More than a shared name*, Kobe beef is the best lean meat for serious athletes. We know that when you think of lean meat, you think first of chicken, then fish, and then maybe lean cuts of pork, with beef coming in a distant last. In general, this is true for the average (even Grade A Angus) beef that you buy in a supermarket. On the other hand, leanness is the hidden value of Kobe beef.
The confusion comes in when we know that the delicate texture and taste of Kobe beef comes from its high fat content. How can a steak that is highly marbled also be lean? The key is the type of fat. Kobe beef’s fat is high in unsaturated fat, also known as the good fat.
Unsaturated fat benefits athletes in two ways. Unsaturated fat melts away more quickly than other fat due to its low melting point. The low melting point is the reason that Kobe beef must be quick grilled at one to two minutes per side. Any longer and literally all of the fat melts away leaving a dry, tasteless, and expensive slice of beef on the plate.
Second, unsaturated fat actually lowers overall cholesterol and LDL’s (low-density lipoprotein) and increases HDL’s (high-density protein. LDL’s transports cholesterol through the body, so less LDLs means more cholesterol builds up in the arteries. HDL’s lower cholesterol levels in the body in the exact opposite way. HDL’s help cleanse cholesterol from the blood stream. So think about it: Kobe beef fat both decreases bad LDL’s and increases good HDLs.
Kobe beef contains levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, too. The body cannot produce Omega-3 and Omega-6. We have to eat them to get them. Both are essential for good health.
Lastly, Kobe beef is pure complex protein. When you eat a Kobe beef steak, your body takes in protein that it converts to muscle directly. Though we know the nearly 100%-protein diets are not healthy, we also know that any serious athlete as to dramatically increase protein intake. Kobe beef is the most delicious way to do that.
When did you add Kobe beef to your athletic diet? What results did you see?
*Kobe Bryant’s parents named him after Kobe beef when the saw the high price of the meat during a trip to Japan.
Women love a good Kobe beef steak. We don’t have to re-label it as “Diet Kobe Beef,” invent some tag line like “Kobe Beef. It is for women.”, or change the packaging colors to pink with bright bows. For you or for a gift, a Kobe beef steak or hamburger is perfect.
Why, you might ask? Because both men and women have grown up in their food palettes. Men now eat more salads and women now eat more red meat. It’s not your grandma and grandpa’s kitchen any more.
If you’re thinking of Kobe beef as a gift, you might wonder if the woman in your life would actually enjoy it. Consider these market facts and see if she fits into a potential Kobe beef eater.
Women participate or participated in sports in the greatest number in the past decades. There are the traditional sports for women such as tennis and gymnastics, but other sports like soccer and basketball also have grown. Likewise, the female audience for all sports has increased dramatically in the pa
st few decades, especially in games like American football that aggressively marketed towards women.
Where there’s sport, there’s red meat. If a woman loves to settle in on the couch with a beer (or maybe a Chardonnay) for an afternoon of college football or the NFL, there’s also a pretty likely chance that she’d love a great Kobe beef steak grilled (at one to two minutes per side) between games.
Along with sports, women are active participants in fitness, especially young women. The fitness market is an ever growing market segment, and with fitness comes a focus on diet. The predominant diet regime both for men and women is a low-fat, high-protein diet. Kobe beef gives both.
Of course, as beef, Kobe beef delivers a huge amount of protein, but unlike other types of beef, Kobe beef has unsaturated fat, the good fat that actually helps lower other types of bad fat. (It’s also what gives Kobe beef its buttery taste.) With a Kobe beef steak, a woman athlete or fitness buff gets the protein and good fat that she needs, along with iron that beef has, which all women need.
If you are a woman, when was the first time that you tried Kobe beef? If you bought Kobe beef as a gift for a woman, what was the occasion?
When it comes to bachelor parties, we know the tried-and-true, and overused activities. There’s the . . . you know. And the . . . that, too. Then the night ends at . . . those types of places. What about the groom who is not nineteen-years-old and going into the army right after the wedding? What about the man who, to be blunt, simply isn’t the strip club kind of guy?
More and more men are marrying later in life, after they’ve lived real bachelor lives. Going out and drinking with the boys one last time when you’re pushing 30, or even over, isn’t all the risqué. For a groom who is not shaking in his shoes at the thought of losing his single-man freedom, a more mature bachelor party is called for. What’s a bachelor party for such a man look like?
A $50 bottle of scotch, yes, extravagant. A hand-rolled Cuban cigar, exotic (and possibly illegal). A Kobe beef tenderloin . . . both extravagant and exotic. Instead of the giant cake with the stripper inside, imagine a group of best friends, one the groom, the night before his wedding. The bride and her friends go out, too, but the men stay at home and light up the grill. One friend breaks the seal on a great bottle of something, a scotch, a cognac, or a haut-médoc. Another cuts the tips of a Sancho Panza cigar. The third prepares the coals and quick grills Kobe beef tenderloin. (One to two minutes per side for a rate to medium rate doneness.) Sure, there’s a nice side salad and pasta, potato, something like that. But the centerpiece is the Kobe beef steak with the camaraderie of good friends.
