The best beef in Japan, Miyazaki Beef
Japan is known worldwide for its excellent quality beef. Even if you aren't a huge foodie, if you have traveled to or are interested in traveling to Japan, you are more than likely to have heard of beef brands like Kobe Beef or Matsuzaka Beef. These beef brands represent the quality of beef that Japan has become known for with its cuts of finely marbled meat with a melt in your mouth texture. However, Kobe Beef and Matsuzaka Beef although famous in Japan too, aren't considered as the top beef brands of Japan.
Miyazaki Beef may not be a name you have come across before, but if you have enjoyed a Matsuzaka steak, you may have indirectly experienced Miyazaki Beef without knowing so. This is because Matsuzaka beef cows along with many other branded beef cows in Japan are often Miyazaki Beef calves that were exported at a young age and raised in these areas.
Miyazaki Beef is a name only given to cows raised in Miyazaki which meet strict quality standards. The meat from these cows is further graded on a scale from C1 up to A5 which is the highest rank. This grading is universal with all branded beef in Japan.
At a national competition that is held every 5 years and often referred to as the Olympics of Wagyu Beef, Miyazaki Beef won the top prize of the Prime Ministers Award 3 times consecutively. This means Miyazaki Beef held the top spot in Japan for 15 years straight. That is why Miyazaki Beef is so highly regarded within Japan and also why Miyazaki's calves are chosen by producers of brand cows to be raised in other regions.
Although Miyazaki Beef isn't as famous globally as Kobe Beef or Matsuzaka Beef, it is becoming more and more known outside of Japan. At the 90th Academy Awards Party, Miyazaki Beef was chosen and served to attendees, propelling its fame in the American market. Miyazaki Beef is now available in many places not only within Japan, but Miyazaki Prefecture is still the best place to experience this special cut of beef.
Many restaurants serve Miyazaki beef within Miyazaki Prefecture at a much more reasonable price compared to other parts of Japan and the world. One of the best ways to enjoy Miyazaki Beef is at a teppanyaki restaurant, where they will recommend selected cuts of Miyazaki Beef and prepare it to perfection in front of you. Teppanyaki is usually an expensive option, but at lunchtime in Miyazaki Prefecture, you can enjoy a Teppanyaki Miyazaki Beef lunch for around 3,000 yen. Miyazaki is also famous for Shochu, a traditional distilled alcohol which is made from a wide variety of ingredients such as sweet potato and barley. Matching Miyazaki Beef with Miyazaki Shochu is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the local food culture and the combination is sure to please even the most traveled foodies.
Some photos used in this article were taken at an earlier date.