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  • Japanese Wagyu Beef Story: From Farm to Table

  • ONLY in JAPAN

  • Travelling Japan for food is nothing new, every region of Japan has its own unique cuisine and when it comes to beef

  • Japan's Wagyu is worth the trip. Ibaraki prefecture's Hitachi Beef brand is one of the closest to Tokyo

  • So Dean and I ventured north to the countryside to learn about Wagyu.

  • from the farm to the processing plant to the restaurant.

  • Welcome to Ibaraki Prefecture, behind me is Hitachino restaurant here in the base of Mount tsukuba a beautiful area.

  • With a fantastic sunset, one all the way to Mount Fuj, I'm so excited

  • This restaurant is famous for Hitachi gyu or Hitachi beef, the beef of Ibaraki prefecture

  • But what makes this experience special is we're gonna get a chance to try several different cuts of Wagyu.

  • So I hope you're hungry. We're about to eat a lot!

  • Hitachino steakhouse looks like a lodge inside thick wooden tables, leather chairs, and charcoal grills.

  • In the kitchen, blocks of A5 Kuroge Wagyu beef are ready to be cut.

  • Here's an entire tenderloin block, this cut called Hi-re in Japanese.

  • The intense marbling is a symbol of premium graded Japanese Wagyu.

  • For tonight's dinner, we'll try three cuts

  • But before we eat.

  • Let's look at our trip to the farm and processing plant to see how the steak in front of us has been sourced.

  • This is Hashimotosan's farm and ranch for Kuroge Wagyu. It's a quiet place with fresh air and good water

  • Yeah, they look like they've got lots of space and they look like they're in really good condition.

  • And I think that's all part of it. You got to treat these cows extremely well.

  • You've got to feed them really well so that they become the most delicious

  • beef that they can be I guess.

  • It's time to face our food something we should do to appreciate it more

  • Living well and stress-free is one of the secrets to Japan's Kuroge Wagyu beef.

  • Respect the animal until it's time to become food, which is their purpose

  • For many, it would be hard to face your food.

  • But unless you do it, it's very hard to appreciate where it came from how they were treated,

  • And understand what exactly you're eating

  • This is important to me as a meat-eater.

  • In Ibaraki they're very proud of the way they raise their Hitachi Wagyu beef. I even got a slimy kiss before leaving!

  • It's important for you to go and see what it's like, the conditions of the animals.

  • And the conditions of the Wagyu and they all look pretty happy!

  • Maybe not you know in the end. But today they're pretty happy.

  • This is Hashimotosan's wholesale Hitachi Wagyu beef shop.

  • I just wanted to get an idea, are the prices cheaper here and it's crazy they are!

  • So we got here. I just ordered a half cut of sirloin steak. It's ¥1745.

  • For a hundred grams, so it's about three thousand something yen.

  • Which is incredibly cheap! And then down here

  • I ordered a couple of A5 Hitachi Wagyu burgers and these are about $3 for a burger.

  • So I'm guessing it's going to be one of the best burgers I've ever had - but buying here from the wholesale saves you a lot of money.

  • The volume of meat was 30% more or the price seemed to be 30% less for beautifully marbled A5 Wagyu beef.

  • WARNING: We were invited inside of the processing plant images may be disturbing for some viewers

  • It lasts about two minutes and shows how A5 Wagyu beef is graded. Please be advised.

  • We are only inside the meat refrigerator.

  • They've cut it into half and you can see it's not exactly the most beautiful of places.

  • It's a little bit morbid

  • but the reason why I bring you here is because you can see how they decide to grade

  • The cattle between A4 and A5,what the difference is and then all of these are going to become Hitachi gyu.

  • That's a special designation just for the best of the best!

  • The beef here won't officially be graded for a couple of days, but using a flashlight we can clearly see the marbling.

  • The JMGA has a beef grading standard that starts in a processing plant

  • The yield is graded from A to C and the BMS or beef marbling standard in 5 groups of 12 levels.

  • This is based on marbling meat color texture fat color and quality.

  • The highest rank of Japanese Wagyu is A5 which means a yield of over 72% and a BMS score between 8 and 12.

  • Basically, you can see from this. Although they won't know until Thursday when they cut it across and see very closely inside.

  • But from what you see already you can see the marbling is so intense. This would probably be marked as an A5 Wagyu.

  • Hitachi Gyu, Hitachi beef and in order to get that designation as Hitachi gyu

  • You need to be either A4 or A5 and this one looks like it's gonna be an A5.

  • You know I think out father's fathers were quite used to that kind of an image.

  • Because these days people are just used to it in a Styrofoam container wrapped in plastic at the supermarket

  • Whereas we don't put that kind of value on life, I guess because we're desensitised by it all.

  • Yeah, I feel that its a bit negative that we are hidden away from that.

  • so those images we saw today might seem shocking it might even seem sad but by hiding that away from us, I feel like we

  • disconnect from food and ...

  • Don't really have a reality of what we're doing what every time we're eating meat, right?

  • Yeah, the Japanese aren't that disconnected.