Just to make sure the party stays traditional, end the meal with cheesecake, the kind made with cheese.
Kobe beef, smooth and flavorful. Canadian whiskey, smooth and flavorful. You probably have not read much about pairing any meat, let alone Kobe beef, with whiskies, but here you have it.
Many people associated whiskey with the peatiest and smokiest Scotch, the type of whiskey that overpowers everything. How could you ever pair a 21-year-old Highland scotch with any food? You couldn’t.
Canadian whiskey offers many other choices, though. Often called “rye whiskey” (though mostly made with corn), Canadian whiskies are known for their light but flavorful contrast to the heavy handed British whiskies or even the fruitiness that some find in bourbons.
Just like with wine or beer, you want your whiskey to match the Kobe beef. Most whiskies will stand up to Kobe beef’s light, buttery flavor and texture, but the beef will not hold its own against a very strong drink.
Avoid high proofs (one proof equals one-half percent alcohol by volume). The alcohol content largely makes the whiskey feel heavy in the mouth, a feeling opposite of what we want. Most of the recommended Canadian rye whiskies here are 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume), the most common proof.
Given Kobe beef’s buttery flavor, whiskies with fruity flavors match well. Look for these in your local store for good starting points for experimentation:
Those of you who know Canadian rye whiskey probably miss your favorite on this list, and that’s the point. Experiment and find the perfect whiskey for you that matches a Kobe beef steak. Try different cuts of steak, different preparations, and different whiskies.
What whiskies have you paired with Kobe beef? Have you found different whiskies match different cuts of Kobe beef better than others?
Pampered since birth. Special diets of only the highest nutrient foods. Regular massages to keep the muscles relaxed and smooth. Even genetically gifted. Who could it be? You’d think that we’re describing one of the current Olympic superstars like Michael Phelps or Jordyn Wieber, and you’d be close. Who, or what, we really are describing are the Wagyu cows that give us Kobe beef.
What does the training regimen of a Wagyu cow look like? Unlike our athletes (at least in some countries), the genetic heritage of each calf is strictly controlled and recorded so that only the best specimens are produced.
After birth, Wagyu calves are kept with their mothers so that they receive nature’s best infant formula. After weaning, Wagyu cows are fed a highly nutritious mix of grass and grain. Also, the Kobe beef cows do not receive any unnecessary anti-biotic or other injections. They are some of the first “natural” athletes in the world.
Traditionally, Japanese farmers massaged their herds to release stress and muscle soreness, and that continues today. Farmers even give their cows mud facials! (Not really.)
In the summer, when the Kobe beef cows might not each as much, they drink more, as in more beer, which stimulates the appetite. Beer may be the only weigh-gain stimulate allowed by international sports.
This regime results in the classic, unique, and unmistakable taste and texture of Kobe beef. Soft. Velvety. Buttery. Melt-in-your-mouth. These are ways to describe the perfection of Kobe beef.
If there were an Olympic Games of beef, Kobe beef would be the run-away gold medalist. Genetics, nutrition, training, and nurture all produce the best beef in the world, Kobe Wagyu beef.
What cuts of Kobe beef do you associate with current Olympic athletes? Are the female gymnasts tenderloin? Are the male swimmers a great Kobe beef hamburger? What is the Kobe beef gold medal cut and recipe for you?
You should eat Kobe beef. If you’re reading this, then chances are that you ate beef this week, and more than likely you ate it today. As a dedicated beef eater, Kobe beef offers you the best choice.
All beef is not equal. Some of the cheapest ground beef found in supermarkets fatty, ground from tough, tasteless cuts, and filled with who knows what type of chemical.
Granted, all beef contains protein, along with zinc, iron, and vitamins B3, B6, and B12. With typical factory beef, you get higher cholesterol and old meat repackaged to hide its age.
With Kobe beef, you get the nutrients, but with the natural husbandry methods used by Wagyu ranchers, you get more. Kobe beef cows are raised on natural diets in open ranges. Also, Kobe beef ranches don’t used unnecessary injections, like anti-biotics when cows are not even sick.
In fact, natural raised beef has as much cholesterol as a lean chicken breast. Also, grass-fed beef is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower rates of high blood pressure, depression, ADD, and Alzheimer’s.
You might not realize it, either, but when you buy supermarket beef, you may be buying beef that has been semi-frozen for possibly two weeks. The Kobe you order is flash-frozen after careful aging.
If you are going to eat beef daily—and you know that you are—buy the best that you can buy. Buy Kobe beef.
What have been your worst experiences with supermarket beef? Have you ever cooked a supermarket steak and Kobe steak side-by-side? What were the results?
