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Real Kobe Beef [split from LA]

monku May 10, 2007 09:50 PM

[This general discussion was split from this thread on the LA board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40047... - The Chowhound Team]

Comes down to the demand the Japanese have created and our curiosity of the mystique in searching it out in any form (American Wagyu or Japanese Kobe).

I'm sure the Japanese grading of Kobe beef is no different than their grading of blue fin tuna where top dollar rules. Whatever you find in a restaurant or at a market isn't going to come close to what we perceive it should be like. You definitely won't find it in a market or butcher shop...the really good stuff commands top dollar like russkar says and probably the majority of it stays in Japan.

Friend of mine who goes to Japan told me he had it there about 10 years ago and said it was so amazingly rich that for a big eater like him a 6 oz steak was enough for him to handle.

  1. n
    nyfoodjoe May 10, 2007 10:06 PM

    That is the way it is served in Japan...4-6 ounces per serving...at tops...Not the good old American way..16-24 ounces at a crack

    1. c
      Clarkafella May 10, 2007 10:14 PM

      Know what? At $85 a pound, there is no way that I could be anything but disappointed in Kobe beef.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Clarkafella
        monku May 10, 2007 10:18 PM

        If I had to pay for it you're right--I'd be disappointed too. Now if someone else were to pay for it, I might enjoy it.

        1. re: monku
          c
          chefthisguy May 10, 2007 10:25 PM

          American Kobe is a great alernative but it is a cross breed on Angus and the Wagyu....the cattle itself isn't called Kobe...you have to order through Purveyors like Newport and Kobe is graded much like Nori sheets are on a scale....Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc....so the price is also comparative of what grading it has....tthe ursawa mentioned above is not actually Kobe it is a diferent type of Wagyu...unless you are a millionaire there is no need for kobe @ 1600 a pound...you can get toro belly for less and it is as fatty...and better than the overrated Kobe...go with Snake River! Cut doesn't even serve the Platinum grade...i was told by their purveyor that it is the bronze grade!

          1. re: chefthisguy
            monku May 10, 2007 10:48 PM

            Caveat emptor !

            1. re: chefthisguy
              r
              rickym13 May 10, 2007 10:48 PM

              my friend told me that they fly in kobe beef once every two weeks here to supply top end restaurant. funny part is that they bring their own butcher with the beef to make sure it is cut correctly. it is very costly so they are going to train someone at my friends factory to cut and pack it for them starting this month.
              i can try to find out if any of it goes to any store .... he is going to get some sample soon for us to try :) i guess i need to open some good bottle of red when he calls!
              fyi : when i go to japan...kobe beef is not the best steak i had.....it was matsuzaka beef!

              1. re: rickym13
                c
                chefthisguy May 11, 2007 02:35 PM

                my friend was a chef in Japan that to him is the most revered beef...the call it the MIghty Matsuzaka....and he sent me a picture of a $5000 rib eye...ooooooohhhhhhhhh mmmmyyyyy gggggggooooooooooodness!

                1. re: chefthisguy
                  JMF May 12, 2007 09:22 AM

                  The 'Mighty Matsuzaka' is a marketing label of Wagyu from the Matsuzaka area in Mie Prefecture. It is usually of the Tajima Strain, which is one of the strains of Black Wagyu that Kobe in the Hyogo Prefecture is famous for.

              2. re: chefthisguy
                t
                Tkn May 11, 2007 12:11 AM

                I'm no expert by any means, but I believe Hiro said his beef is from Kagoshima region, which is the only true native Japanese breed. Wagyu cattle, which is where Kobe beef comes from, is actually a crossbreed between the Kagoshima cattle and some European breed thousands of years ago. He also said that most Kobe beef are bred in America and then shipped back to Japan to be finished. My memory may not be that clear about it though.

                1. re: Tkn
                  b
                  bagdoodle May 11, 2007 08:37 AM

                  The last time I was in Japan I was taken by business associates to Tokyo's #3 (If it wasn't #1, why did they bother to tell me its ranking?) Kobe beef restaurant. For dinner, including a five ounce serving of Kobe beef steak served in a sort of wine/mushroom sauce, the price was US$220 per person. Having heard of Kobe beef all my life, and having heard that it was the ne plus ultra of exotic goodies, I was thrilled to go, and when the beautifully served steak arrived, I was expecting wonders. The only wonder I actually experienced (which, incidentally, has been seconded by several other people I know who have also had "Kobe beef in Japan) was why anybody would pay that much for such a miserable piece of meat. As expected, the steak was utterly fork tender -- so much so that it seemed to have no texture or consistency at all, and was the equivalent of eating (ugh!) beef Jell-o -- but, other than the sauce it was drowned in, it seemed to have no flavor at all. After weeks in Asia, I had been primed for the best steak of my life (and on somebody else's nickel, on top of it all) and even while I was eating Japan's #3 best, I found myself yearning for a good ol' American Porterhouse.

                  1. re: bagdoodle
                    r
                    rameniac May 11, 2007 10:37 AM

                    lol they should just call it kobe fat. but yea, it takes some getting used to; especially if you grew up eating beef "as we know it."

                    even in japan though, it's not for everyday dining. and i'll second the notion that the stuff served at cut is not really kobe beef, but kagoshima wagyu. kobe just gets all the hype i think because it's been better marketed to the rest of the world over the years.

                    http://www.rameniac.com/index/comment...

                  2. re: Tkn
                    v
                    vbing May 11, 2007 04:34 PM

                    A good source of info on Kobe beef can be found at http://www.thehealthybutcher.com/live...

                    Kobe is not a breed or even a place ... it is the major city where the cattle gets shipped out of, like Kansas City or Fort Worth.

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