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How to Cook Wagyu Steak to Perfection

Brian Kennett

Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Foodie Extraordinaire

Wagyu Beef: A Cut Above The Rest

Wagyu Beef: A Cut Above The Rest. This is going to be a belter!!! How can you ignore a blog review about Wagyu beef you just can’t. It is simply the best beef on the planet, in my humble opinion. In this blog we’ll be sharing a number of recipes to ensure you can learn how to cook Wagyu steak to perfection. We call it Pink2Pink Perfection at ISLIFEARECIPE and we prefer the reverse-searing technique. But first let’s understand some of the detail behind this beef that is fit for a King.

Its origins start in Japan but other countries like Australia and the USA are fast catching up. But never forget the heritage of Japan, because that is still the hallmark of quality Wagyu Beef, especially when you start playing with the likes of Hokkaido Snow Beef and Kobe beef. Woof!!!

We have eaten and cooked so much Wagyu Beef, because it is the premium meat and the mecca for beef lovers, the must try. We have fried it, grilled it, dry-aged it, oven-baked it, BBQ’d it, salt-baked it and even Koji Rice dry-aged it. It really is so very versatile.

The Australian Farms of Blackmore Wagyu and Stone Axe Wagyu are trying to catch up, but will never match the heady heights of Japanese Wagyu in my humble opinion. Both Australian Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu Beef are readily available now in many butchers & grocery stores in Singapore. We get almost all of our high end Wagyu Beef from Butcher Box.

Wagyu Cow

What are the Wagyu Beef Gradings mean?

When it comes to Wagyu steak, many people would wonder what the difference is between a regular and an A5 Wagyu beef. A5 beef’s marbling, or intramuscular fat, is what sets it apart from other breeds and makes it so desirable and pricey. In addition to being rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, the lipids found in Wagyu beef are also unsaturated.

A fascinating tidbit is that Wagyu fat melts at a lower temperature compared to others, therefore it has a rich and buttery flavour. When cooking it also means you don’t need to add any cooking oil, you can dry fry, bake, grill this bad-boy of meats.

When you buy your Wagyu beef, I recommend only seasoning it with Sea Salt and Kampot cracked black pepper to bring out the true flavour of the meat. That’s all you need.

Wagyu Beef A5

You may be surprised to learn that each variety of beef has a distinct grade attached to it.

The way Wagyu beef is graded varies from place to country. However, despite the fact that they score differently, the quality of beef they seek remains the same.

Japanese Wagyu beef is graded from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest, according to the Japanese Wagyu beef grading system. A is above average, B is average, and C is below average in terms of yield. Marbling refers to the marble-like pattern created by the beef’s intramuscular fat. As a result, the marbling and colouring of the beef are used to determine its grade. 

Japanese Wagyu Beef Grading Chart

Wagyu Beef Grading Chart

Australian Wagyu Rating Chart

Australian Wagyu beef is one of the world’s largest producers and utilizes its own grading scale, the AUS-MEAT marbling system. 0 is the least marbling, while 9+ is the most marbling, and the highest rating. In other words, an Australian Wagyu BMS 5 is equivalent to a Japanese Wagyu BMS 5, as the two countries use the same grading system. When it comes to the Australian system, grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 are all rated 9+.

Australian Wagyu Rating

 How to Cook Wagyu Steak to Perfection

Wagyu beef is a type of beef that is known for its intense marbling and flavour. It is said that Wagyu beef is the best beef in the world. In this post, we will show you how to cook wagyu steak to perfection. Pink2Pink Perfection!!!

How to prepare wagyu steak?

Wagyu beef is very tender and has a very unique flavour. It is usually cooked very slowly over a very low heat so that the beef can retain its moisture and flavour. There are many different ways to cook Wagyu steak and I’d suggest you make a choice based on the thickness of the steak;

How to cook a 1″ thick Wagyu steak?