“Eat more Kobe beef red meat!” You probably won’t find that phrase in most nutrition guides, but it is good for you. Eating this smooth and velvety red meat can actually lower the bad fat in your blood and increase the good fat. Surprisingly, it all has to do with the fat in Kobe beef itself.
Kobe beef is well known for its extreme marbling of fat. In fact, the Japanese grading system for the meat focuses solely on the amount of fat in a rib eye and the overall fat of the entire animal. The more the fat, the higher the grade.
So how can Kobe beef fat be good for you? It’s the type. Kobe beef is high in unsaturated fat. This type of fat has two benefits. First, unsaturated fat has a lower melting point, so when cooked, this fat melts away more quickly than other fat. This is true even for the quick grilling technique for Kobe beef.
Second, studies have shown that unsaturated fat actually lowers overall cholesterol and LDLs and increases HDLs. LDLs (low-density lipoprotein) transports cholesterol through the body, so less LDLs means less cholesterol build up. HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) are associated with lower cholesterol levels in the body. Kobe beef fat both decreases LDLs and increases HDLs, along with the benefit of great taste.
Kobe beef also has high levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Kobe beef’s fat is again good for you. Omega-3 and Omega-6 cannot be produced by the body but must be taken in through diet. Both are essential for good health. Eating Kobe beef gives you these hard to get nutritional elements.
The next time someone questions about eating the high-fat, perfectly-marbled, melting-like-butter-in-your-mouth Kobe beef, school her. Yes, Kobe beef has high levels of fat. In fact, the cows have been bred for high fat content. Tell her that all fat is not created equal. Some is good; some is bad. Kobe beef has the good fat, along with the protein. Oh, and be sure to add, along with the unique taste and texture you only get with perfectly prepared Kobe beef.
We’re not stretching the truth when we say Kobe beef is the royalty of red meat. As such, it needs the perfect wine consort, its own Kate Middleton. Beautiful. Slender. Graceful. Dignified. Restrained. Only Cabernet Sauvignon meets the criteria.
Delicate, buttery, velvety, sweet, smooth, all words used to describe well-grilled Kobe beef. General grilling instructions are five minutes each side, tops, on a very hot grill, and then ten minutes rest, leaving the inside very rare. Anything more leaves the meat dull.
Any wine for Kobe beef must match this tender characteristic. The wines made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape are fruity, mild, and soft, with little acidic or tannic qualities, both of which would overpower the gentle palate of Kobe beef. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is the principal grape for two world-famous wines: Red Bordeaux and California Cab.
• Red Bordeaux: Probably the most famous wine in the world, Red Bordeaux relies mostly on the Cabernet Sauvignon grape for its mild drinkability. Red Bordeaux come in a wide range of prices, from ten dollars to hundreds per bottle, so you can choose to match the cost of your Kobe beef or balance things out.
• California Cab: Probably the most famous and popular wine in the United States, the California Cab offers the same smoothness of the Red Bordeaux, but at a lower price point, though the prices can reach the higher extremes.
Another grape to consider is the Tempranillo originally from Spain but cultivated around the world now. Young Tempranillo wines are mild, fruity, with somewhat earthy flavors. Be careful to avoid the aged Tempranillo wines that are much stronger and will overpower well-cooked Kobe beef.
Really, you can drink any type of wine you want with Kobe beef. The only rule is that since the properly prepared meat is mild and gentle, you want a wine that complements not dominates. Besides that, good eating and good drinking!
You want to take a special person out for a culinary experience. Let’s also say this person loves steak, so you plan on a high end steak house, one that serves Kobe beef. The event can be a graduation, marriage proposal, anniversary, you name it.
Now we’ll do the math on the restaurant visit. The price of Kobe beef starts at around $75 per pound and goes up to $150 depending on the cut. How much do you think that steak will cost at a restaurant where the chef will put the meat on a hot grill, turns it once, and then plate it for you? Double maybe?
You can bring fine dining home with you for a lot less, in fact just for the price of the steak itself. With the ease of preparation of Kobe beef, you can make your home cooking into its own dining experience.
Fine dining begins with the eyes, so the first thing you get at home that you don’t get in a restaurant is a look at the meat before it’s cooked. Some have described the marbling of Kobe beef as a light dusting of snow. The perfect marbling of Kobe beef is beautiful in itself.
After the eyes, great culinary experiences move to the nose. Fire up the barbeque as hot as you can make it. Sear the meat for five minutes on both sides. When you grill at home, you smell the meat cooking, that sweet yet meaty scent that makes your neighbors look over the fence to see what delicacy you’re cooking.
Tent with aluminum foil and rest for ten minutes and then eat. With the low cost of the side dishes (steamed carrots, let’s say), you just cut your experience of culinary delight in half.
As cooking Kobe beef is a simple art, so is eating it. Sear quickly, but chew slowly. The beef literally melts in your mouth like hot butter with a rich, beefy taste.
At first, you might balk at the price of Kobe beef, but look at the value of cooking at home compared to a restaurant and turn a simple barbeque into a fine dining culinary experience.