Yakiniku Day with Wagyu Beef
29 AUGUST 2022
Twenty-nine years ago, 29th August was proclaimed as Yakiniku Day by the All Japan Yakiniku Association.
It’s probably thanks to the association’s initiatives that yakiniku is part of our everyday vocabulary today, and one of the best answers to “What should we eat tonight?”
What is Yakiniku?
Yakiniku is a method of cooking that involves grilling meat. There are two ways of grilling yakiniku: over an iron plate (teppanyaki) or a grill net (amiyaki).
Beef is especially popular with yakiniku thanks to its distinct aroma and taste when grilled. The charred surface of meat and fat creates that delicious smoky, beefy aroma that makes us drool. With Wagyu beef having its own sweet ‘wagyuko’ aroma, the experience is even better!
Besides the delicious smell of grilling beef, there’s also the meat texture. You can enjoy your Wagyu beef lightly seared, or give it a crispy edge. It is still a do-it-yourself meal, so short of burning up your luxury beef, cook it any way you like.
According to the All Japan Yakiniku Association’s website, yakiniku was a cuisine birthed after the war, “and Korean food is added to it”. Indeed at many local yakiniku restaurants, Korean side dishes are served, especially kimchi. We also eat the Korean barbeque way, wrapping our meat in lettuce.
As for the setting, yakiniku is usually (and best!) enjoyed in a group. A communal grill is featured at the center of the table and everyone takes turn to grill their own serving of meat. After grilling your Wagyu beef, you have the choice of dipping it in a sauce. From soy sauce and yuzu, to mustard and salt. Or experience Wagyu beef on its own to fully appreciate its flavour and texture.
Why is Yakiniku with Wagyu Beef Different?
We’re speaking for ourselves here, because Wmart boasts a wide range of Wagyu beef cuts, for a wider range of eating experiences.
While commercial beef can also be used in yakiniku, it cannot compare to Wagyu beef in terms of quality, tenderness, and even appearance.
The farming methods behind Wagyu beef are meticulous. Wagyu cattle are raised in pristine conditions, free of antibiotics and hormones, as well as free of stress. Iga Wagyu cattle ― our specific brand of Wagyu cows ― are raised on a diet of 18 to 22 types of grains and special feed.
Wagyu beef’s renowned tenderness comes from its intense marbling, which ordinary cattle do not possess. This exquisite snowy marbling can be seen on your Wagyu beef slices. People love taking pictures of Wagyu yakiniku platters even if they aren’t going to eat them.
When you finally put a piece of Wagyu beef in your mouth… this is where you taste the difference. Wagyu beef is so tender it melts in your mouth. Hate gnawing on tough meat? With Wagyu beef, it’s delightful to chew on meat. Its umami leaves your tongue with a sweet aftertaste.
We also like Iga Beef in particular for its less greasy texture. As yakiniku may feel a lot of eating fried meat, we appreciate Iga Beef’s more mellow flavour.
How to Buy Wagyu Beef for Yakiniku
If you are already familiar with beef cuts and have preferences, then go ahead and pick the cut you enjoy the most. At Wmart, we offer a range of unique cuts and use Japanese-style cuts, for those who want to try new flavours and cuts.
Since you’re aware that Wagyu beef is going to be butter-soft whatever the cut, we recommend mixing a few types of cuts to experience different flavours and textures. Get a combination of lean (like the flank or knuckle/shintama) and fatty (short rib) cuts, as well as popular premium (tenderloin, striploin, chuck short rib) and unique (tri-tip, chuck flap/zabuton, oyster blade) cuts.
You can buy a block of Wagyu beef if you want to cut your own yakiniku slices, but we believe it’s more convenient to let the meat experts prepare the yakiniku slices for you. Our butchers are highly skilled and pay a lot of attention to detail, helping you trim off unwanted fat and parts.
For yakiniku, Wagyu beef is sliced into rectangular, bite-sized shapes that are easy to serve, grill, and eat. Yakiniku slices are thicker than shabu-shabu and sukiyaki slices. Five millimeters thick, to be precise.
If this is your first time buying Wagyu beef for yakiniku, don’t be shy about approaching our butchers at the meat counter. They’re friendly guys who are more than happy to give you a walkthrough on Wagyu beef. They can guide you on how much to buy (we recommend 200g for each person). Even if you have a strict budget, we know how to pick cuts that are affordable, yet provide you with a satisfying Wagyu experience.
Once you’ve picked the cuts you like, our butchers will prepare your yakiniku slices. They can be prepared on trays and wrapped, or vacuum-sealed if you’re planning to freeze your Wagyu beef for a later date.
Whilst waiting for your Wagyu beef to be sliced and packed, you can wander around Wmart supermarket to pick up sauces, sides and other ingredients for your yakiniku feast.
Then head home and celebrate your Yakiniku Day!
Remember: you can pre-order your Wagyu beef by contacting us, which we encourage you to do. As we write this (this being Merdeka week), our Iga Beef stock is down to our last tri-tip. We’ve got other Japanese Wagyu beef, but Iga Beef is our favourite selection as you can tell. Our new stock of Iga Beef will be arriving soon.
You can browse some of our available Wagyu beef via our website, PM us on Facebook or Instagram, or WhatsApp us for more information. We also do same-day deliveries around Kuala Lumpur and Selangor now, depending on our availability, so get in touch with us for Wagyu beef today.