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I have had the real thing in Japan and it was fantastic and very expensive. I don't usually eat steak at all. The Kobe beef steak was the first I ate in my entire life. It was very tender and tasty, cooked medium rare. I had it because there was nothing else on the menu I would consider eating.

I live in Canada. I want to know if there is a cut of beef that's available in Canada that's close to Kobe beef quality.

  • I appreciate all the answers, thank you for the info – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:27
  • Kobe beef only comes from Japan. You should be careful to read the country of origin labels. – Mr. Mascaro Dec 17 '14 at 21:33
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Hello @Huangism and welcome to Seasoned Advice. You may consider domestic wagyu. To get the best, it will still be pricey, but not nearly as much as Kobe. Please see this excerpt from Lobel's of New York .

You Get What You Pay For

All Wagyu beef is not created equal. In Japan, Kobe beef sells at more than $300 per pound. But now Wagyu is starting to be seen in grocery stores and casual-dining restaurants for $30 per pound. This mass-marketed variety of Wagyu will have a marbling score at the low end of the 12-point scale. American Wagyu Beef from Lobel's of New York will score 9 points or higher. More expensive than our USDA Prime, our American Wagyu costs a bit more than $100 per pound (depending on the cut). In terms of quality, taste, and texture, Wagyu and Kobe beef are indistinguishable. If what you're looking for is best quality Wagyu, you should expect to pay $100 or more per pound.

The linked page has a lot more information and more links to additional info. Although this place is in the US, I linked it because of the information available. Performing anther search, I found that wagyu beef is now available in Canada at Loblaws in Toronto and also at Costco (various provinces).

  • There is a Costco 5 minutes from my house, I will look for it – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:25
  • I haven't see Wagyu beef at my local costco, but it's definitely available on their website. – talon8 Dec 17 '14 at 16:30
  • @Huangism I've never looked for it myself, but on the food mailing list where I work it seems like once or twice a year there's a thread with someone saying "hey there's wagyu again, who wants to share some?" so you might just have to keep checking back. – Cascabel Dec 17 '14 at 17:19
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    "Wagyu and Kobe beef are indistinguishable" -- misleading. Kobe beef is Wagyu beef from Kobe Prefecture. So is Ohmi, a Wagyu beef from Hyogo Prefecture. Unnamed Wagyu, especially from countries other than Japan, will have a different flavour, texture, aroma, and taste. The grade is important, yes, but that's just the intramuscular fat content. There are many other factors at play. – Ming Dec 18 '14 at 1:49
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The problem with you stating Kobe beef is its not a cut of meat. Kobe beef comes from certain cattle raised in Japan. In Canada your best bet will be to find the best quality beef you can. Depending on preference I'd suggest sirloin for a good all rounder, rib eye if you don't mind the extra fat (my favourite cut) or fillet steak if you want the most tender steak you can get. The problem with fillet in my opinion is the lack of fat which ultimately results in lack of flavour plus the price is stupidly high (in England at least)

  • For our North American friends fillet = tenderloin. – ElendilTheTall Dec 17 '14 at 16:02
  • Yes I understand that Kobe beef is not a cut which is why I never mentioned it as a cut in my question. I know different cut of beef can taste different, hence the question. So tenderloin then, I wonder how close it is to the taste of Kobe. – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:05
  • Can't say I've ever been lucky enough to try it but I know the rib eye from our local butcher (some rare breed) is great. If you are looking for flavour I'd recommend trying 'onlet' one day. Slow cooking meat not quick fry steak but without a doubt the tastiest cut. (a quick Google suggests it might be called hanger steak in the USA) – Doug Dec 17 '14 at 17:54
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    Actually, you did specifically mention it as a cut in your question, hence his answer. Kobe beef gets it's flavor from the fat marbling. The closest you're going to get to it is Wagyu beef, which has considerably close marbling. There's no way to cut a cow to make it taste like Kobe unless it's raised like Kobe. – Nathan Dec 17 '14 at 17:56
  • @AtroxMavenia the cut was not applied to the Kobe beef, but to the beef in Canada. I would Imagine the worst cut of Kobe beef is still better than anything we have in NA – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 18:22
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Do you know what cut of Kobe beef you had in Japan? Assuming budget is not an issue, your best bet will be to find the same cut in a Kobe Style or Wagyu beef. This is available in Canada. Get the same cut as whatever you had in Wagyu beef.

If you have no idea what cut it was, I'd probably start with a ribeye. It's one of the better, more popular cuts (also pricier). For example, Costco has Kobe Ribeye steaks generally. Note, they will be ridiculously expensive.

Stepping away from Kobe/Wagyu cows, look for a Prime grade Rib eye from a reputable butcher. What you're looking for is marbling as close to the following as possible: enter image description here

Note, you likely won't get that marbling from anything other than a Kobe/Wagyu cow. That said, you can definitely find some good quality beef around Canada. I'd look for a good butcher (not in a grocery store) and start there.

  • I don't know the cut but it is very similar to the picture you have. Yes it was very expensive, I only had one meal involving the beef. I actually didn't think it was good beef since there are so much white on it, but obviously I was wrong – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:21
  • If it looks similar to that, and you're describing it as really tender, it was likely a ribeye. What area of the country are you in? – talon8 Dec 17 '14 at 16:28
  • I am in Toronto, Ontario – Huangism Dec 17 '14 at 16:29
  • Then there should be lots of places/butchers that source Wagyu (or at very least Prime Grade). A few listed here: forums.redflagdeals.com/wagyu-steak-toronto-695781 Loblaws, Famu, Pusateri's – talon8 Dec 17 '14 at 16:33
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    @Huangism it is fat... but fat is what makes meat taste good, it's why a ribeye tastes better than a flank steak. – Random832 Dec 17 '14 at 19:09
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I lived in Tokyo as a US military dependent from 1956-60 and 1963-65. Our military newspaper, The "Stars and Stripes" and the Japanese newspaper, "Mainichi News" (printed in English) ran articles referring to Kobe Beef. The articles stated the cows received little exercise, were given a daily bottle of beer, and were messaged daily in order to ensure a high fat content well distributed throughout the meat. Even back then, the meat was very expensive, but highly prized by beef eating persons. This does not answer your question as to availability, but does explain the midcentury publicized reasons why Kobe Beef was/is so expensive.

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