Welcome to A-5 Wagyu
You’ve had a good steak, but have you tried A-5? — it’s truly remarkable. The balanced dispersion of fat, the quality and quantity of fat. It creates a texture that truly makes for an elevated bite, redefining what steak would taste like in a perfect world.
A-5 is the top quality of wagyu beef. Produced in Japan, only a small amount of it is allowed to be exported.
Back when I worked at the Japanese spot, us cooks would get tossed the A-5 scraps at the end of service. It sold at forty bucks an ounce, and when we saw the dark brown, and bright pink flash into the communal pan we’d graze on it like curious birds…oh, those were the days.
When shopping for this meat, it’s just like buying a gold necklace in downtown Los Angeles. This pricey snack comes with the risk of it being fake.. Although! If you’re still going to make the effort, look for a reputable source (one below) & I’ll provide a description of how to cook the meat — it cooks a little differently.
Cooking A-5 Wagyu
Cut the meat into one inch thick steaks, then salt and pepper liberally. In a heated cast iron pan, add oil, and wait for it to come to the smoking point. Put the steak in, and turn the heat to medium. Sear on both sides until some faint pink remains around the sides of the steak. Try to just flip once, this should take roughly two minutes a side.
Take out and rest the steak for 5 minutes. Baste in butter just before serving for 20 seconds for a medium rare, 1 minute for medium, and a minute half for medium well. This is usually served by itself or with some simple green vegetable preparation; i.e. blanched broccolini, sautéed kale, bok choy…
To baste, add a couple Tbs butter to the same cast iron pan when hot. Then add the steak with a crushed garlic clove. Now spoon the butter over the steak repeatedly for the required amount of time
As for where Wagyu comes from: Common are the tales of this rare bovine breed. Fed on beer, & rich fatty treats. Massaged in the shade, and sung to by virgins. If you haven’t had the same pleasure as I, and my comrades on the cooking line, you should really go for it one of these days.
Thanks for reading!
Nick Hayward: content and artwork
Deborah Gallinger: editor & co-producer
***You can contact Nick for culinary consulting or inquiries as to artwork at: