Miyazaki Wagyu is one of the most sought-after brands of beef in the world. It has to pass a series of strict guidelines before being sold to distributors, ensuring it meets its superior quality standard. Because the demand for the meat is high and supply is low, not many people are able to try it.
To appreciate its exceptional quality and unparalleled flavor, here’s what you need to know about this luxury beef.
What is Miyazaki Wagyu Beef?
This is a Japanese breed of cattle that has been bred and raised for centuries. Treated like royalty by ranchers who raise them, Miyazaki Wagyu cattle are carefully recorded, documented, and tracked. This way, anyone can trace their lineage, age, farm, and lifeline. This transparency ensures authenticity and that consumers are receiving the best quality Miyazaki Wagyu beef.
Translated as “Japanese cow,” Wagyu beef is best known for its signature marbling, which results in its exquisite flavor, texture, and tenderness.
Miyazaki Wagyu is rated for quality by the Japanese government. The greatest rating it can earn is A5 – the highest-quality beef possible. The price of imported Miyazaki A5 Wagyu is around $100 or more per pound. Even at this price, this delectable meat is highly sought-after by five-star restaurants, world-class steakhouses, and foodies.
For more info on grading read our complete wagyu beef guide.
Where and How are Miyazaki Wagyu Cattle Raised?
Miyazaki Wagyu beef are Kuroge Washu cows raised in the Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan. One hundred percent purebred Wagyu cattle, Kuroge Washu are the largest of the four Wagyu breeds raised in Japan.
Japanese ranchers approach cattle raising differently than U.S. ranchers. Each rancher specializes in this particular breed and will only raise an average of four cattle at a time. This ensures they can care for the animals and provide individual focus to each cow’s needs. Under a watchful eye, cattle receive the best treatment to ultimately provide the best quality meat.
Miyazaki Wagyu cows are raised on a wholesome diet of corn, wheat, and barley for more than 600 days. That’s nearly eight times longer than most cattle on the market. Providing the cows with rich nutrients for an extended time helps to develop quality meat unlike any other.
To maintain Miyazaki Wagyu’s high standard that consumers have come to expect, Japanese authorities have placed strict regulations on its distribution.
What Makes Miyazaki Wagyu So Special?
The combination of the following factors makes Miyazaki Wagyu the highest-quality beef in the world:
- Care with which cattle are raised
- Extreme regulations they must meet for quality control
- Specialized diet
- Genetic makeup of their highly marbled meat
Miyazaki Wagyu beef is easily recognized by its signature characteristics, such as its rich cherry color, buttery texture, and dense beefy flavor.
Beautiful marbling is distributed evenly throughout the meat. As the meat cooks, the fat begins to melt and dissolve into the muscle at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It saturates the meat with flavor for a melt-in-your-mouth dining experience.
How to Cook this Luxury beef by Cut
1. Pan-Seared Ribeye and Strip
Cooking A5 Wagyu is delicate yet straightforward. When seasoning, the general rule of thumb is less is more. We don’t recommend flame-grilling. The low smoke point of A5 wagyu leads to an excess of dripping fat, resulting in dangerous flare-ups.
Defrosting your A5 Wagyu Ribeye or Strip in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours is the ideal method. If you’re short on time, an ice-water bath is the next best option. Thawing in warm or hot water will result in a costly bag of liquified fat.
We recommend searing your A5 Wagyu Ribeye or Strip in a cast iron or stainless steel pan. A5 grade fat has a melting point of approx. 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, it’s a good idea to keep your steak in the fridge or ice bath until just before you cook it.
Those of you who have experience cooking A5 wagyu will feel comfortable searing your steak whole and slicing it before serving. If you’re still learning, try cutting ¾ to 1-inch wide strips and preparing them one at a time until you get a feel for your setup. A typical portion is two to four ounces per person—about the same as a serving of pork belly, pâté, or foie gras.
Pan-Seared A5 Ribeye or Strip:
- Thoroughly preheat a cast iron or stainless steel pan to medium-high heat. Season whole or cut into ¾ to 1-inch strips.
- Season with sea salt. A modest sprinkle of pepper is ok, but not too much. The idea is to enhance the flavor, not cover it up.
- Optional: Add a small amount of neutral oil (canola, grape seed, or safflower) or fat trimmed during prep. However, this step isn’t essential. The natural fat content of A5 Wagyu will prevent your steak from sticking to the pan.
