The mythical wagyu breed of cattle hasn’t been so mythical in recent times. It’s often quite easy to find in any upscale restaurant in various parts of the world. But if you’re looking for the real thing, it provides an experience that’s hard to beat from non-Japanese varieties from Kobe, Saga, Kagoshima and the like.
We recently partnered with SOGO to help ring in the holiday cheer with a romantic dinner for two, with a succulent A5 Kobe Striploin as the centerpiece. If you want to feast your eyes on something truly special, stop by the basement of their Causeway Bay flagship store and marvel at all the exclusive protein in their meat cooler at SOGO’s Freshmart. Not only do they have some of the best beef selection in the city, the produce is equally amazing, offering premium Japanese imported fruits and vegetables.
Back to the steak, no, it’s not turkey but there’s no way two people could take down a whole bird to themselves… and we can guarantee an A5 Kobe Striploin will taste better than the juiciest (not really THAT juicy) brined dark meat on a turkey. In addition to the steak, we also threw in some generous helpings of vegetables including honey-glazed pumpkin & sweet potato and brussels sprouts with pomegranate.
Before we jump into things, there’s often been confusion about the Japanese grading system for beef. There are at times two numbers thrown around, an A-rating and a numerical rating. To set it straight, the meat quality rating is anywhere between A1 to A5. The beef marbling standard is a rating between 1-12. For the higher ratings, A4 encompasses a beef marbling standard between 5 and 7, while A5 includes 8 to 12.
Other factors to consider with an extremely marbled piece of steak in the A5 range is that it’s incredibly filling. Don’t try to eat the same amounts as a traditional steak. Also, they’re often cut quite thin so you won’t really be able to get a crust on it nor is it necessarily desirable in traditional preparations. You’re not looking to eat these rare so much as ensure there’s sufficient heat throughout the steak to render the fat. Wait… there’s more. Don’t stretch the steak since there’s little tissue holding it together. Don’t use extra fat such as butter.
300g – 400g Kobe A5 Sirloin Steak
Extra Virgin Sesame Oil
Fresh Black Pepper
1. Take the steak out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature between 30-60 minutes. Don’t put the steak on cold. This way, the steak will cook evenly.
2. Use paper towel to remove excess moisture and season the steak with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a flat-bottomed pan (not a griddle pan with lines) with a small amount of extra virgin sesame oil or any oil that can handle higher temperatures.
4. Add sliced garlic to season the oil.
5. Gently place the steak in the pan and be careful not to stretch it. Constantly push the sides towards the middle of the steak to retain its shape.
6. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, flipping every minute.
7. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, or better yet a warm plate to let it rest.
8. Slice and serve relatively soon to ensure the fat doesn’t congeal.
9. Serve with sea salt and freshly grated wasabi.
Honey-Glazed Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Ingredients
3 medium Japanese Sweet Potatoes
¼ small Japanese Pumpkin
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Honey
½ tsp. Ground cinnamon
Salt & Pepper
¾ cup Pecans
1. Heat oven to 375℉. Cut sweet potato into 1-inch-thick chunks. Peel pumpkin and cut into half-inch slices. Arrange in a lightly greased baking dish or baking sheet.
2. Stir together butter, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetables, but save some for glazing. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
3. Bake at 375℉ for 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender. Uncover and brush the vegetables with the honey mixture. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake for another 5 minutes or until glaze becomes syrupy.
Brussels Sprouts Ingredients
1 lbs Brussels Sprouts
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
½ Orange and it’s zest
½ cup Walnuts
½ cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
Salt and pepper
1. Using the same pan as the steak (with the rendered beef fat), sauté brussels sprouts until brown around the edges. Add olive oil if needed.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and stir.
3. Squeeze the orange juice into the pan and stir.
4. Add the walnuts, fresh pomegranate seeds, salt and pepper.
5. Finish with orange zest.
All ingredients can be found at B2/F Freshmart, SOGO Causeway Bay.