture of corn, alfalfa, barley and wheat straw and it is unclear to me whether they are also fed beer and massaged with sake. The American version is called American Kobe Style Beef, which is what I purchased.

Note that the marbling is incredible, much more than you would find in a typical rib-eye.

In grilling the Wagyu beef, a weird looking blotchy pattern emerged.

I was a little disappointed to find that I could not really distinguish the taste of this from a regular rib-eye steak. I would like to try it again with a larger cut of meat.

In fact, I cooked a buffalo New York cut steak at the same time (a later post) and found that I preferred its taste.


  1. It would be interesting to have a cut of actual Kobe beef to compare. The wagyu that I ate in Japan was always amazing!

  2. Just imagining how much overweight a cow would have to be in orger to get so much fat imbedded into the muscle makes you think that he (she) was one sick bovine. Having never tried it, I guess I have no right to say, but I just could not eat the stuff. That does not apply to anything else you have made, Bob!

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