The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat wagyu. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What wagyu etiquette is

Wagyu etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat wagyu. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve wagyu to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat wagyu at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat wagyu

What you should know about wagyu

Wagyu refers to several breeds of cattle that are originally from Japan. The term “wagyu” literally means “Japanese cow.”

Wagyu beef is known for its marbling, which gives it a tender and juicy texture. The beef is typically a deep red color and has a rich, buttery flavor.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat wagyu

1) How to store wagyu

The ideal temperature to store wagyu is between 32-39°F (0-4°C). In the pantry, you can keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. In the fridge, store it in the coldest part of the fridge and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent moisture loss. To freeze wagyu, store it in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed to prevent freezer burn. Wagyu can last up to 1 day in the pantry, up to 5 days in the fridge, and up to 6 months in the freezer.

Store cooked wagyu in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

2) How to clean wagyu

To clean the wagyu meat, simply wipe it with a damp cloth or paper towel. There are no real risks associated with cleaning wagyu, but it is important to use a clean surface and utensils to prevent contamination.

You can tell when wagyu has turned bad if it has a sour or ammonia-like smell or if it feels slimy to the touch.

3) How to prepare & cook wagyu

Wagyu can be eaten both raw and cooked. Before cooking, allow the beef to come to room temperature. You can prepare wagyu using a variety of utensils and appliances, such as a grill, pan, or sous-vide machine. Some common ways to cook wagyu include grilling, pan-searing, or broiling.

Some popular dishes with wagyu include steak, burgers, and sushi.

Wagyu can be used in salads and sandwiches, but it is important to use it sparingly since the meat is quite rich. While wagyu is not vegan, it can be part of a keto or paleo diet in moderation.

4) How to serve & present wagyu

Wagyu is appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve it as a main course or appetizer. It is not typically served as a side dish or dessert, and it is not commonly eaten for breakfast, brunch, or as a snack.

When serving wagyu, it is best to do so on a warm plate to prevent the beef from cooling too quickly. You can use a variety of serving tools, such as tongs or a carving knife. It’s important to serve wagyu in small portions since it’s quite rich.

You can serve wagyu with a variety of accompaniments, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a light salad. Some popular seasonings include salt, pepper, and garlic.

5) Food and wine to pair wagyu with

Wagyu pairs well with bold flavors, such as truffle oil or soy sauce. It also pairs well with vegetables like asparagus or mushrooms and fruits like cherries or figs. Avoid pairing wagyu with strong-tasting vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts.

Wagyu can pair well with some cheeses and dairy products, such as blue cheese or butter. It is best to avoid pairing wagyu with highly acidic cheeses like feta or goat cheese.

Wagyu can pair well with other meats like duck or pork. It does not typically pair well with fish.

Wagyu pairs well with full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Syrah/Shiraz. Avoid light-bodied reds like Pinot Noir. For white wine, Chardonnay is a good option, but avoid crisp and light whites like Sauvignon Blanc. Rosé wine, sparkling wine, dessert wine, beer, and spirits can also be paired with wagyu, but it is important to consider the flavors and intensity of the drink.

6) How to eat wagyu

The ideal utensils for eating wagyu are a sharp knife and fork, and it is not polite to eat wagyu with your fingers. It is recommended to cut the wagyu into small bites, as wagyu can be quite rich and fatty. You should eat the entire piece of wagyu, including any fat, as the fat is an important part of the flavor. No parts of the wagyu need to be discarded, but any bones should be removed before eating.

Wagyu etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common wagyu etiquette mistakes:

  • 7/10. Overcooking wagyu.
  • 6/10. Serving wagyu with inappropriate accompaniments that overpower the flavor of the meat.
  • 6/10. Adding too many additional flavors or seasonings.

Additional information for properly serving wagyu

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

The number of calories in wagyu varies depending on the cut and the preparation method. A 3.5 oz (100 g) serving of wagyu beef can contain around 250-300 calories, but this can be higher if the meat is cooked with additional fats or oils.

How to buy the best wagyu

A crucial factor in wagyu etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Wagyu is available all year round, but the best season to buy it can vary depending on the region and the specific variety of wagyu.

Choose the best

Wagyu can be found fresh, frozen, or in various processed forms such as sausages or jerky. It is commonly sold at high-end butcher shops and specialty meat markets, as well as online.

The most popular varieties of wagyu are Kobe beef from Japan, as well as other Japanese breeds such as Matsusaka, Ohmi, and Hida. Other countries, such as the United States and Australia, also breed wagyu, with popular varieties including American Wagyu and Australian Wagyu.

When buying wagyu, look for marbling (the small veins of fat running through the meat) as it is a sign of high quality. The color of the meat should also be a deep red, and the fat should be a creamy white color. It is also important to choose a reputable supplier that can guarantee the authenticity and quality of the wagyu.

Alternatives to wagyu

Some alternatives to wagyu include other high-quality beef cuts such as ribeye, filet mignon, and strip steak. Other meats such as lamb, venison, and bison can also be good alternatives for those looking for similarly rich and flavorful meat.