- Sear on one side for three minutes. Then sear the other side for 2-2.5 minutes.
- Rest for twice as long as you cook it.
2. Reverse Seared Filet Mignon
Defrosting your A5 Wagyu Filet in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours is the ideal method. If you’re short on time, an ice-water bath is the next best option. A5 grade fat has a melting point of approx. 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, it’s a good idea to keep your steak in the fridge or ice bath until just before you cook it.
Reverse searing or using the sous-vide method is our preferred way to cook this steak. Traditional cooking methods like grilling or pan searing can leave the center of your meat undercooked due to the thickness of the filet. A typical portion is two to four ounces per person—about the same as a serving of pork belly, pâté, or foie gras.
Reverse Seared A5 Filet Mignon:
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season the filet with sea salt. A modest sprinkle of pepper is ok, but not too much. The idea is to enhance the flavor, not cover it up.
- Cook your filet until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium rare.
- Remove your filet from the oven, and let it rest for about 7 minutes.
- Sear in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet for about 1 minute each side, including those thick edges.
- Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into 1 or ¾ inch strips, and enjoy.
3 Japanese Wagyu Brands You Should Also Try
More than 200 Wagyu brands are raised throughout various regions in Japan. Each region produces a different standard of meat based on breeding, how cattle are raised, and how long they live.
Here are three brands of Wagyu you should try.
1. Kobe Beef
These cattle are raised in Japan’s Kobe City. Fed a special diet of corn and rice, these cattle produce highly marbled meat, which defines its sweet rich flavor and signature aroma.
Many people think Kobe and Miyazaki Wagyu are the same thing. It’s important to remember that while they’re both brands of high-quality Wagyu, Kobe falls just short in flavor, tenderness, and overall quality. That’s why Miyazaki Wagyu has won first place in Japan’s leading Wagyu competition for 15 consecutive years.
2. Sendai Beef
Next to Hokkaido, Sendai beef is one of the northernmost situated beef producers in Japan and home to the Wagyu Olympics. Here cattle feast on the once legendary and now recently revived Sasanishiki rice stalks along with barley grain to create a robust flavor alongside the ridiculous marbling. A5-grade Sendai beef is the only beef in Japan that requires a BMS10+ score to qualify as Sendai Beef. Its extremely rare, less than .05% of Japanese production.
3. Omi Beef
Like all Wagyu beef, Omi cattle are raised with great care and attention near Lake Biwa in Japan’s Shiga Prefecture.
Grown with a carefully balanced diet and the clean water of the lake, the meat of Omi cattle is soft with a fine-grain texture, well marbled, tender with fat, and emits a mellow aroma. Omi beef is valued in Japan for its medicinal properties and around the world.
American Wagyu vs. Japanese Wagyu
Diners can find domestic Wagyu on menus, but there are distinct differences between American Wagyu and Japanese Wagyu. For starters, American Wagyu is a crossbreed of Japanese Wagyu cattle with, most likely, American Black Angus. While it still produces sensational marbling and delicious flavor, it doesn’t quite compare to the quality of 100% purebred Japanese Wagyu.
American Wagyu doesn't have the same sweet umami flavor of Japanese Wagyu, and although it is tender, it doesn’t melt in your mouth the way pure Wagyu does. That said, because it isn’t as rich and fatty as Japanese Wagyu, you’re able to consume more domestic Wagyu in one sitting. For people who want to fill up on a big steak dinner, American Wagyu is the way to go.
Domestic Wagyu allows you to enjoy a highly marbled steak with rich beefy flavor. While it doesn’t have all of the richness of Japanese Wagyu, it’s still a delicious option and would satisfy any meat lover’s steak craving.
Try Our Miyazaki Wagyu Selections
- Miyazaki-Gyu Japanese Wagyu A5 Hibachi Strip Steaks
- Miyazaki-Gyu Japanese Wagyu A5 Ribeye
- Miyazaki-Gyu Japanese Wagyu A5 Strip Steak
At Holy Grail Steak, we pride ourselves on offering a wide selection of world-class meats and steaks. Expertly butchered and professionally packaged, each order arrives in state-of-the-art shipping containers to ensure every cut of meat is protected and preserved to meet our high-quality standard.
Miyazaki Wagyu is in high demand with limited supply. Join our list for the latest promotions and updates on our Miyazaki Wagyu steaks.