The Japanese term Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow” in English. Wagyu is arguably the most valuable and luxurious beef in the world. Hailing from Japan, this highly sought-after beef boasts of its high marbling that contributes to its great taste. Because of the rigorous process to breed Japanese cattle, requiring delicate care and attention, there is a limited supply of Wagyu in the market. In addition, the Japanese government tightly regulates the industry to keep up to their high standards.
Wagyu can only come from certain breeds of Japanese cows, namely Black, Brown, Poll, and Shorthorn. As its names suggest, it is only bred in and imported from Japan. The Japanese government has also prohibited the exportation of their domestic cattle and even their sperm from avoiding cross-breeding and tarnishing the purity of Wagyu.
Originally used as draft animals, Japanese cattle required great strength and endurance, which allowed them to develop an increased level of intramuscular fat (IMF). The stark difference of Japanese cattle from others is its higher fat distribution within the beef, creating more marbling. When cooked, the fat melts and further cooks the meat, creating an unbelievably fantastic texture and taste.
To achieve the high IMF of Japanese cattle, they must be raised in vast pastures and the perfect stress-free environment. In addition, their diet must consist of expensive and high-energy ingredients. Despite the gradual and rigorous process, the results are gratifying, satisfying both the pockets of breeders and consumers’ cravings.
Aside from imposed limitations, the Japanese government also strictly regulates Wagyu production and circulation. Authentic Japanese Wagyu is strictly graded by the Japanese Meat Grading Association, wherein beef carcasses are graded for yield (the ratio of meat compared to the actual carcass weight) and marbling content, color, fat standard, firmness, and texture. A5 Japanese Wagyu is the highest quality Wagyu available, which must be graded at Grade A for yield and Grade 5 for marbling, fat, color, firmness, and texture.
Considering the roots and reputation of Wagyu, Kai Wagyu has partnered with farms across Japan in the Hokkaido and Kagoshima prefecture to source only the best Wagyu cuts. Kai Wagyu is the first company to directly import meat from Top Farm, located at Saroma, Hokkaido in Japan. Their beef is non-GMO, nonantibiotics or added hormones, and certified humane. In addition, they also provide a certificate of authenticity for every piece of meat sold, which includes a tracking number that can be monitored on the official Japanese government website.
In addition, Kai Wagyu takes pride in its USDA-approved processing facility in Los Angeles, which allows them to import and process the meat sourced from Japan. This also gives them the ability to offer wholesale options to supply hotels, restaurants, butcher shops, grocery stores, and the like, along with retail options. For online orders, customers can also enjoy free FedEx Overnight Shipping with purchases over $198.
At Kai Wagyu, it only takes one bite to feel the respect for the cattle, to taste the intimacy of the moment, to understand the spirit of Japanese heritage. They seek to create exclusive, one-of-a-kind dining experiences by bringing the culinary tradition of Japanese Wagyu beef from cattle farms onto your plate. If you want to know more about Kai Wagyu, you can visit their website or Instagram page.