So you want to learn the best way to cook A5 Wagyu? We’ve got you covered.
When you get your hands on this high-quality and unique meat, it requires a certain process to bring all that flavor out in the best way possible. Learn everything you need to know about cooking A5 Wagyu beef so you’re ready for your next home cooking experience.
Wagyu simply means "Japanese cow." It is a name given to cattle breeds carefully developed over centuries in Japan. A5 is the highest quality rating awarded. The letters A, B, and C refer to "yield," while the numbers 1 to 5 refer to the quality of the beef, measuring marbling, and other traits. The A5 Wagyu is one of the most exquisite meats. Authentic Japanese Wagyu is world-renowned for its unique buttery texture, unequaled tenderness, and subtle umami flavor, achieved through ample intramuscular fat deposits.
Cooking A5 Wagyu: Step-By-Step
Wagyu farmers achieve this exceptionally tender beef by raising their cattle in a stress-free environment and maintaining the heritage pure to the Wagyu bloodline. Wagyu comes from four major cow breeds with the most common being the Japanese Black (Kuroge) cow. Wagyu is specifically graded by the Japanese Meat Grading Association. To earn the prestigious A5 rating, your beef must rank high on three rating factors - the Beef Marbling Score (BMS), Beef Fat Standard (BFS), and the Beef Color Standard (BCS). In addition, your beef must also have an exceptional texture and firmness. Because of that, Japanese A5 Wagyu steaks are the finest you'll ever find anywhere and provide one of the ideal ways to enjoy beef in its purest form.
You can pick your A5 Wagyu like a top chef by following a few simple tips. It should be red in color with exceptional marbling, firmness, and texture. Our A5 Wagyu is sourced from Kagoshima Farms in Japan and is absolutely free from hormones. Interestingly, less than 1% of Japanese Wagyu produce holds the renowned A5 grade, so you know you can expect something incredible. But don’t let the rating intimidate you; any home chef can cook this remarkable cut.
Raised by hand, devotedly and respectfully in the pristine forest-rich lands of Japan, A5 Wagyu steaks require special attention when cooking. Therefore, we always recommend cooking your Japanese Wagyu steaks a little longer than normal beef to about medium-rare.
This ensures the intramuscular fat caramelizes well and becomes crisp, which, when well rested, allows the steak to be perfectly tender while releasing that optimum flavor of a Wagyu steak. Here is a step-by-step guide to the perfect Wagyu beef recipe:
1. Bring to room temperature
First, bring your Wagyu steak to room temperature. So, take the steak out of the refrigerator and let it rise to room temperature. This should take about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak.
However, Wagyu beef has such a low melting point that it's also possible to cook it straight out of the refrigerator. So if you are running low on time, this will come in handy.
2. Pre-heat your skillet
Ten minutes before cooking your steak, throw your skillet in the oven at 425°F. For quick sears, hotpots are usually more problematic. That's why you need to heat your chosen pan to ensure it's heated all the way, not just the burner's ring. Carbon steel, cast iron, and stainless-steel skillets will work as long as the heat is even and high.
Keep in mind that with A5 Wagyu beef, you don't want to cook it on a grill. The high-fat content may cause dangerous flare-ups and sacrifice a lot of flavor in the flames.
3. Sear your A5 Wagyu on both sides on a hot skillet
A popular belief is that cooking A5 Wagyu is difficult, but that's the easy part. Before cooking A5 Wagyu, place the cut on a hot skillet. Since Wagyu beef has an already high-fat content, you don't necessarily need to add oil to the skillet. A5 Wagyu isn't as thick as a marbly ribeye, so it cooks evenly and quickly within a short time. To get those intense umami flavors from your cut, ensure the meat develops a caramelized crust. Allow your steak to cook for about 3 minutes on one side, flip it over, and cook the other for 2 minutes.
4. Let it rest
Now, if you've ever cooked a steak, you may already know that you need to let your steak rest first before serving and eating. The same goes for your high-grade A5 Wagyu. An A5 Wagyu is not only one of the most exquisite steaks but also the richest cut of meat. So, slice and serve accordingly. We recommend about 3oz per person, although we’re guilty of having much more! Feel free to cut a portion you're comfortable with.
How to Defrost A5 Wagyu
If you are cooking your A5 Wagyu from frozen, place the cuts in the fridge and allow them to defrost for up to 48 hours. Once they are defrosted, rest your meat for a while longer before cooking. You should take your meat out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking and give it some time to come to room temperature.
Never defrost your Wagyu beef at room temperature as the fat in A5 Wagyu steaks has a lower melting point. Also, avoid defrosting your meat in the microwave.
How to Cook Bite-Sized Portions
Here is how to cook Wagyu slices at home:
- Cut your meat into small slices and cook each slice at a time. With A5 Wagyu, the smaller the slices, the better – a little always goes a long way, so it helps to savor and enjoy as you go.
- Season your steak slices with sea salt and pepper if you like. Season lightly – you want to savor and enjoy the meat rather than the seasoning. Alternatively, you can always season the meat after cooking.
- At this point, you should have preheated your stainless steel or cast iron. Seer the meat directly onto the hot surface for 1 to 2 minutes on every side, depending on the thickness of your slices. Slices usually measure about 1 to 4 inches.
- Avoid adding oil since A5 Wagyu steak has a lot of fat content. The fat from the meat will eventually melt out, giving you more than enough oil to work with.
What to Serve with A5 Wagyu
If you’re like us, you probably want to pair your A5 Wagyu with a good side dish that ensures your meat is the star of the show. Here are foods you can pair with your A5 Wagyu:
- Light, crisp, and chilled green vegetables
- Sauteed root vegetables
- White truffle butter makes for a great treat
- When it comes to beverages, anything goes. You can pair it with your favorite wine, beer, or sake.
Also, don't waste any fat you trim from your A5 Wagyu steaks. Instead, use the fat to sautee your veggies.
How Well-Done Should You Cook Your A5 Wagyu?
How long is A5 Wagyu cooked? How well done should your steak be? There is no right answer to this question. Like with any steak, someone else will argue for a different level of doneness regardless of what anyone recommends. Choose a level of doneness that you enjoy. For us, we recommend medium-rare doneness, so that's something to try. The thinner cuts of A5 Japanese Wagyu mean that the steaks cook more quickly.
Another thing to consider is that Japanese Wagyu has more intramuscular fat. What that means is that the meat rarely dries out. If anything, it needs more time on the pan for the internal fat to begin melting. A Japanese Wagyu bastes itself easily, and therefore all juices remain no matter how long it cooks.
If you want a unique meat experience, try Wagyu cuts. There’s a reason that Wagyu is such a sought-after meat. Wagyu steak is exquisite, to say the least. A quality slab of A5 Japanese Wagyu is a culinary experience that everyone should try.
You don’t need to go to a restaurant to have A5 Wagyu, and you don’t need to be a top chef. By sticking to a few simple steps and paying attention to your Wagyu, you can cook it the right way at home. The higher fat content of A5 Wagyu makes it so flavorsome, tender, and impactful. Let it cook in its delicious fats, and you’re sure to have some very happy dinner guests.