The perfect marriage of Wagyu richness, with the meaty flavor of a steak ― these new intensely marbled cuts have never been sold in the U.S. until now.
We’ve gone to great (and enormously fun) lengths to bring you this A5 Wagyu, sourced directly from farms in Kagoshima and Miyazaki, Japan.
We've visited producers across Japan, including Hyogo prefecture where we met with producers that raise animals for Kobe Beef and witnessed a carcass rating ceremony to rank A5 Wagyu (it was a nail-biter).
As is always our biggest priority at Crowd Cow, we sought out the very best beef producers and worked directly with them to bring more transparency and convenience than is offered anywhere else.
Read more about our journey to the inside of the Japanese beef world and about Kagoshima, the prefecture that this A5 Wagyu comes from. Check out our return to Kagoshima this year.
It's the Olympic Games you've never heard of. Since 1966, Japan's beef industry has held a nationwide competition every five years to crown the best beef in the country. It's called Zenkoku Wagyu Noryku Kyoshin-kai (全国和牛能力共進会) but it's known also as "The Wagyu Olympics."
There are 11 prize categories, one of the more interesting of which measures the quality of the fats (looking for things like the health-promoting and umami-generating oleic acid). There's also an overall winner, based on the average of scores across the categories.
Last year's event was held in September in Miyagi Prefecture and brought together over 400,000 people and scores of artisanal and craft beef producers from 39 prefectures. Who won? Kagoshima! Kagoshima is where Crowd Cow has sourced this A5 Wagyu and we're proud that Kagoshima beef took the top prize based on overall contest scores (総合得点による「団体賞」は、鹿児島県が１位). You could say that Kagoshima's A5 Wagyu is the best beef in Japanese beef right now!
A5 Wagyu gets its legendary flavor from intense marbling. Get ready for sweet, buttery, decadent delight with every bite.
And there's science to back up the happy dance our taste-buds are doing. Research shows that beef from Kuroge-washyu contains more Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as more monounsaturated fatty acids (a.k.a. the good fats) than other kinds of beef. In fact, the unique composition of A5 Wagyu means that it melts at room temperature, so it's no exaggeration when we say it "melts in your mouth." Just another reason why Japanese A5 Wagyu is considered the pinnacle of the beef world.
A5 Wagyu is an experience as much as a meal. We recommend cooking your A5 Wagyu one at a time in small strips and eating as you cook to fully savor it.
The beef we import from Japan is thinner than the American steaks you might be used to, because it's cut to the exact specifications of Japan's top steakhouses. The steaks are about 3/4 inch thick and the tenderloins are 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. Don't forget that this impacts cook time!
Your A5 Wagyu will arrive frozen and can easily be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. We highly recommend cutting it into thin strips and searing on a stainless steel pan (not over open flame).
Watch our A5 Wagyu cooking videos for advice and ideas.
You've probably heard of Kobe beef, or eaten a "Wagyu Burger." Thanks to mislabeling and almost no regulations in the US on the use of these labels, the terms are the subject of much confusion.
In order to be certified Kobe beef, the cattle must be Japanese Black Wagyu (Kuroge Washu) and pure Tajima. Also, the cows must be bred, raised and slaughtered in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan and the meat must reach a Body Marbling Score (BMS) of 6 or more. Since there are over 40 prefectures in Japan, this means that there are lots of other producers raising great quality Kuroge Washu (the breed of cattle that produces the amazing marbling you see in these pictures).
So what about "American Kobe?" The fact is, most of the beef marketed in the US as Wagyu or Kobe has only a very small percentage of wagyu genetics in it. That's not to say it won't be delicious or well-marbled, just that if you don't know the producer it came from, and they don't have a registered herd, you don't really know what you're buying. We're proud to also work with some American producers of Wagyu too and are very transparent about whether their herds are Wagyu-Angus cross-breeds or full-blood (100% genetically pure).