  1. Preheat your grill fry-pan or skillet pan to a high heat
  2. Bring your steak from the fridge and get it to room temperature
  3. Season your steak with sea salt and Kampot cracked black pepper
  4. Sear your Wagyu in the preheated pan for 1-2 minutes on each surface, before moving to moderate heat to finish cooking by turning continuously to your doneness
  5. If you’re cooking a thin steak, this means turning down the heat
  6. If you’re roasting or cooking a thick steak, this means put the Wagyu in the oven
  7. You can also reverse-sear by placing it in the oven at 90 degrees until it reaches your doneness and then charring it n a skillet or on the BBQ 
  8. Get a thermometer to keep you honest – you want the inner core temperature to be 57 degrees C for a PERFECT Pink2Pink medium-rare

Sea salt, cracked black pepper heat and wagyu fat equals crispy and delicious. Fat = Flavour.

If you want to really get unctuous and umami you can finish off the searing in some butter, perhaps with a little fresh thyme. Being a Wagyu purist though, it is salt & pepper only all the way for me…

Frequently asked questions about Wagyu Beef answered by ISLIFEARECIPE-dia...

Wagyu (和牛, Wagyū, lit. ’Japanese cattle’) is any of the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle that make up the Wagyu breed. Wagyu beef is delivered with regional names in various parts of Japan.

A few examples are Matsusaka and Kobe beef, as well as Yonezawa and Mishima meat.

Wagyu beef’s fat content has grown in recent years due to a decrease in pasture and an increase in the use of feed, which has resulted in larger, fatter cattle.

Wagyu comes in four varieties:

  1. Japanese Black (黒毛和種, Kuroge Washu)
  2. Japanese Polled (無角和種, Mukaku Washu)
  3. Japanese Brown (褐毛和種, Akage Washu or Akaushi)
  4. Japanese Shorthorn (日本短角和種, Nihon Tankaku Washu).

90% of Japan’s fattened cattle are Japanese Black. Tottori, Tajima, Shimane, and Okayama are all varieties of Japanese Black. The other major breed is Japanese Brown, commonly referred to as Japanese Red, and includes the Kochi and Kumamoto strains. In Japan, the Japanese Shorthorn represents fewer than 1% of the total cow population.

Australia’s Wagyu Association is the world’s biggest Wagyu breed organization outside of Japan.

For home and international markets, both full-blood and Wagyu-cross cattle are raised in Australia. These cattle are farmed for both domestic and international markets in countries such as the United States and Taiwan. Grain is fed to Australian Wagyu cattle for the latter 300–500 days of their lives. Wagyu reared in Western Australia’s Margaret River region typically receive red wine as part of their diet, too.

Famous Australian Wagyu Farms would be StoneAxe and Blackmore. Both of which you can buy here in Singapore.

Some Japanese Wagyu cattle are crossed with Aberdeen Angus cattle in the United States. American Style Kobe Beef, or “Wangus,” is the term given to this crossbreed, but many American sellers incorrectly refer to it as Wagyu. In 2012, the National Western Stock Show in Denver hosted the first ever Wagyu competition. Other American Wagyu producers have full-blooded animals that are registered with the American Wagyu Association and directly inherited from original Japanese bloodlines.

North Yorkshire welcomed a herd of Wagyu cattle in 2008, and the first crop was harvested in 2011. Wagyu herds have been established in Scotland since 2011. In July 2014, the Wagyu Breeders Association Ltd. was formed.

Wagyu is a Japanese beef that is very expensive. There are quite a places where you can buy it in Singapore due t its popularity.. The best place to buy Wagyu is at a Japanese steakhouse and we have detailed a number of restaurants in Singapore where you can dine on the delicious meat.

You can also find it at some high-end grocery stores & butchers such as;

  1. Butcher Box on Joo Chiat Road
  2. New Zealand Fresh 
  3. Meat Collective 
  4. Foodie Marketplace
  5. Yakiniki Plaza
  6. Shinsen Online Grocer

Wagyu is a Japanese beef that is considered to be some of the best in the world. Wagyu is expensive because it is very rare and high-quality meat, and it takes a lot of time and effort to produce it. Wagyu is raised in Japan, where it is typically fed grass and hay rather than grains, which gives it a unique flavour and texture.

Wagyu is a high-quality beef that comes from the Japanese Black cattle breed. It is typically much more expensive than other beef options, but it is also some of the most tender and flavourful meat you can buy.

