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What is Kobe Beef?

February 26, 2015

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I’m gonna start this blog post by saying something I’ve never said about a video: I didn’t want to edit it. At all. I was ready to archive this footage and never look at it again. I wanted to keep it secret on a folder in some random hard drive that I’ve hidden away in the corner of an abandoned building. But I didn’t not edit it, and so I’m angry now, hungry and angry, because I want to eat this again and I know that I can’t. Looking over this footage again reopens that old wound. This was the best beef I ever had in my life, and no beef I have ever eaten has come anywhere close to as delicious as this Kobe beef here in this video.

So if you’re wondering what makes this beef so special, to begin with it’s a special type of Japanese cattle called Wagyu. Since there isn’t a lot of space for cattle to graze on in Japan, the workers actually massage the cow’s muscles to prevent loss of appetite or stiffness from being unable to walk around a lot. This also results in even fat distribution in the cow which is how the cut of beef looks so evenly marbled. Marbling just refers to how the fat is distributed in a piece of beef. In the case of Kobe beef it’s so evenly distributed and really fine looking, you don’t see a big line of gross fat that’s all tendon and chewy. It’s really like butter because the fat is so nicely distributed. Besides all the daily massaging, these cows are fed very high quality food and I also heard that the ranch workers even rub the cattle down with Sake which is apparently good at keeping their skin soft and creating soft meat in turn! Lots of work right? But I feel like all our livestock around the world should be treated this well.

I know some of you complain when watching our FAPFAPs, because it makes you hungry and you want to try it, but I feel like I can one-up you on the pain level this time. There’s a very good chance that you haven’t had anything like this, because Kobe beef isn’t really exported. And you don’t really have a frame of reference to compare this to: thinking of Kobe beef as “beef” is like comparing canned tuna to otoro sashimi. Sure, it’s the same animal, but the taste, texture, smell, experience, is entirely different. You can watch this video and feel curious; I watch this video and feel mourning for the best beef experience of my life. Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but in this case I’m not sure.

Ok, I’ll stop griping as if someone shot my dog. I’m not that sad. I’m just really hungry and I really want to eat this again and know that I can’t get it here in Korea. But I do know that we’ll be going back to this place whenever we go back to Kobe to visit our friends. Hey, I think we should visit them tomorrow. See you later, guise! Ha! No. But, hey, if I was rich, I’d be down for flying to Kobe on the weekends for the beef. Or maybe I should just move to Kobe. Hey: Kobe Bryant was actually named after the beef. It’s that good. Well, I wouldn’t name my kid after food, but I understand that Kobe beef is just that good.

I’ll share some pictures with you to make you hungrier:

And we have some extra scenes as well, because you can’t see enough of this meat:

If you’ve ever tried this, we’d love to hear if your experienced matched up with ours. Or, if not, I’d love to hear you whimpering in the comments. Hahaha no I’m kidding.

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What is Kobe Beef?

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  1. Min

    Lol this made me think of the song “Experiencia Religiosa” by Enrique Iglesias, I think it applies really well to that meat.

    2 years ago
  2. Hey, I know this is totally un related, but I will be arriving in south Korea on Sunday, and I will be a highschool exchange student there for the next 10 months. I figure doing a video on exchange students might be a cool idea, just due to the fact that lots of your fans are probably in highschool, and interested in living in Korea. I won’t really know too much about it for a few weeks as I likely wont really understand what’s happening for the first bit, but if you have any questions feel free to hmu

    2 years ago
  3. ARGHH I DIEEE, this killed me like how the Best Sushi in Japan killed me. Multiple times.

    Sidenote, I wonder how it compares to Korean Hanwoo beef.

    2 years ago
    • We’ve had Hanwoo, and we like Kobe beef a lot more. I know that might get us murdered for saying that out loud, but Kobe beef is just something else!

      2 years ago
  4. Well I had Thin Mints for dinner for the second day in a row. So there.
    For real though, that’s not good for me. I need to stop eating Thin Mints for dinner.

    2 years ago
  5. Ok watching this has made me even more hangry :D

    2 years ago
  6. What was the name of the place? I live in Japan and would love to go to Kobe sometime, and it would be awesome to eat this! My life was already ruined years ago by a steak I had at a fancy restaurant in the States, so heck, might as well one-up it! XD

    2 years ago
  7. There are actually a lot more restrictions to what can be called Kobe beef than what was mentioned. It’s not just any wagyu. It’s tajimagyu of the highest grade, meaning:
    1. it has to be a thoroughbred born in the prefecture of Hyogo (where Kobe is located)
    2. it has to have been brought up by a member of the commitee for Kobe beef. It’s hard to translate
    3. it has to be processed in Hyogo
    (and so far that was only the rules for Tajimagyu)
    4. if it’s female it must not have ever been pregnant, if it’s male it has to be a bullock
    5. it has to have a beef marbling standard of 6 or higher (<. this is the important part)
    6. only animals ranging from 230kg (females) or 260kg (males) to 470kg are considered

    Even if these requirements are all met, if there are any flaws with the meat the commitee for kobe beef decides whether the meat can be called Kobe beef or not.

