There is a lot of requirement for beef meat to be classified as Kobe beef. First the animal should be from Tattori Black cattle, in the prefecture of Hyogo. The cattle should be born and raised there should have been castrated. It is a process that will purify the meat. It must have been killed in Hyogo Prefecture, at the slaughterhouse of Sanda, Nishinomiya, Kobe, Kakogawa or Himeji. Its marbling ratio should be at a level of minimum 6 or above and the weight of the beef shouldn’t be more than 470kg.
The cuts known as Kobe cuts are coming from the black Tottori breed. It is known for its quality flavor as well as its well-marbled texture and its tenderness. Kobe cuts are used to make teppanyaki, sashimi, shabu shabu, sukiyaki, and steak. Because of its quality, the Kobe beef is the world’s most expensive beef. Many farmers from America or England have attempted to reproduce the quality of Kobe’s beef. They grown Wagyu herds using local grains and grasses and gave beers to the cows but their attempts had failed. American Kobe is darker than Japanese Kobe and its flavor is much bolder.
Another particularity of Kobe beef is the temperature required to melt the meet fat. It is much lower for Kobe beef than for the regular cows. The best quality Kobe, grade of 12, is not made for exportation. It will be reserved for the local population. Todays Kobe can come from two different breeds of Wagyu cattle: The red and the black Wagyu. Black Wagyu is from Tajima, Tottori, Okayama and Shimane. Japan was protecting its exportation for years, but four Wagyu bulls we sent to the US in 1976. Five in 1993, and in 1994, thirty five of both Wagyu breeds were exported.
Now some Kobe cows are raised and fed in California where they respect Japans strict specifications. Once the cows are ready for slaughter, they are sent to Kobe, Japan. The feeding and slaughtering of the animal will happen there. The price of the Kobe beef offered in California is much cheaper than the true Kobe beef.
The grade of the Kobe beef will be determined by the amount of fat in the rib-eye cut. The cows are checked before and after slaughter. Japanese Kobe beef will have a marbling 20 to 25% of fat and the American ones will only have 6 to 8%fat only. Japanese Kobe costs up to 500$ a kilo while American Kobe only costs $100 per pound.
Kobe beef is often solved frozen as the amount of fat will still be retained. The Japanese Kobe beef cannot be cooked the same way than American Kobe beef. If the Japanese Kobe is grilled, it will easily catch fire and burn. The best way to cook it will be to quickly blacken the meet on the surface, but being cautious to leave the inside raw. If cooked properly, the Japanese Kobe beef will melt in your mouth. Even if a steak of Japanese Kobe beef is left outside in the sun for too long, the fat will melt in the inside. The taste of the Japanese Kobe beef is sweet and will linger in your mouth. Be careful to cook it properly to be able to enjoy it to its full flavor. It will leave you extremely happy and satisfied.
Tags: Kobe Beef