In Singapore, an A5 Kobe Beef Super Premium Steak (Sirloin or Ribeye) with the perfect distribution of meat and fat, it simply melts in your mouth, will set you back about $50 for 100g. But it’s definitely worth the splurge

Wagyu (Japanese for “Japanese cow”) is a Japanese breed of beef cattle that are considered to be some of the best in the world. Wagyu cattle are raised in Japan, but they can also be found in other countries, such as the United States, Australia, and Argentina. Wagyu cattle are raised in very specific conditions, and they are not raised for slaughter.

What is the difference between wagyu and other beef? Wagyu is a very high-quality beef that is known for its intense marbling and flavor. Wagyu is different from other beef in that it is not raised for slaughter. Wagyu cattle are raised in very specific conditions, and they are not used for milk or meat production.

Wagyu beef suppliers would like you to assume that Wagyu is healthy because it contains more monounsaturated fats than normal beef. At this point in time, it is only an assumption and has yet to be proven. If you are suffering from high cholesterol, it is still better for you to eat fish (eg, Salmon, Mackerel, sardines) which is high in Omega 3 fatty acids rather than a Wagyu Steak. There is just not enough evidence to advise people to eat more Wagyu beef in order to lower cholesterol levels. Oh how I wish there was! That would be a piece of dietary advise that would be easy for a lot of people to swallow.

I know of one location on the East Coast to buy Halal Wagyu which is at Zac Butchery in Siglap.

How to dry-age Wagyu Beef?

There are a number of ways, but I will share with you tw methods that you can do at home without the need for investing in dry-ageing bags or a $15,000 dry-age fridge. 

  1. Dry-ageing in a wine fridge
  2. Dry-ageing using Koji Rice

Here come the best ISLIFEARECIPE recipes using our favourite ingredient, Wagyu Beef

Stone Axe Wagyu MB9

Stone Axe MB9 – such a simple recipe. Literally steak, sea salt, cracked black pepper, pan and flaming torch. 

This is such a beautiful steak and in fact an award-winning steak in Australia for the Wagyu quality. Stone Axe Pastoral Co, a first-time exhibitor, won Australia’s largest Wagyu branded beef competition with a Fullblood Wagyu submission in 2020.

Wagyu Burger Meatball with Mozzarella & Black Truffle

Wagyu Burger Mozzarella Ball ‘w’ Black Truffle – yeah baby bring it on. I used a Butcher Box Wagyu beef burger to create a cricket-ball-sized meatball, stuffed it with cheese and black truffle and oven-roasted t. Best meatballs ever.

 

Port & Garlic Wagyu Short-Rib

Port & Garlic Wagyu Short-Rib – I do these low and slow, like 90 degrees to get to fall-apart and melt-in-the-mouth texture fo the meat. Already pre-marinated from our BFF’s at Butcher Box. Just a slow and low cook and quick flash for charring at the end. Woof!!!

Filipino Bulalo Wagyu Oxtail

8-hour Bulalo, Filipina Soup with Wagyu Oxtail – Filipino comfort food and one of the most gorgeous soups infused with the flavours of the meat as it is slow-cooked for EIGHT HOURS.

8-hour Wagyu Beef Cheeks

8-Hour Wagyu Beef Cheeks – and another follow-on low and slow recipe. This is the very best way to cook Wagyu Beef CHeeks which can be tough and chewy. If you cook them like this recipe you’ll have tender fall-apart meaty goodness.

Japanese Wagyu Wellington with Bacon & Truffle Oil

Japanese Wagyu Beef Wellington with Truffle Oil & Bacon – Decadence on a plate. This is a superb way to ‘cheat’ on making a full-blown Beef Wellington, but without cutting any corners on flavour.

3x Wagyu for the FA Cup

FA Cup BBQ Dinner Wagyu x3 – I knocked this up on the BBQ for my mates at FA Cup Final night. 3 types of Wagyu from skirt so to Sirloin. Nothing more than sea salt & cracked black Kampot pepper and a good BBQ cooking technique for Pink2Pink Perfection x3.

salt-baked wagyu steak

Salt-Baked Wagyu Steak – this does take some time and is a tad ball-ache cooking but well worth it for the outcomes. Look at that Pink2Pink. Quite an incredible outcome from this cooking style. Auto-seasoned and massively umami with Wagyu deep flavour.

wagyu sliders

Wagyu Sliders – Another cracking recipe for the kidlets. From one Wagyu burger from Butcher Box, I made about 3 mini-sliders, cut some circles in bread for buns and added some other yumminess like a fried egg, red onion, and of course cheese. 