    We went to Kobe last winter and had Kobe beef, and it was hands down the best beef I had ever had in my entire life.

    2 years ago
  8. Why do I always watch these videos when I’m hungry. Simon & Martina! What/who is that song by in your video?!

    2 years ago
  9. Wow, if Simon was rendered speechless, it must be good! So where is this place and the price? This is going on my bucket list..though my life will possibly be ruined then..oh well. haha. >_< ^_^

    2 years ago
  10. Its a shame you suffered so much. it is strange though, I remember them letting us order seconds and a couple of more beers….

    2 years ago
  11. Meg

    I will not lie to you. I cried a little during this video. It all looked So Good. It was beautiful. I’m tearing up just writing about it.

    2 years ago
  12. I had Kobe beef last summer when I visited the Kansai area from Tokyo, it was amazing. The best specialty beef I had in all Japan, though, was Ishigaki beef from the island of the same name in Okinawa. Japan specialty beef is so good. Japan’s beef in general is great.

    2 years ago
  13. When I studied abroad in Kyoto a couple of years ago, one of my classmate’s host father held a BBQ party at his house and invited all of the program participants to try Kobe beef for the first time. Since there was about 25 of us, our share of the meat was small (like two fingers worth) but holy smokes, I have never tasted anything more delicious in my entire life. Melting like butter was an understatement. I could hear Handel’s hallelujah playing the background as I ate this delicious morsel of divine goodness. Hopefully one day I can recreate that glorious moment!

    2 years ago
  14. OT, but I left a comment yesterday on the Travel post, and it’s still ‘under moderation’ 24 hours later? O_O There weren’t any links or anything questionable within the post, so I’m curious why it’s still under review?

    2 years ago
  15. That part of the video where they prepared the beef was so enjoyable to watch. That knife just sliced through that beef so easily!

    But ya know, some info on the place and the price would be nice. Is this the only place that offers Kobe beef? If not, is it the best one? What’s the name, where about in Kobe is it? Not that I can hop on a plane and fly there any time soon but it would be beneficial to others, me thinks.

    2 years ago
    • Lots of places in Kobe offer Kobe beef. I don’t know the place Simon and Martina went to, but when I went I paid 7,500yen for 130g of filet.

      2 years ago
  16. Tia

    That looks phenomenal *o* Was it really expensive you guys? Cause I read that “Kobe beef” that does get exported to America goes for up to $150 per pound. Sorry if it seems like I’m prying just want to know if it’s actually possible to ever try in my broke lifetime >_<

    2 years ago
  17. I cried with you.

    2 years ago
  18. Im sadly not in japan right now (/sad stomach rumbles) but for future reference, can I ask where in kobe was this? :3

    2 years ago
  19. I actually lived in Osaka for almost a year and never went to Kobe and try the beef… I’m a poor student. Do I regret it? Not really, I think it would make me sadder not to get it anymore. Also, Finnish beef is fine. (definitely better than I had in Japan and Korea in general)

    2 years ago
  20. I had what I thought was Kobe beef in 2007 at Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant in Philadelphia. It was amazing…I wonder what it actually was? I also wonder why no one is Europe or the U.S. is trying to make their own “kobe” beef via massage and good food for the cattle?

    2 years ago
    • its american waygu. it’s note the same cow that kobe beef comes from.they don’t give the cows the same treatment that they do in japan either. no daily sake massages for example.

      2 years ago
    • Kobe beef only comes from Wagyu cattle. The Wagyu cattle have a genetic predisposition to marbling, the ways the cattle are raised don’t cause the marbling, so American farmers can give their steers all the deep tissue massages they want, it won’t make it the fat marble like Japanese cattle. Massaging helps keep their muscles from cramping, but has not been found to significantly alter the distribution of fat. Which biologically makes sense- getting a massage doesn’t move your fat around either. I think there is an “American Kobe” but it is a cross between American Angus and Japanese cattle, so probably not as good.

      2 years ago
      • American Kobe is very very similar in texture and taste to Japanese Kobe. Personally, I have had both and I do find both very pleasing (as in a one bite and the meat is practically melting) to eat.
        Fun Fact: Angus Cattle actually have a very similar marbling genetic predisposition as Wagyu, which is why it is a bit more expensive that normal beef. The Breeding process for American Kobe is pure craziness too. They try to pair the best of the best together via genetic testing and how well a genetic line produces the best marbling.

        2 years ago
  21. Pfft thats not beef, it must be the meat of a mythological creature, its probably minotaur meat, yeah that sounds about right. In any case, I’m hungry now….

    2 years ago
  22. I’m a meat lover – I eat everything from chicken to veal to horse – but I don’t eat beef. I don’t like it, never ate it growing up and it’s just a taste I can’t enjoy. But looking at this video made me wanna try it if I ever go to Japan and if you say it’s not like ordinary beef then I guess I’ll just have to go and see for myself. Simon cried – that’s all the convincing I need.

