THE NATIONAL TREASURE
There are only four breeds considered as Japanese Wagyu: Japanese Black (黒毛和種, Kuroge Washu), Japanese Polled (無角和種, Mukaku Washu), Japanese Brown (赤毛和種, Akage Washu) and Japanese Shorthorn (日本短角和種, Nihon Tankaku Washu), born and raised in Japan. The Japanese Black cattle, one of them is Satsuma Gyu, is the most numerous across all Japan and known to have the best marble among the others. Unique and valuable, Japanese Government declared Wagyu a national living treasure and it is highly protected.
However, as technology evolved and Wagyu demands increased, people started to interbreed Japanese cattle with imported breeds, like Australian Angus, for example. This modern Wagyu is categorised as crossbred, with different percentages of Japanese Wagyu DNA due to its crossing. Satsuma Gyu, however, is fullblood Wagyu with 100% Japanese Black cattle DNA, and therefore considered authentic and pristine, rare and unspoiled.
Nowadays, Japanese authorities are still in the fight of Wagyu smuggling cases of those allegedly selling its semen and embryos to other countries to preserve the lineage and protect its number.
WAGYU’S MARBLING SCORE
There are 2 grading systems that are applied in the Japanese Wagyu industry. The first one is an overall grading system, ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5, the highest. This number assesses consistency and palatability of the meat, including tenderness, flavour and juiciness.
The second is the beef marbling system or BMS, ranging from 1 to 12, encompassing all factors, especially its marbling of fat content and meat colouring. Therefore, the final grade, 1 to 5, is based on the quality score as follows:
+ Poor (Quality score of 1)
+ Below Average (Quality score of 2)
+ Average (Quality score of 3 or 4)
+ Good (Quality score of 5 to 7)
+ Excellent (Quality score of 8 to 12)
“Japanese Wagyu A5. What does it mean?”
A5 is the highest grade Wagyu can achieve, typically reserved for cattle that are fed the best foods, like corn and grain, and raised with exceptional care. The letter A in A5 refers to the highest yield quality. Meaning, there is a minimum of 72% meat amount taken from the carcass. While the number 5 (ranging from 1 to 5) in A5 refers to superior quality, including the highest marbling score.
Satsuma Gyu and The 4% Miracle
To be labelled Satsuma Gyu, cattle must meet the following standards:
+ Tajima-Gyu (Japanese Black) born and raised within Kagoshima Prefecture
+ Have a marbling rating (BMS) of 3 or higher out of 12
+ Have a meat overall quality rating of 4 or higher out of 5
+ Not exceeding an overall weight of 470 kg
Because of these high standards, only 3.000 heads of cattle qualify as authentic Satsuma Gyu each year. Among them, only 4% contain 80% of fat and reach the perfect marbling score of 11 or 12 (out of 12). It’s amazing that an animal can live well with that amount of fat, and therefore, a miracle.
NATURE’S OWN SUPERFOOD
This amazing marbling level results in a tender, juicy, melt-in-the-mouth feel, with buttery finish that explains the umami. The fat contained in Wagyu has been likened to olive oil and salmon in terms of its health benefits, making it nature’s own superfood. Some of the health benefits are:
+ Wagyu has the lowest cholesterol levels of all meats.
+ Wagyu contains oleic acid that is good for the heart.
+ Wagyu is rich in omega-3, omega-6 and essentials monounsaturated fatty acid that is good for children’s brain development.
+ Wagyu has been proven to slow down aging.
+ Wagyu is believed to have anti-carcinogenic properties, preventing the risk of cancer.
WINNER OF THE WAGYU OLYMPICS
Since 1966, Japan's beef industry has held The Wagyu Olympics (全国和牛能力共進会 Zenkoku Wagyu Noryku Kyoshin-kai) every 5 year to crown the best beef in the country. There are two main categories competed in the Olympic: breed improvement (size, growth, body proportion, etc.) and meat quality (grading, marble and amount of monounsaturated fatty acid contained).
The last Olympic held in September 2017 brought over 400.000 people and scores of artisanal and craft beef producers from 39 prefectures all across Japan. Kagoshima beef, known as Satsuma Gyu, proudly crowned the top prize based on overall contest score. It is humbled to be the best Wagyu in Japan right now.
HALAL & CERTIFIED WAGYU
In all of Japan, there are only two slaughterhouses that are officially certified halal by MUI (the Indonesian authorized body for Halal organization). They are Zenkai Meat Co. in Kumamoto Prefecture (2hrs away from Kagoshima), and Nishiawa Beef Ltd. in Tokushima Prefecture (10hrs away from Kagoshima), both of which are part of Kyūshū Island.
To be considered halal, the cows are killed by hand and must be blessed by Muslim slaughterman, trained and certified by attending special halal slaughterhouse courses. The halal, health and quarantine certificates are issued by Muslim Professional Japan Association (MPJA) and are mandatory requirements for any imported meat to enter the growing Indonesian market.
DELIVERED EXCLUSIVELY TO INDONESIA BY PT SUBUR ARTA UTAMA
As Wagyu gained its popularity in Indonesia, the lack of halal certification has prevented those who might have had their interests in trying Wagyu from purchasing. The halal label is deemed important because of Indonesia population that mostly comprises Muslims. However, the old version of the Ministerial Regulation in Indonesia caused an assumption that imported meat products would not need a halal label. And ever since, advantaged the imported beef smugglers to claim some Wagyu as halal without warrant.
Since 2014, PT. Subur Arta Utama has imported Satsuma Gyu with halal, health and quarantine certificates, making it available for Indonesians to enjoy the best quality of Japanese Wagyu without guilt and fear of eating non-halal meat.
Check your Wagyu’s authenticity
Just like the human’s fingerprint, Wagyu nose print is authentic, distinctive and unique, each different from the other. With every purchase, this nose print certificate issued by Kamichiku Co. is attached, giving clear and comprehensive information of the meat.
Make sure your wagyu is registered and certified.
KNOW THE CUTS
Japanese cuts highlight Wagyu’s distinct qualities, and celebrate traditional Japanese cooking styles. Most Wagyu cuts are made along fat caps or the layer of fats surrounding muscles as the fat is soft and easily separated. Therefore, butchering and portioning Wagyu requires experience and skill: one must be both accurate and fast as Wagyu fat begins melting as soon as it gets in contact with body heat.
Thus, all Japanese A5 steaks are cut much thinner. Thinner cut allows them to be seared quickly on each side on a teppanyaki grill, warms the meat just enough to melt the interior fat. It can then be sliced and served up as a perfect, melt-in-the-mouth strip of decadent steak delight.
Satsuma Gyu Cuts
Sirloin = サーロイン (Sa-roin)
Ribeye = リブアイ (Ribuai)
Chuckroll = 肩ロース (Kata Rosu)
Tenderloin = ヒレ (Hire)
Chuckrib = 三角バラ (Sankaku Bara)
Shoulder Clod = ウデ (Ude)
Chuck Tender = トンビ (Tonbi)
Brisket = ブリスケ (Burisuke)
Tomobara Plate Side = 外バラ (Soto Bara)
Tomobara Short Rib Side = 中バラ (Naka Bara)
Topside = ウチモモ (Uchimomo)
D Rump = ラムイチ (Ramuichi)
Knuckle = シンタマ (Shin Tama)
Gooseneck Round =ソトモモ (Soto Momo )
Shin Shank =スネ (Sune)