Have you heard of Kobe beef? How about Waygu? Is there a difference? A new steakhouse has opened in New York City and it's called The Kobe Club. Jeffrey Chodorow, principal of China Grill Management and owner of Kobe Club and Scott Ubert, regional chef of China Grill management were invited to appear on TODAY to offer some meaty answers. Here's more on the meat:
Kobe beef vs. Waygu
It will be easy to identify the increased marbling (fat content) in the Wagyu cuts as they progress from U.S. to Australia and finally, Japan. As Champagne is sparkling wine from the region of Champagne, Kobe beef is Wagyu from the region of Kobe. The top grade Kobe beef has for centuries primarily been served to emperors, however there is equally as high grade meat available in other nearby regions such as Tamba. Japanese are the only pure bread steer. The U.S. and the Australian cattle have been crossbred using exported bulls and do not yield the same quality of meat in terms of flavor, tenderness and marbling. The Japanese raise their Wagyu steers to a second confirmation or a second belly of fat. This increases the size of the steer and the marbling of the meat. The second confirmation or second belly that the Japanese bring their steers to is a cost factor as the steer needs to consume much more in order to grow to the required size. In Japan, the lack of expansive fields is another reason why the steers grow to be larger — a lack of exercise makes for a larger animal. It then becomes necessary to massage the animal, so the fat is distributed evenly throughout the body of the steer. There is also a reason why farmers will feed their steer beer and sake — for calories and carbohydrate content. The manner in which they need to feed the steer, raises the price of feeding significantly and is the main reason why the beef costs more once it's in the hands of the restaurant.
At Kobe Club we have always bought and sold the highest grade of Wagyu from Japan. We consistently purchase the highest grade available (10 and up on a scale of 12) representing color and marbling.
- Wagyu due to its fat content should be seared at a high temp to seal in the fat and the juices.
- If someone likes their meat well-done, they should not waste their time paying for expensive Wagyu or Kobe, as once it is cooked past a certain point, all of the fat will be cooked out of the meat.
- Kobe or Wagyu beef should be served rare to medium.The beef should then be transferred to a 350-degree oven and cooked to an internal temperature of 130 degrees.
- You can test the internal temperature by purchasing a probe thermometer.
- This process breaks down like this: For an eight-ounce filet, season and sear the meat for two minutes on both sides until deep brown. Then transfer the meat to a 350-degree oven for about five to 10 minutes. Pull the meat from the oven and allow to rest for two to three minutes. The resting of the meat, allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.