The Japanese beef is simply put superb! There are few places I’ve traveled where you can find he quality and consistency. Japanese farmers are meticulous about their work, and I am asked frequently about their habits and practices. While Japanese gyu is expensive, it is well worth it and whats surprising is, a little goes a long way – a 5cm tranche (373g) is more than enough to feed 4 people.
That reminds me of two stories; the first was a guest twenty years ago, he was warned by the chef (now operating a steak restaurant named Shima in Tokyo) that more than 220gr is the limit, less than half a pound, or a 7oz steak. In America a steak is inconceivably more and the price tag goes with it.
The second story was a friend and his wife who insisted to try Gyu during their first visit to Tokyo. I obliged them and off we went to Utaka, a well-known quality steak restaurant in Tokyo. My friend’s wife ordered more and more and there was no stopping her. The next morning I heard about the long night she had, and most of it ended up on the floor.
It is well-known that in any carcass marbling decreases and eye muscle size increases as you move back along the rib cage. The American system of inspection at the 12th/13th rib section will shown any given carcass as having less marbling and a larger rib-eye muscle than the Japanese grading system. The degree of marbling in Japan still dominates meat evaluation in the minds of traditional farmers and there are six grade categories:
Special Selection (Tokusen)
First Grade (Jo)
Second Grade (Chu)
Third Grade (Nami)
Under-regular Grades (Togai)
Japanese gyu is sensational but respect is key, too much any one thing can lead to circumstances you least expect.
Categories: Meaty Days