Wagyu Meatball Pizza

Wagyu Meatball Pizza – a superb little recipe, and one for the kids to get involved with too. Get them helping prepare this and I guarantee they’ll be wolfing this pizza down.

I made the meatballs from Wagyu Beef Burgers. Genius!!!

wagyu egg-fried rice with black truffle

Wagyu Egg-Fried Rice with Black Truffle – Uncle Roger would be proud of this recipe. S0 delicious and a meal all-in-one. 

I even used the rendered Wagyu beef fat for additional flavour. Umami on steroids.

 

3x wagyu surf & turf

3x Wagyu Surf & Turf

– I love my little Japanese Charcoal BBQ grill. The flavour you get is just so different and especially if you use traditional Japanese Binchotan charcoal. It seems to intensify the beef flavours and adds that touch of smoke and crispy charring. So delicious.

Chef David Pynt's Dry-Aged Blackmore Wagyu

ChillaxBBQ cook Chef Pynt’s dry-aged David Blackmore Wagyu – via our BFF’s at Butcher Box I managed to get my hands on this steak. Dry-aged according to Chef David Pynt’s Burnt Ends design, so a simple trim to prep and cooking it off in the reverse-seared method then charring because this Wagyu steak was THICK!!!

Wagyu Sushi

Wagyu Sushi – So simple but it will get everyone oohig and ahhing I am certain. Steak to medium-rare, seasoned with sea salt and Kampot black pepper, some Wasabi or Horseradish and fragrant Japanese sushi rice.

Incredible best bedfellows when you add them all together in this one-bite dish. Stunner!

And ISLIFEARECIPE's top recommendations of restaurant serving up Wagyu Beef

tippling club koji wagyu

Tippling Club – on Tanjong Pager Road, the home of Chef Ryan Clift who delivered this beauty as part of his 2022 Lunch Tasting Menu. A stunning Wagyu steak that has been dry-aged using Koji rice, served with unctuous jus, spinach and other tasty morsels.

Salted & Hung Grass-Fed King Island RIb OP

Salted & Hung on Purvis Street – Wagyu overload today with Wagyu Pastrami Sandwich, Wagyu Bresaola, and  King Island Grass-Fed Op Ribs. Chef Drew and his nose to tail cooking style is a family favourite, I mean have a look at that plating. How can it not be?

Burnt Ends Wagyu

Burnt Ends @ Dempsey – dry-aged Blackmore MB9 Wagyu from Australia, cooked in those infamous 4-tonne brick ovens and finished off on the Gaucho  Grill to get that charring. Amazing!!!

Tenkaichi Japanese BBQ

Tenkaichi Japanese BBQ – completely by accident we visited this place. Basically we could not find the original restaurant choice we were going for, and spotted all these pictures of Wagyu cuts alluring us to here, and I am so glad we did change plans as this was exceptional Wagyu BBQ.

fat cow wagyu beef

Fat Cow Japanese Restaurant – Deep pockets are needed at Fat Cow as it is up there on the punchy $$$$. But awards and accolades everywhere for bringing in the best graded Wagyu Beef to Singapore and cooking it very simply to retain the focus on the Beef.

J&J Special Beef Noodles Airport Road Hawker

J&J Special Beef Noodles – it doesn’t have to be top-end premium restaurants either, here is Wagyu on offer in a hawker over at Old Airport Road. This guy is a legend. There have been Wagyu Beef stalls in hawkers, but many failed, but this gent has been going for YEARS, due to such a kick-arse soup.

