Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

23.11.06

Wagyu: don't order it lean or well-done.

Wagyu is everywhere, like Bert Newton. But unlike Bert, Wagyu is often mistaken.

Wagyu is the breed. It can be bred anywhere. Kobe Wagyu is Wagyu bred to Kobe specifications, but I understand it can be bred and grown anywhere in the world and then shipped back to Japan for preparation to Kobe standards and then re-shipped. So if you are eating genuine Kobe Wagyu, it may be very a well-travelled cow.

Ed Charles in The Australian takes an appetising look at preparing Wagyu in various cuts at Jamon Sushi in South Yarra:

Our first taste is a tartare of chopped fillet sitting on top of an upturned shiitake mushroom. Easy. The next dish is more of a challenge: cooked tongue cut from the tip as well as a slice from further down the organ. Generally, wagyu doesn't taste beefy, yet the firm tongue tip is just that. The other cut is softer. We are also given chunks of muscle from the tongue's root, which has the texture of leftover roast beef.

Bit of a change from the jellied tongue sandwiches of childhood. Then:

Time for chuck steak, but not in a stew, as you might expect. Greenfield painstakingly slices this cut raw with his handmade Japanese knife. The fat protecting the meat is already melting under the blade. What's amazing is that Greenfield serves the raw meat nigiri-style: in other words, he simply tops a warm, sticky football-shaped clump of rice with a slice of the meat ... The meat shines: it has an appearance and texture like tuna.

Don't try that with your $6.99 chuck steak.

2 comments:

Sara said...

The wagyu on the rice sounds delicious, I'd try that in a second.

kitchen hand said...

I'm going to try cooking it, Sara. Not that it needs a lot of cooking.