Wagyu versus Kobe– it might sound like an MMA match or the title of a samurai movie, but it is actually two Japanese classifications for beef.
The terms Wagyu and Kobe are becoming more popular across the globe, showing up in movies and restaurant menus alike.
If the price can be trusted, the product is certainly delicious - but what does Wagyu or Kobe actually mean?
Read on for D’Arcy’s guide to understanding Wagyu and Kobe beef classification:
Wagyu Beef (WAG-YOU)
Literally translated as “Japanese cow,” Wagyu is a broad term that defines many breeds of cattle domesticated in Japan.
Wagyu cattle’s beef is exceptionally well-marbled thanks to centuries of Japanese feeding and breeding techniques.
Marbling is a patchwork of fat that gives red meat its flavor, as well as determines its grade and market cost.
Nowadays, Wagyu-style cattle farms are operated all over the world – although Alberta is the only other province besides PEI to produce Wagyu beef.
Kobe Beef (KO-BAY)
Like products such as Champagne or Parmesan cheese, authentic Kobe beef can only be sourced from a highly specialized part of the world that follows intense regulations – specifically, a certain strain of cattle produced around Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
The main difference between authentic and Kobe style is the strict quality guidelines that are followed. This limits the worldwide total of certified Kobe cattle to just a few thousand cows in Japan.
All Kobe beef is raised from Wagyu cattle, but not all Wagyu beef can be classified as Kobe beef.
Kobe and wagyu beef are both highly sought-after types of high-end beef.
They're both Japanese imports that come from cattle breeds that have been specially raised and cared for since birth.
Kobe beef comes from one specific breed of Japanese cow. It's called Tajima, but you may have heard it referred to as Wagyu or Japanese Black.
All three names refer to the same breed of cattle that live in the Hyogo prefecture (near Kobe) and produce the famous Kobe beef.
If you’re confused about the difference between Kobe beef and Wagyu beef (because they come from the same type of cow), picture this:
You take two Wagyu cows and raise the same and feed them the same. Except you raise one in Japan and the other in a country like Australia.
The beef from the Japanese cow is called Kobe beef, and the other is Wagyu.
So, as we mentioned above, you can call all Wagyu beef Wagyu, but you can only call it Kobe if it comes from Kobe.
D’Arcy’s Meat Market carries Wagyu beef because we source the meat from local farmers in Alberta. We also have suppliers in Australia and the Gunma Prefecture in Japan.
Is Wagyu Beef Expensive?
Wagyu beef is expensive compared to other sources of beef.
It is one of the most expensive meats in the world because of the way the cattle are raised and its superior taste and quality.
Overall, when you buy Wagyu beef, you get what you pay for!
Is it Possible to Get Local Wagyu Beef in Alberta?
It sure is!
Our Alberta Wagyu/Holstein cross beef comes from Legal, Alberta, and is raised by the Nonay family at Lakeside Farmstead.
The Wagyu beef is dry-aged at D’Arcy’s for superior tenderness and flavor.
Even though Wagyu can be expensive, this is the most affordable option. It's also the best choice if you’d like to eat an entire Wagyu steak (and support local ranchers)!
We also work with two international suppliers, so we can offer Australian pureblood Wagyu and Japanese pureblood Wagyu from the Gunma Prefecture (this Wagyu has the highest possible score that Wagyu can achieve!).
Where to Buy Wagyu Beef in Edmonton
If you’re looking for the best Wagyu beef in Edmonton, then you have to visit D’Arcy’s Meat Market!
With locations in St. Albert and South Edmonton, we offer fresh Wagyu steaks and roasts as well as frozen options.
You check out our Wagyu beef options online or come visit us at our shop.
How to Cook Wagyu Beef
Wagyu beef is known for its high-fat content and marbling. This makes it tender and juicy - and significantly better tasting than other types of teak.
Here are some ways that you can cook Wagyu beef and enjoy its deliciousness at home:
On the Grill or In a Pan
Wagyu is best cooked on the grill or in a pan.
If you are grilling indoors, use a cast iron or nonstick pan. The pan should be hot enough to sear the outside of the steak without burning it.
If you have access to gas burners, turning up that heat will help speed up cooking time while retaining moisture inside your meat's fibers.
Over an Open Flame
If you're going to cook Wagyu steaks over an open flame, it's important to use a pan with a heavy bottom and one that can be heated to high temperatures.
You also want a pan that can be cleaned easily. Do not use cast iron or nonstick cooking pans for searing Wagyu beef!
The ideal temperature for cooking Wagyu beef is between 135 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the sweet spot that allows your wagyu to cook quickly, but not too quickly. It's also low enough that the meat will be tender and juicy, with a nice brown crust on the outside.
Wagyu beef is best served rare or medium rare (130-135 degrees F).
If you like your meat well done, Wagyu may not be for you.
The Best Wagyu Beef in Edmonton!
Do you want to experience the “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation of finely marbled beef?
Do you have a refined palate, or are you simply looking to treat yourself?
Want to leave your next BBQ guests with your reputation as the Indiana Jones of steak?
Visit D’Arcy’s and ask about locally available Wagyu, Kobe, and Kobe-style beef!
Our professional and friendly staff will work with you to find a product that suits your needs and budget.
We boast years of knowledge and experience in the industry, and we are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.