The Top 5 Ways to Prepare and How to Cook Wagyu Beef

Of course that main image is by none other than the City Foodsters while they were in Ginza Kojyu, Tokyo, JPN

Just know, “well done” and “wagyu” should not be BFF’s, and these are some of the best ways to eat wagyu like the Japanese do.

If you do not have the luxury of eating at a restaurant with all of these dishes, you can always buy wagyu online and prepare the dishes below – if that all sounds really difficult, just stare at the pics if that does something for you.

BTW (how to pronounce wagyu), it’s “wa” “gyoo” as opposed to “wag” “you.”

1. Grilled Wagyu

Probably the most popular way to eat pure meat beefiness. Image by City Foodsters

Well, to be specific, there is grilling on a teppanyaki (if you’re in the U.S., think Benihana) and then there is yakiniku (where you typically get to grille your meat to imperfection/perfection).

COOKING EQUIPMENT: grilled on a teppanyaki (iron griddle) or shichirin (charcoal/gas grille).
PREPARATION: grilled rare to medium rare served typically with a side of shio (salt), ninniku (minced garlic), wasabi (grated Japanese horseradish), to a shoyu (soy sauce) dipping sauce.

2. Wagyu Shabu Shabu

Thinly sliced so it doesn’t take much to cook it. Image by the NekoTank
Swishing the meat around for a few seconds and eating it with a side of warm rice is so damn good. Image by City Foodsters

Fat is flavor, but that heavily marbled thinly sliced beef needs to be heated because when it is, the kombu flavored boiling water gives you one of the most natural ways to experience the texture and taste of wagyu.

COOKING EQUIPMENT: either a pot/donabe (cast iron, copper, to ceramic) to a traditional shabu shabu pot (pictured above).
PREPARATION: simply water and konbu, vegetables, tofu, and two dipping sauces which are either goma dare (sesame sauce) or ponzu (citrus soy sauce).

3. Wagyu Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki being prepared by a pro. Imagery by LWYang via Flickr
Whatever you do, don’t skip on the raw egg. Imagery by LWYang via Flickr

If you like strong flavors, you’ll love the combination of a sweet soy sauce broth with a mix of vegetables takes this wagyu dish to another level. The flavor and textures brought on with the dipping of the meat into a raw egg a side of rice, shungiku to miscellaneous vegetables, and you have yourself a savory dish.

COOKING EQUIPMENT: either a pot/donabe (cast iron, copper, to ceramic).
PREPARATION: all prepared in “one pot” with a number of vegetables and ingredients stewed in a soy based broth. The meat and vegetables are then dipped in raw egg and eaten.

4. Wagyu Katsu Sando

If you can’t pass up on a sammich, this will be one you can’t pass up on to try. Imagery by Gino Mempin

This is one of those dishes that one dude does, Kentaro Nakahara’s of Sumibiyakiniku Nakahara, and then you a million others end up doing the same from Tokyo, Los Angeles to New York where SakaMai seems to be riding the PR onslaught of their $85 wagyu katsu sando.

COOKING EQUIPMENT: a deep-fryer.
PREPARATION: soft and fluffy shokupan (Japanese bread) paired with a panko crusted wagyu that has been deep-fried to a medium rare finish.

5. Raw Wagyu

If you have ever said “I am so hungry you can eat it raw,” well, here’s your chance to do just that.

Come on, what do the Japanese not eat raw, so how could I not have it on this list. I mean I have had all sorts of fish, horse to chicken raw which is why throughout Europe (tartare to carpaccio), the Middle East (kibbeh nayyeh), to South America (ceviche) they all have their raw meat dishes and it is no different for wagyu.

COOKING EQUIPMENT: I will let you figure this one out for yourself.
PREPARATION: there are a number of ways to serve it raw which can range from eating it with sliced onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, and wasabi in soy sauce which can be used as a dipping sauce.

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