    Was it cooked rare? Medium-rare? Blue? Personally I think anything cooked above medium just ruins meat and something tells me they aren’t cooking such high quality beef well done. Thanks for sharing! :)

    2 years ago
  23. Do you what cut you guys had? Do they sell different cuts? Or is it all tenderloin/filet to make sure peeps get the full effect. Someones got to eat the sirloins and whatnot but if you’re eating the best you’d want the best of the best of the best (it’s like Top Gun for steaks).

    2 years ago
  24. brb, crying in agony

    2 years ago
  25. That last piece Martina had– me thinks t’was was laced with some shrooms :P

    2 years ago
  26. Drooling… I love the way they cut and cook the beef. Perfectly rare with delicious crust on all sides! Genius.

    2 years ago
  27. I had Kobe beef grilled on a rock in Vancouver. But, I dont even think it was true Kobe…
    The Fujiya here in Victoria took orders for Wagyu beef like a month ago. Maybe they were able to secure some from Japan…

    Urgh I more or less have stopped eating beef… Think it runs on my mother’s side in that grandma doesn’t eat beef, and my mom doesn’t care to eat meat. At most, I eat beef…less than once a month?

    2 years ago
    • Yeah my mom was like that too. She was addicted to scallops and crab cakes and rarely ate meat.

      2 years ago
  28. What is the address of this place? I’m planning to travel to Osaka in early April and take a day off to go to Kobe to try out some Kobe beef but unsure of any nice places to go. Do let us know the address and prices for this restaurant!

    2 years ago
  29. Is it soft enough for sweet spudgy to eat?

    2 years ago
  30. With most of your FAPFAPs, I’m all– I live in Korea, I can eat that any time I want aww yeeeah– but this?
    This is genuinely upsetting.
    I… I don’t know if I can handle this. I just… I….

    2 years ago
    • BAAHAHAHHAHA I like your slow fade out into sadness…why not just ordering a Cheese Opera pizza from Pizza Hut to quell your sadness? :P

      2 years ago
  31. can you please tell me where is the place an how much was it ? becuse omg do want to eat it when i go to japan !! it looks like it was served to the gods good

    2 years ago
  32. I haven’t had the opportunity to indulge in Kobe beef yet (that’s hopefully next year), but I’m interested in the paradigm shift when it comes to what qualities are valued in a steak.

    The word “fresh” was used to describe the steak in the extras video, which in the West is not a desired quality when it comes to high-end steak. Steak purveyors boast about how long they dry age their steaks; one restaurant in Las Vegas sells steak which has been aged for nearly a year, and intensity of beef flavour is a desired outcome of that process. I happen to like that slight funk that an aged steak provides, so trying a steak that was bred for optimal taste while relatively “young” would certainly be of interest for me.

    2 years ago
    • This is not a “west” thing, as much as a US thing. In Brazil we value freshness and mostly think the way they treat meat in the US is a way to “mascarade” bad quality beef :x

      2 years ago
      • I find it to be really dependent on what you are doing with the beef with on why you age the beef. Other than that, I can’t get enough of fresh beef… mainly because I grew up on a farm!

        2 years ago
  33. How much does it cost? I am so tempted of going to Japan before I return home from Shanghai, but with a very limited budget I kind of have to plan things carefully. And eating Kobe beef would surely be an experience.

    2 years ago
  34. It looks so delicious!!!

    2 years ago
  35. mmmmm,mmmmmm speechless :D i want thaaaaat

    2 years ago
  36. There is actually a fancy restaurant i Stockholm that has kobebeef but it´s CRAZY expensive… I want to eat it but it cost as much as one month´s rent… ;(

    2 years ago
    • Don’t buy it. Kobe beef doesn’t exist in Europe. That place is probably fake.

      2 years ago
      • It’s actually true, the producers of kobebeef has agreed so sell like >0.5% of the meat to europe… Really really overpriced ofcourse… And no, i´m not gonna buy it. I´m saving myself to my trip there this summer :) I might even pay you a visit in your coffeshop! :)

        2 years ago
      • I was going to say that. We have fakes in France too. :/

        2 years ago
  37. Just a question, are there different grades of Kobe beef, or is it all the same? And what are the prices that go along with it?

    2 years ago
  38. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of meat. Not a fan at all, actually. I’m pretty sure I’d be vegetarian if it weren’t for my mom cooking meat because everyone in my family likes it except for me xD But I must say, this looks absolutely delicious!^^

    2 years ago
    • I totally understand. And, let me say again, I usually don’t like beef. I don’t like the smell of it cooking. I don’t like the taste. But this…this was something totally different.

      2 years ago
  39. ARGH HOW COULD YOU *runs away crying*

    …..*chews on beef jerky* *shniffles*

    2 years ago
  40. First…?

    2 years ago