Wagyu Beef and Sautéed Vegetables

My husband and I have been away from home for nearly 3 weeks and I am gagging to cook!  We are currently in NYC and the place we are staying has a mini kitchen and so I decided to prepare dinner in our room.  I had to think of something that was easy and didn’t require much in the way of herbs and spices.  It’s been 2 years since we last ate Wagyu beef and to my surprise I found some at the Grand Central Market in New York’s Grand Central station.  I love stumbling upon these places and take great delight as if I am the only person ever to discover it! 

Wagyu beef (in Japanese “wa” means Japanese-style and “gyu” cattle) has to be the king of beef and it’s also very expensive.  Wagyu originated in Kobe, Japan where the cattle were brought in to help cultivate rice during the 2nd century. In America, Japanese Wagyu cattle were bred to Angus cattle to create a crossbred animal that would be more able to survive the U.S. climate and ranching methods. Both pure Wagyu and cross bred cattle are farmed in Australia for domestic and overseas markets. Not to confuse the issue, but Kobe Wagyu is bred in Japan under strict regulations (like designation/appellation). Kobe is the Rolls Royce of Wagyu beef (think of it as beef foie gras).

Wagyu is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and produces a higher percentage of unsaturated fat than any other breed of cattle known in the world. Because the finely marbled fat melts quickly and burns easily (it cooks 35 percent faster than choice or standard prime beef), special care is required when preparing it. Think of quick-sear cooking techniques for things like rare tuna and foie gras. But not like your average steak; too rare and the fat will not have had a chance to melt and impart its flavor. Too well-done and the fats will have been cooked out of the meat.  Remember I said Wagyu is expensive?  I asked for the smallest piece as the steaks were at least an inch thick and Wagyu is rich in flavor so I didn’t want a big piece otherwise our whole meal would have consisted only of the meat.  The price tag for the steak was $32.39 ($44.99 per pound)!

Serves 2

Waygu beef
asparagus spears
Cipollini onions (pronounced chip-oh-lee-knee), sliced
fennel, sliced
patty pan squash, sliced
Vermont cultured butter with sea salt crystals
tomato, chopped
splash of white wine

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add onions.  Sauté for a couple of minutes and add fennel.  Cook until fennel is al dente before adding sliced squash.  Cook for about 2 or 3 minutes and add asparagus and tomato.  Add a splash of white wine to enhance the flavor of the veggies as well as keeping them moist.  Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly soft.

To cook the Wagyu, sear it on a Teflon coated grill pan one and a half minutes per side, reduce the heat and cook for a further 2 minutes each side. We could have easily shaved 30 seconds off each side without it being too rare. I salted the grill pan with sea salt flakes before adding the beef.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:  Don’t even think about putting Wagyu on the bbq!  The marbling in the Wagyu under high heat causes the fat to quickly melt which results in flare ups and charred meat. This makes the meat bland and tough.  Wagyu is so delicious rare and I like my beef medium rare.  The cultured butter brought back memories of when I was a child as this is how real butter should taste!


  1. Brighton Restaurants on July 28, 2011 at 10:42

    Nice combination of flavors & colors as well. Thumbs Up from my side ! Cheers !

  2. The Culinary Chase on July 29, 2011 at 14:05

    Thanks Brighton Restaurants!

  3. bilant on July 31, 2011 at 09:31

    Hmmm this recipe looks so delicious and nice and i think that fits perfect with my taste and in my opinion is a very easy recipe, so i think i will try it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Alistaire on August 6, 2011 at 07:08

    It tastes fantastic!
    These look – amazing. I can’t wait to try these out. Thanks for the great recipe!