Katsuya @ Katong

Katsuya at Katong – Stop the bus, and stop the bus at Katong. We’ve all had Pork Tonkatsu, right? Well, how about trying that without the pork, but with a big lump of Wagyu A5, coated with super-cripsy breadcrumbs and deep-fried to medium-rare Pink2Pink goodness… WOW!!!

dragon chamber wagyu beef hor fun

Dragon Chamber – amazing #ModSin food including their Wagyu Hor Fun with Black Truffle Cream Sauce. This is an off-the-charts dish. Fall apart meat so very tender and then you get hot with that subtle black truffle sauce with soft & crispy noodles for texture explosions. It is just so damned good.

yun ga korean bbq

Yun Ga Korean BBQ – nestled on the 2nd floor of Katong V Shopping Centre so you won’t be seeing this from the street. We always have the Wagyu set, pig trotters and Iberico pork. You can grill this yourself so can choose the doneness or rely on the ever so helpful serving staff to cook for you. 

El Fuego charcoal grilled angus beef short ribs

El Fuego by Collin’s @ Jewel – Charcoal Grilled Argentine Angus Wagyu  Beef Short Ribs is barmy. Huge portion, so I’d suggest this as a sharing dish for 2-3 easily. They have a monster dry-ageing fridge packed with differing cuts of steaks. Any restaurant with that is a winner in my books.

kyuubei japanese restaurant

Kyuubei Japanese Restaurant @ Changi Village Hotel – Wagyu Niku Sumiyaki is. a crazy good dish, but I think the restaurant might be sadly closed now as the Changi Village Hotel is not taking bookings. Sad affair as this Japanese restaurant was excellent when we dined here during a staycation.

Our conclusions about How to Cook Wagyu Steak to Perfection​

I cannot get enough of it. I love Wagyu and hope one day to cook it for you. Some facts to finish from ISLIFEARECIPE-dia;

  1. Wagyu beef, in its finest form, is only available in Japan and is made up of meat from four different breeds of cattle. Authentic Wagyu Black cattle, brown cattle, Nihon Tanaku cattle, and polled cattle all fall under this category: Kuroge, Aakage, Nihon Tanaku, and Mukaku. It was in the late 1990s that Japan designated Wagyu as one of the country’s national treasures, which meant that the cattle could no longer be exported
  2. Cows raised by Japanese breeders are carefully bred so that their fat deposits are uniform and that their flesh is soft. This means that meat cows are given more attention and care than other cows. Wagyu cows are often sold to farmers by their breeders at the age of 10 months. The cows’ pure lineages are documented on birth certificates provided to the buyers
  3. Farmers who want to buy Wagyu cows must have plenty of money. While a prime Angus cow in the United States can sell for around $3,000, a Wagyu cow can go for four times that much, making these farm animals virtual cash cows
  4. Japanese farmers raising Wagyu cattle wouldn’t dare feed their cows strictly hay like most cattle farmers. These pampered farm animals are fed things like green grasses, rice straw, whole crop silage, okara, legumes, and soybean meal. They’re also given supplemental vitamins and calcium to ensure they yield the most delicious and sought-after meat in the world
  5. This Wagyu cow diet is strictly followed and the cows are typically fed three times per day. These cows are fed often because they’re expected to gain around 2.5 pounds each day without getting obese. This diet is maintained for up to three years or when the cattle weigh around 1,500 pounds, at which time, they’re ready for slaughter
  6. The flavour and softness of wagyu are unmatched in the beef world. This is the healthiest beef you can eat since it has a 2:1 ratio of heart-friendly monounsaturated fats to saturated fats. Omega 3 and Omega 6 levels are comparable to those of wild salmon, making it an excellent source of these important fatty acids. Foodies love this meat because it’s not only delicious, but it’s also incredibly nutritious, which only adds to its allure
  7. Believe it or not, there is something called the Wagyu Olympics that are held every five years in Japan. During this event, entrants compete in two main categories: breed improvement and meat quality. The most coveted prize awarded during these Olympic games you’ve never heard of is the “Best Overall” beef in the country. The next scheduled Wagyu Olympics will be held in October 2022 in the city of Kagoshima, Japan.

Anyways, enough of the facts. It is the best meat in the world, period. Get some in you NOW and use those recipes to help you steer a favourite dish in your direction, or get to one of those hallowed ground restaurants serving this delicacy.

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