Chef's Chronicle | The Japanese Beef called Wagyu | SuperChef Nandakumar

Every rib eye is a steak, but not all steaks are rib eyes. A similar rule applies to Kobe and Wagyu beef: Every Kobe steak is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe. And Wagyu isn’t a tutelage term for just any Japanese cow. The luxuryversion of wagyu we all want on our plates refers to a specific breed ofJapanese cattle with special genetic qualities.

Kobe, in short, is a variety of Wagyu. Wagyu, loosely translated, means “Japanese cattle” – Wa” meaning Japanese or Japanese-style, and gyumeaning cow or cattle. So “Wagyu” refers to any cattle that is bred in Japan or the Japanese-style. Kobe beef is comprised of a very particular strain of Wagyu called Tajima-Gyu that is raised to strict standards in the prefecture of Hyogo. (Hyogo’s capital city is Kobe, thus the name).

Japanese Black: Originally raised as work cattle, Japanese Black beef or a Wagyu is prized for its intensive marbling.

Wagyu beef which has the quality of marbling is also better tasting. Wagyu fat melts at a lower temperature than any other cattle’s, resulting in a rich, buttery flavor unseen in other strains of beef. This fat is also unsaturated and high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, meaning not only is Wagyu marbling more delicious,

It’s important to know what’s a steak ,Wagyu. Connoisseurs of fine dining, grouse eloquent about the juicy, marbled steak that comes from Wagyu cows. The most sought-after is sirloin meat , generally used to make steak or sukiyaki. The meat around the loin boasts a fine marbling and thus makes for the best cuts to savor the characteristic taste of Wagyu beef.

“There are four breeds native to Japan. Of those four breeds, one of the breeds is genetically unique,” Heitzeberg says. “It has a genetic predisposition to createthis crazy marbling of fat on inside of muscle tissue. No other livestock does that.” Think of your average piece of steak. Chances are, it’ll have a fat cap onits outside. With Wagyu, it gets metabolized internally, so it’s integrated within the muscle. LatelyWagyu beef, the transcendently tender, fatty, rich steak—has become as synonymous with luxury as caviar or black truffles. But unfortunately starred menus lack this delicacy,all of the facts about Wagyu steak still tend to elude . The reason being the people can`t afford this rarity.


SuperChef Nandakumar


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Chef Nandakumar Menon or ‘Chef Nandu as he is known evolved into the Super Chef series. He was at the CASINO HOTEL in Kochi and later at the remarkable COCONUT LAGOON in Kumarakom. Both iconic Hotels and restaurants of repute for the quality and consistency of food offered at their restaurants. Coconut Lagoon where Chef Nandu headed the kitchen moulded him to cater to international clientele from all over the world coming in to experience the magic of the backwaters of Kerala and Kerala itself as a unique destination. From his early Catering Technology days at Adayar, Chennai and training at the famed TAJ MAHAL INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, Mumbai, Chef Nandu was back again at the Welcome Group’s ADAYAR PARK INN, Chennai. Later he headed the setting up of the various F&B outlets of the ABAD PLAZA group, Kochi as its Corporate Chef. And then with the Quilon Beach hotels, Chef Nandu created a redefined art of culinary expertise. His clientele were Doctors, Cashew businessmen and of course celebrities from the tinsel world, the cloyed connoisseurs had a different feel with his nouvelle cuisine. He still loves to cook and share his valuable experience of the world of food with The Daily Brunch and its readers in our series on SUPER CHEFS. Cheers! See more from SuperChef Nandakumar