Wagyu, also known as Japanese beef, has become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of social media influencers like Salt Bae. The Turkish chef, Nusret Gökçe, who is known for his flamboyant meat-slicing and seasoning techniques, has helped to popularize the luxurious meat.
Wagyu, which literally means "Japanese cow," is known for its high levels of marbling and intense flavor. According to a study by Meat Science, wagyu beef has a higher proportion of monounsaturated fats, such as oleic acid, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease (1). Additionally, the meat is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which make it a healthier option than other types of beef. The intense marbling also gives it a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is unlike anything else.
One of the most popular cuts of wagyu is the tomahawk, a bone-in ribeye that is known for its large, flavorful meat and long, dramatic bone. This cut is often served at high-end steakhouses and is considered a real delicacy.
When it comes to purchasing wagyu, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, look for the Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) label, which is a guarantee of authenticity. According to the JMGA, the highest grade of wagyu is A5, which is characterized by its high marbling, color, and firmness (2). Also, be prepared to pay a premium for the meat as it is considered a luxury item.
Salt Bae has been known for his love of wagyu and has been spotted on social media cooking and seasoning the meat with his signature techniques, which have helped to make the meat even more popular. He has also been known to serve it at his Nusr-Et Steakhouse in different locations around the world.
While wagyu can be enjoyed on its own, it can also be used in a variety of dishes. Salt Bae's steakhouse serves it in a variety of cuts, including ribeye, fillet, and sirloin, as well as in traditional dishes such as sukiyaki and shabu-shabu.
In conclusion, Wagyu is an incredibly delicious and luxurious meat that is rich in flavor and healthy fats. It's no wonder that it has become so popular, thanks in part to the influence of social media influencers like Salt Bae. If you're looking to try wagyu for yourself, be sure to look for the JMGA label and be prepared to pay a premium for the high-quality meat.