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What is Japanese A5 Wagyu?

Find out all about how to cook and eat Japanese A5 Wagyu.

Renowned for its unrivalled quality, Japanese Wagyu Beef is the ultimate beef experience.


‘Wa’ translates to Japanese, while ‘gyu’ means cow or cattle. Wagyu must be born and bred in Japan and comprises four breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, Japanese Shorthorn. The cattle are treated as part of the family and are raised in natural surroundings with access to fresh water and high quality rice straw.


Japanese Wagyu Beef is graded based on yield (A, B, C) and meat quality (5-1) with A5 indicating the highest class. Established by Japan Meat Grading Association, the grading system evaluates meat quality by marbling, meat colour and brightness, firmness and texture, as well as fat colour and fat quality. The third component of grading Japanese wagyu is by its marbling, scored from BMS 1 to 12.


We recommend enjoying Wagyu Beef as it is prepared in Japan, respecting the traditional art of Japanese cuisine. Wagyu Beef warrants a different treatment from Australian beef. Whether it’s served as a steak, sukiyaki, yakiniku or teppanyaki, Wagyu Beef is best prepared as thin slices. This allows for quicker cooking when grilled as yakiniku or dipped in a hot pot as shabu shabu.

Yakiniku Japanese barbecue, known as yakiniku, involves grilling high quality ingredients on gridirons or griddles tableside. The meat can be marinated or unseasoned, then dipped in ‘tare’, or dipping sauce, after grilling.

Teppanyaki Teppanyaki bears resemblance to yakiniku; however, meat is prepared on a flat iron grill instead of a gridiron griddle. Teppanyaki is a modern style of Japanese cuisine prepared by a skilled chef in front of diners. Although the theatre of watching the chef’s skills is very much a part of the experience, teppanyaki can be replicated at home using a frying pan. Serve teppanyaki-style Wagyu Beef with dipping sauces and grilled vegetables.

Shabu shabu Shabu shabu is a Japanese hot pot dish cooked like a soup with sliced meat and vegetables. Raw ingredients are assembled at the table, then submerged briefly in broth by each diner. Cook the thin Wagyu Beef slices individually rather than all at once, enjoying it over the course of the meal much like a fondue. After removing the beef from the pot, dip into sauces like ponzu or sesame sauce.

Sukiyaki Akin to shabu shabu, sukiyaki also entails a hot pot cooked tableside with sliced meat and vegetables. However, sukiyaki is cooked in shallower iron pots and has a sweeter flavour profile because of a soy sauce and sugar based broth.

Sashimi While sashimi is most famously known for seafood, it can also include raw meat like Wagyu Beef. Unlike sushi which is prepared with vinegared rice, sashimi consists of raw seafood or meat sliced into thin pieces. The secret to Wagyu sashimi is ensuring absolute freshness.

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