  • In fact, it's part of Japanese culture to have that connection with nature including your food (Dean: right)

  • which is why we say "itadakimasu" いただきます。

  • Which I introduced in another episode about Japanese Wagyu

  • So for me, I'm not as sensitive about

  • seeing them and massaging them and then going to eat them because they're not pets to me

  • It's just a part of the nature and the order of nature to me

  • Other people have it. So everybody feels better for me that I can do that, you know

  • That I can see the process makes me feel a little bit better about what I'm doing

  • Will you feel guilty about eating this meat now? No, I don;t think I'll feel guilt. Because that's where we're headed, to the restaurant

  • Yeah. Yeah. I just think I will respect that meat more.

  • And today, you know, they they invited us in and they didn't try to hide anything from us

  • They just showed complete transparency about their business and the way that the cows live

  • and you know

  • I kept joking happy cows, but the environment there is really nice and they have nothing to hide, right?

  • I like that though, right?

  • I think if you went to a US Beef farm, there's cameras and security to keep you out

  • yeah, and they're inviting us in and that,

  • Transparency makes me appreciate what they're doing as well as when we go to eat

  • Have a greater appreciation of the taste of it. I will probably eat less meat

  • As a result of knowing where it comes from

  • We hadn't expected to see inside the processing plant

  • But the transparency gave us more confidence in the quality of Hitachi Wagyu beef and made us appreciate

  • What we were about to eat. Wow now, this is a table fit for a king

  • I'm almost overwhelmed looking at all of this, huh?

  • The intense marbling is always impressive when it's right in front of you.

  • Sirloin,

  • Prime Rib,

  • Tenderloin,

  • We shared a non alcoholic beer because, were driving.

  • We start with the impressive hide tenderloin.

  • The marbling goes through the cut.

  • Dean placed it on the very hot fire the sizzle was immediate.

  • We placed it all on like we would with a gas grill, but this isn't a gas grill

  • It cooked faster than we expected, a horrifying sight!

  • Oh no!

  • The shock and disappointment hit us hard

  • Dean and I decided to return the next day to do this right

  • with the guidance of the restaurant owner Onisawa-san who will

  • Not only cook for us but explain more about Hitachi beef Wagyu has more fat than other beef

  • So you have to be careful of the oils on the fire?

  • After seasoning just place a few pieces at a time

  • Japanese karaage Wagyu contains more of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids called the essential fatty acids by doctors

  • But I think you should eat it in moderation

  • The Tenderloin cut is springy and soft from the oils between the fatty oils are much lighter and have that umami taste

  • It was paired with the steak butter

  • Dean had the first bite

  • Its melting in my mouth

  • It has a gentle salty taste to it

  • And its just the softest meat i have ever eaten!

  • This may just be one of the most beautiful bites of beef I've ever had in my life

  • There are no words to describe the pleasure that comes with a burst of amazing umami taste from A5 Wagyu

  • It melts in your mouth

  • Your sense is floating comfortably on Cloud 9.

  • Cooked to perfection!

  • This one is the sirloin.

  • It cooks pretty fast and it's best to move it to the side after it's grilled on the top.

  • Dean ate his with lemon.

  • Me, I went my own way - wasabi!

  • It's more than I need but I've been known to be a little wild with condiments.

  • It's super super red in the middle and then he's managed to like

  • Beautifully heat both sides of the colours are perfect!

  • You just bite right through

  • This time I went for lemon

  • added a bit more flavor

  • And you just you've got to try it to believe it how soft this meat is

  • People keep asking me how it tastes

  • I can't hear them anymore. Like I said good food moves the soul. But yeah, it's good.

  • I asked Onisawa-san about the quality of A4 versus A5 Wagyu beef.

  • Anybody typical more support simile? No abramova all the same

  • i asked onysawasan if there could be any comparison between A5 Wagyu and the fatty otoro maguro tuna

  • I mean... wagyu is was sort of like maguro kind of, the red akami, chutoro and fatty otoro

  • Sometimes I'd rather have chutoro or akami instead of the fatty otoro

  • Even though otoro is more prized and expensive. since tuna and cattle move and live differently

  • You can't really compare but they're both really good!

  • The final cut was the prime rib

  • [searing]

  • It was different to the sirloin and tenderloin cuts, but like the ones before juicy.

  • the oils light and extremely delicious

  • taste explosion!

  • Hatachi beef is one of the closest premium Wagyu brands to Tokyo and the pride of Ibaraki Prefecture

  • And making a day trip to have a steak dinner or any meal for that matter is a way to see the country and learn more

  • About the delicious foods all over Japan

  • last episode the drive-through ramen and the drive-through sushi was alot of fun!

  • This is pretty great to come up here to the base of Tsukuba, but! the next episode is a tribute to Mount Tsukuba

  • Absolutely. I'm not gonna tell you what it is though, because it's a food challenge

  • If you liked it hit that subscribe button and check out another one of our shows!

  • don't miss my second live streaming channel ONLY in JAPAN GO

  • And check out location photos on Instagram http://instagram.com/onlyinjapantv

  • Mate ne~ (seeya!)

Japanese Wagyu Beef Story: From Farm to Table

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B1 wagyu beef hitachi a5 meat ibaraki

Japanese Wagyu Beef Story (from Farm to Table) ★ ONLY in JAPAN

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/31
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