Kobe Beef

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Food For Thought -

From the hum­ble An­gus steak to the up­per end of the spec­trum of Korean Han­woo and Ja­pan’s ever fa­mous Wagyu, beef can run the gamut of af­ford­abil­ity all the way to be­ing some of the most val­ued cuts of meats in the world. And no other type of beef comes close to that of Kobe beef. WHAT? Kobe beef is the meat from a spe­cific breed of Ja­panese Wagyu cat­tle, called Ta­jima-gyu. It is known for hav­ing the best mar­bling in any cut of steak the world over, due to the rig­or­ous care that is taken with the way Ta­jima-gyu is raised. Fat found in Wagyu beef, in gen­eral, melts at a lower tem­per­a­ture than con­ven­tional beef which gives it a richer, more but­tery flavour pro­file, while at the same time be­ing rich in un­sat­u­rated fatty acids like oleic acids which makes it health­ier too. WHY? Like most other ex­pen­sive foods, ex­clu­siv­ity makes Kobe the most ex­pen­sive beef on the global mar­ket. In Ja­pan, Kobe beef is a reg­is­tered trade­mark of the Kobe Beef Mar­ket­ing and Dis­tri­bu­tion Pro­mo­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, who hire seven strin­gent rules in clas­si­fy­ing Kobe beef. Kobe beef must be Ta­jima-gyu cat­tle that are born, raised and pro­cessed in Hyogo pre­fec­ture with a mar­bling rat­ing of 6 or higher on a 12-point scale, meat qual­ity rat­ing of 4 or higher on a 5-point scale com­ing from a steer or cow weigh­ing a max­i­mum of 470 kilo­grams. Th­ese strict stan­dards mean that only about 3,000 cat­tle qual­ify as Kobe beef per year, push­ing prices of this premium beef even higher. WHERE? Ta­jima-gyu cat­tle are found in Hyogo pre­fec­ture, the cap­i­tal of which is Kobe hence the name of the beef, and Hyogo is the only place that breed authen­tic Kobe beef cat­tle. Wagyu strain cat­tle that are born and raised in farms else­where in Ja­pan or around the globe can­not be called Kobe beef due to the geo­graph­i­cal dif­fer­ence. Some butch­ers will claim to sell Kobestyle beef, but it might not al­ways be the case as only a small num­ber of th­ese prized beef are ex­ported to a few se­lect buy­ers around the globe. For guar­an­teed au­then­tic­ity, Kobe beef should be sam­pled in Kobe city. HOW MUCH? One kilo­gram of frozen A5 grade Kobe beef sir­loin can set you back JPY49,000 or about USD430. An A5 grade Kobe beef sir­loin steak din­ner set at the reser­va­tion-re­quired Mouriya restau­rant will cost you up­wards of JPY16,200.

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