What is Japanese A5 Wagyu and American Wagyu?

What is Japanese Wagyu?

Japanese Wagyu beef is the most exclusive and coveted beef in the world. What makes it so special? Let's start at the beginning...

"Wagyu" translates to "Japanese Cow" and is praised for its consistency, storied reputation, meticulous and highly stringent husbandry, remarkable marbling, fat content and tenderness. Its lineage is recorded and tracked from birth so that every cattle can be publicly traced and verified at the Japanese National Livestock Breeding Center Website. This protects businesses and consumers from fraudulent suppliers. 

Wagyu beef is further defined by the region or prefecture that the animal is raised:

Miyazaki Wagyu

Born and raised on Kyushu Island in the Miyazaki prefecture. These cattle are meticulously tended to and fed a very precise diet of wheat, rice, corn, and barley. This results in a sweet, rich umami flavor and snowflake marbling that has earned Miyazaki beef the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence 3 consecutive times, and 1st place in the Wagyu Olympics twice. Mr. Steak features Miyazaki A5 Wagyu in both Boneless Ribeye and New York Strip.  

Mr. Steak Japanese A5 Miyazaki Wagyu

Hokkaido Wagyu 

Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island. Its cooler temperatures and lush green pastures provide excellent conditions for calves. Hokkaido beef is known for being uniquely tender with an exquisitely subtle flavor. 

Olive Wagyu

These cattle are raised on a special feed of dehydrated and roasted olives and are known for having higher level of oleic acid and a nutty, rich and luscious flavor. These cattle are raised in the mild climate of Shodoshima Island in Kagawa prefecture.

Other Wagyu prefectures include Motobo Gyu Wagyu, Kagoshima Wagyu, Iwate Wagyu, and Kobe Wagyu. 

Japanese breeds of cattle include include Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled. Japanese Black cattle is the most popular breed in Japan and makes up 90% of all Japanese Wagyu. 

Japanese Wagyu grading:

Japanese Wagyu Beef is strictly graded by the Japanese Meat Grading Association. As the most superb beef in the world, it is critical that this special and coveted product is properly graded to protect integrity, transparency, and authenticity.

Wagyu Beef grading is based on two  factors: Yield and Grade. Yield meaning the ratio of meat compared to the actual carcass weight. Grade meaning the overall Beef Marbling Score of 1-12 (BMS), Beef Color Standard (BCS) , Beef Fat Standard (BFS), Firmness & Texture. In order to qualify as A5 Japanese Wagyu, beef must be graded as Grade A for yield and Grade 5 in BMS, BFS, BCS, firmness and texture.

What is American Wagyu? 

American Wagyu crosses purebred Japanese Wagyu breeds with exceptional genetics with traditional and prized American cows, usually American Black Angus. In essence you get the incredible buttery, melt-in-your mouth marbling combined with the intense, beefy flavor of American beef. 

Mr. Steak's American Wagyu

American Wagyu Grading: 

American Wagyu follows the Japanese 12 point Wagyu grading scale. For reference, USDA Prime has a BMS of 4-5. Wagyu cattle averages BMS 4-6 but depending on genetics, nutrition, and age at time of slaughter, can go all the way up to BMS 11-12. Mr. Steak's American Wagyu is rated 8-9 on the Japanese BMS scale, meaning it contains more marbling, tenderness and flavor than the majority of other American Wagyu with a lower BMS rating. Anything over 9 on the BMS scale will be exorbitantly expensive and is extremely rare.

Mr. Steak's American Wagyu is natural and part of the never-ever program, which means the cattle have never received antibiotics or hormones and received a 100% vegetarian feed with no animal by products. 

Learn more about Wagyu and give ours a try!