The Most Iconic Wagyu
Kobe Beef is synonymous with luxury — its name instantly recognizable. There are few things in the world that are as iconic. The aura around this iconic beef stems not only from its incredible flavor but the tightly controlled quality standards surrounding it. All Kobe Beef cattle are born and raised in Japan's Hyogo prefecture under the strictest breeding guidelines, fathered by 1 of 12 bulls chosen annually by the government for perfect marbling. Only a handful of certified farmers are even allowed to raise them in this region — of 5,500 qualifying heads of Kobe Beef produced per year, only 10% are marked for export worldwide, guaranteeing that only the most premium beef bears its name. Most of all, Kobe Beef earns its reputation with each delicate, velvety, umami-packed bite.
Our Journey to Kobe Beef
Over 4 years ago, co-founder Joe Heitzeberg, traveled to Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture — where over 70% of Kobe Beef cattle are raised — to discover how Kobe Beef is produced, rated and auctioned. Since then, Crowd Cow has learned about Japan's unique traceability system, meticulous ratings, qualifications and standards that take place at the local, provincial and national levels, and built lasting relationships with the Japanese government and leaders in the field of Wagyu. Today, we’re proud to have earned our license to bring this one-of-a-kind Wagyu to you — an exceptionally rare, culinary masterpiece that very few people will ever have the chance to experience.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Gift
To try this exclusive beef is to experience luxury at its finest, a once-in-a-lifetime treat to be savored for its outstanding quality and appreciated for its rarity and standards of production. As a gift, Kobe Beef would surprise and delight even the person who has it all — it’s a treasure they’ll cherish and remember forever. Not many people in the US can say they’ve had authentic Kobe Beef; Kobe represents less than 0.25% of Japanese Kuroge black cattle raised in Japan, and just a small fraction of that is imported into the US. In the culinary world, Kobe Beef is considered one of the most precious and luxurious gourmet food items. Everyone has heard of Kobe Beef, though very few have experienced its light, thinly ribboned marbling, or experienced its umami-packed, delightful melt-in-your-mouth tender bites in search of a truly unforgettable meal.
Officially Sanctioned and Hand-Approved
There is only one true Kobe Beef. In addition to impressive quality standards for raising it, there are tightly controlled standards for selling it. Today, there are only 8 US retailers authorized to sell this rare, premium product, and only 37 US restaurants have the certification to serve it. Crowd Cow is honored to have earned our license and to work with Kobe farmers and processors as an official member of the Kobe Beef Association. We proudly mark each purchase with the Kobe Beef Nojigiku-han chrysanthemum trademark of hand-approved, 100% authentic Kobe Beef.
How to Enjoy Kobe
Kobe is a delicacy, prized for its luscious marbling and extraordinary richness. Bite-sized portions are best, and, with just a simple seasoning of salt, you’ll find that the intense umami that Japanese A5 Wagyu is known for carries all the flavor you need. Cooked hot and fast in the traditional Japanese cooking style, the fat from the Kobe will render out and help create a perfect, crisp sear on the outside, with a supremely tender, ultra-marbled middle — giving you the perfect symphony of textures. Finish with sea salt, a touch of soy sauce and wasabi, or even miso paste and a fried garlic chip for the most elevated eating experience. Learn more about How to Enjoy Kobe at home.
Kobe Beef is instantly recognized throughout the world as an icon of Japan and as one of the culinary world’s most precious and luxurious gourmet food items. Simply put, Kobe Beef is Japan’s most luxurious food.
The aura surrounding Kobe Beef stems from its meticulously controlled quality standards and zealously guarded distribution. The Kobe Beef Association exerts control over every aspect of its creation.
Every cut of certified Kobe Beef originates from 12 ‘super father’ Tajima bulls who are chosen by the Hyogo government, and whose offspring are raised by a handful of farmers within an officially designated geographic region. The best of these offspring, which are rated A4 or A5 by sanctioned auctioneers, receive the Japanese chrysanthemum “Nojigiku-han” mark — a symbol of authenticity.
The Kobe Beef Association qualifies and hand-approves auctioneers, distributors and retailers, including Crowd Cow, to sell this small amount of luxurious beef. Read more on our blog.
The tightly-controlled regional farmers and processors that handle Kobe Beef produce only 5,500 qualifying head of cattle per year, only 10% of which are made available for export overseas. If you would like to try the one and only Kobe Beef, there are only 37 restaurants in the U.S. that are licensed to serve it. Thanks to our nomination and acceptance into Japan’s exclusive certification program with the Kobe Beef Association earlier this year — which builds upon our years of work with Japan’s top Wagyu regions, including Kagawa Olive Wagyu, Kagoshima A5 Wagyu, Iwate-gyu and others — we are able to offer it on Crowd Cow.
To officially qualify as “Kobe Beef”, the cattle must be graded through a meticulous 8-point certification process. Cattle must be of the Tajima bloodline (a subset of the Kuroge Washu breed); be born and raised in Hyogo prefecture by farmers who are nominated and accepted into the Kobe Beef association; be professionally rated by member organization inspectors; and must achieve at least an A4 or A5 score for meat and marbling quality. At Crowd Cow, we offer only the upper end of Kobe Beef, A5 rated cuts. Read more on our blog.
Yes, you will receive a copy of the certificate with your order. In Japan, all cattle are registered with a certificate indicating the farm, family tree and date of harvest, among other things. For example, for Kobe Beef, we have obtained only 5 animals and therefore only 5 certificates. You will receive a facsimile of one of these certificates along with the cuts of meat of your purchase.
Kobe Beef is as much an experience as it is a meal. We suggest sharing this singularly outstanding food with others, and to experience each the delicate, umami-packed bite one person at a time. Simply grill each strip on a stainless steel pan using high heat and without any oil, searing the outside until a crust forms and cooking just enough to melt the interior fats. A pinch of fine sea salt is recommended to bring out Kobe Beef’s natural flavors. Read more here.
Contrary to popular belief, the magnificent marbling and exceptional taste of Kobe Beef comes mainly from its unique genetics — the Tajima bloodline subset of the Kuroge Washu breed, native to Japan and raised in Hyogo prefecture. Although each farm’s practices vary, maintaining each animal’s well-being and nutrition is an essential part of every Kobe Beef farmer’s core focus. However, massages or feeding the animals beer or sake is most certainly not a part of any farmer’s routine.
There is only one Kobe Beef, and it is known throughout the world for its exceptional quality and its high standards. Like other A5 Japanese Wagyu, A5 Kobe Beef is highly regarded for its exceptional marbling which “melts-in-your-mouth” and comes from the Kuroge Washu breed of cattle. However, Kobe Beef is bred from only 12 master bulls of the Tajima bloodline, a subset of Kuroge Washu, and is raised by a handful of farmers in Hyogo prefecture. As a varietal of Japanese Wagyu, Kobe Beef is most limited in quantity and more iconic both in Japan and overseas. Read more on our blog.
Yes! In fact, we have the world’s only Japanese Wagyu membership, which gives you 5% off and FREE shipping, plus early access to debuts like Kobe Beef.