Monday, March 30, 2015

The best sukiyaki in Tokyo, and about Saga beef and the grading system for wagyu.



Over the weekend in Tokyo, living a #Travelife, I was at my neighbourhood supermarket, which also happens to have one of the best meat stores in the whole city. The meat here is pricey but it's worth it as the quality is really some of the best.

There was a commotion in the counter, and I decided to look in on it, just out of curiosity.

Driving back home from Aoyama last night,
and the sunset was beautiful

IT'S MY LUCKY DAY

On the counter was slices of the best marbled beef from Saga Prefecture in Japan.

For about 30 minutes -- it's called a "Time Service Promotion" in Japan -- they were selling 200 grams for 1000 yen, and they only had 5 kilos to sell. I didn't even need to think twice about this as I could tell this was excellent beef at one glance.

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THE WAGYU GRADINGS SYSTEM

It's interesting how so many of my friends from overseas come to Japan intending to buy wagyu to bring home, and they're all talking about gradings of wagyu beef.

I think the ratings system was devised for foreigners because, in general, Japanese don't ever think about a ratings system for their beef. In Japan, we look at the provenance and the cut, and we can usually tell at a glance the quality of the beef as this is something very basic to food shopping in Japan.

No one ever talks about a grading system at a Japanese meat store.



SAGA BEEF FOR A SONG

So this was the same case over the weekend at the best meat store in Tokyo, where they were simply selling the remains of a huge cut of Saga beef for a song.

I was the last to buy and so I bought whatever remained.

I didn't even know what I would do with it or what I would make for dinner for some people coming over, but I certainly couldn't let great beef for a song pass me by.

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WHAT TO COOK WITH MY WAGYU

When I saw the cuts up close, I realised they were too thickly sliced for shabu-shabu -- at least for purists, as I'm sure they would do for shabu-shabu in a pinch.

So I said to the lady selling the beef: "This is better for sukiyaki, isn't it?" These were certainly to thin for a steak as well.

She nodded.

ORGANIC EGGS AND MILKY QUEEN RICE


And after buying the meat, I went over the next store to buy the best tofu, the most delicious rice I could find at the store (it's called Milky Queen), and the best organic eggs in Japan.

The organic eggs literally cost a fortune, actually, but I figured that I should have the very best ingredients to go with this wonderful beef I'd managed to get my hands on. You should always get the best fresh eggs you can find, for sukiyaki, as you are eating the eggs raw and this is the last coating for the meat.

And what a feast we had that night, in Tokyo, living a never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife.

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