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Your Ultimate Guide To Japanese Wagyu and Australian Wagyu

Updated: Jan 9

Japanese Wagyu is the finest and most premium beef available in the world due to its high level of marbling. It offers an incredible flavour, juiciness, tenderness and visual characteristics of meat that none of the beef connoisseurs can resist!

With that in mind, you must have gotten the idea of why Australia is eager to import Japanese herds for crossbreeding. To upgrade the quality of Australian beef, of course! But, until today, none of the meat in the world has surpassed the superb quality of an A5 Japanese Wagyu.

Here we have rounded up some facts about Japanese Wagyu for you. Scroll down to see how Japanese Wagyu outstands the Australian ones and commands high prices in restaurants.

Japanese Wagyu Are 100% Fullblood Wagyu Beef

A Wagyu cattle’s bloodline is what most steak lovers pay attention to.

Myth 1: All Japanese herds are Japanese Wagyu.

This is not true because the title “Japanese Wagyu” only applies to these four native breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. Tracing back Wagyu cattle’s genealogy to Japan, each of them has a pure lineage with 0% of crossbreeding, which can be referred from their birth certificates. Most prevalently farmed in the provinces of Okayama, Shimane, Tajima, and Tottori, Japanese Wagyu is astoundingly sold as one of the luxurious delicacies in the world.

In comparison, over 95% of Australian Wagyu cattle are purebred or crossbred. This is because the breeding method for Fullblood Wagyu is too costly. Hence, many Australian ranches choose to mate Japanese Black with other local breeds such as Australian Black Angus. But, if the cattle have 93% and above of Wagyu by content, you can consider it as a Purebred rather than a Crossbred.

Japanese Wagyu Cattle Are Farmed And Raised in Japan

A cattle can only be considered as Japanese Wagyu if it is farmed and raised in Japan. This is because Wagyu cattle that are reared in a country with soil, climate, pasture, and rainfall different from Japan will not deliver the full merit of Japanese Wagyu breed characteristics. The taste, texture, and quality of beef will be affected.

Japanese Wagyu cattle

  • Location of cattle farm: Cattle are kept in the pen under the shed to minimize the stress of environment effect. This is because the amount of sunlight, ventilation condition, and the front and rear heights of a cowshed can affect the stress level of the cattle.

  • Amount of activity: Muscles with more exercise tend to be harder. To produce softer, finer and more tender meat, Japanese farmers limit the amount of activity the cattle undergo every day.

  • Animal feed: A specially formulated ration is adopted to feed cattle to maximise marbling ability. They are fed with natural feed such as barley and grass and supplemented by pure grain feed to control the fatty acid composition.

Australian Wagyu cattle

  • Location of cattle farm: Australia which is famed for its natural wonders and wide-open spaces, farms Wagyu cattle on open pasture.

  • Amount of activity: The cattle are given the freedom to laze and roam across the grazing land, which results in a more muscular beef with lesser marbling.

  • Animal feed: Australian Wagyu cattle graze outdoor. But, Wagyu cattle raised by the Blackmore family is fed according to the eco-feeding® standard. This means that the cattle consume natural commodities that are by-products of human food production after they are weaned.

Myth 2: Japanese Wagyu cattle are fed on beer and massaged daily while listening to classical music.

The fact is that there is a strict standard for feeding Wagyu cattle. While brushing the cattle with a stiff brush can help in increasing blood circulation and relieving stress, it is not listed in the guideline. Some farmers massage their cattle to keep cattle from cramping due to the lack of exercise or during winter.

Whereas for cattle’s diet, cattle farmers generally do not feed cattle with beer. But, some do so to increase cattle’s appetites, and thus their levels of fat because beer makes them happy and stress-free.

Japanese Wagyu Is Graded Differently From Australian Wagyu

Japanese beef is graded based on Japanese Beef Grading System. Looking at yield from A to C and beef quality from 1 to 5, Japanese Wagyu is currently the only meat that is prized with the A5 score.

Whereas, Australian beef grading systems include AUS-MEAT and MSA (Meat Standards Australia). Graded on a scale from M0 to M9, Australian beef is accessed between 10th and 11th rib, in terms of marbling, meat colour, fat colour, eye muscle size and rib depth. Australian beef usually receives a 6 while Australian Blackmore Wagyu can achieve up to a 9+.

Japanese Wagyu Offers A Distinctive Sweet Flavour

Japanese Wagyu are fed for 600 days or more. This long-fed farming method has resulted in Japanese Wagyu meat that is more tender and bigger in size. They are twice the size of Australian crossbred Wagyu as they are only fed for 350 - 450 days.

Teasing your tastebuds, Japanese Wagyu gives a distinctive sweet flavour similar to fresh coconut. But, its uniform texture distribution has led to a low melting point. This means that great attention should be paid to the fire and details. Not to waste such a high-end ingredient, many people prefer to dine in restaurants rather than DIY at home.

Hence, if you have the same concern, pay a visit to Kay’s Steak & Lobster to get your cravings fixed today! We offer both Japanese Wagyu and Australian Wagyu in our steak menu. We highly recommend you to try both as there is no other meat that can ever deliver a complex buttery, nutty and sweet flavour as these.


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