The Top 5 Ways to Prepare and How to Cook Wagyu Beef (the Japanese Way)

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 on how to eat wagyu just 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 and hopefully that will do something for you.

BTW, this is how you pronounce wagyu (Japanese Beef)
It is “wa” “gyoo” (right way) as opposed to “wag” “you” (the flat out wrong way)

All the Japanese Ways To Cook and Prepare Wagyu Beef

Once you get a slab of Wagyu, you will want to learn: how to prepare wagyu properly, how to cook wagyu beef, and ultimately the best ways to eat and prepare wagyu the way you want.

1. Grilled Wagyu

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).

Photo Description: a grilled wagyu steak atop a black plate which looks like it's made of steel. That iron plate sits on top of a black wooden base.
Probably the most popular way to eat pure meat beefiness. Image by City Foodsters
  • 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

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.

Photo Description: thin strips of wagyu (shinofuri) prepared for shabu shabu. The thin cuts are sitting on a brownish round plate.
Thinly sliced so it doesn’t take much to cook it. Image by the NekoTank
Photo Descriptions: a diner is using his chopsticks to dip his thinly cut slices into the the pot of semi-boiling water. In the background you can see a crab claw and legs.
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
  • 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

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.

Photo Descriptions: a picture of sukiyaki done right and there is a female assisting in the preparation of sukiyaki. The person in the pic is using rather large and thick chopsticks to the add the meat to the pot. In the pot you can see tofu, the soy sauce broth, shiitake mushrooms, and a number of other unidentified ingredients. On the side it looks to b a plate of shungiku.
Sukiyaki being prepared by a pro. Imagery by LWYang via Flickr
Photo Descriptions: the finished thinly sliced beef is then added to raw egg. In the pic, you can see that the meat is still slightly pink.
Whatever you do, don’t skip on the raw egg. Imagery by LWYang via Flickr
  • 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

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.

Photo Descriptions: katsu sando sandwiches with shokupan breaad. The sandwich is cut in half, so that you can see the cross section of the medium rare beef katsu. The sandwich sits atop a white round plate.
If you can pass up on a sammich, this will be one you can’t pass up on to try. Imagery by Gino Mempin
  • 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

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.

Photo Description: raw beef and raw liver. Thinly sliced lemon, green onion, and oba shiso. Sprinkled on top of the raw liver is sesame seeds.
If you have ever said “I am so hungry you can eat it raw,” well, here’s your chance to do just that.
  • 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.

Once You Learn a Number of the Varieties of How to Prepare Wagyu

Once you get through this list, you will also want to experiment and try all the different cuts of types of Wagyu to trying the most notorious of Wagyu, Kobe beef if you have not already tried it.

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[…] grill it up with salt and pepper? Hell yea you can, but if you’re going to buy Japanese beef, here are the ways the Japanese prepare and cook wagyu (I especially like it with wasabi and as […]

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