Is There Such Thing as a Japanese Steak?
When you think of Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is either sushi or ramen. However, Japanese people also happen to have a delicate taste for beef. While they do prepare it in unique ways, they are not total strangers to steaks.
One of the most popular beef dishes in Japan is the traditional nikujaga which is basically a stew with lots of meat and potatoes. You’ll also find beef in teppanyaki restaurants, where they cook it on teppan grills. But what probably amazes people the most is when they find out that the Japanese put beef in sushi. Apparently, they have no problem eating it completely raw, which may be a bit too much for most Westerners.
Moreover, some of you are probably aware that fish or tofu steaks are highly regarded in Japan. But did you know that they also prepare some of the best beef steaks in the world? They cut them really thick and cook them on a griddle. Sometimes, they even don’t shy away from using a frying pan instead.
So, how did Japan become a steak-eating nation? How long have they been eating steaks and what’s the difference between a Western and a Japanese steak? Feel free to continue reading, and you’ll find out.
The Japanese Steak — When Did It All Begin?
People in Japan probably began eating steaks during the Meiji era. It was a period of great changes in Japan, and it lasted from 1868 until 1912. During that time, Japan dropped its status of an isolated feudal society and accepted some Western-oriented ideas.
Before that, the consumption of meat was prohibited for centuries. The livestock was important for farm work, and Buddhism had a significant influence on society. But when emperor Meiji ascended the throne, the Japanese were finally given a chance to enjoy the rich taste of beef.
The Difference Between Japanese and Western Steaks
In Western culture, a steak is usually lean and low in fat. It takes some skill to cook it properly in order for the meat to loosen up and become tender. On the other hand, Japanese steaks have a typical trait known as marbling. Marbling is the amount of fat that’s distributed throughout the meat, and it is highly regarded in Japan.
Marbling makes the meat extremely soft and juicy and enriches its aroma, especially if you grill it. When cooked properly, such a steak develops a texture that literally melts in the mouth while releasing a complex flavor that’s like no other. Does that mean that the Japanese steak is arguably better than the Western one? Yes and no. It depends on what someone is looking for. As far as we are concerned, they simply provide different mouthwatering experiences.
Where to Eat a Japanese Steak
An obvious place to eat a true Japanese steak would be — Japan. But not just anywhere in the country. Such steaks are the best in traditional family restaurants, Western-type restaurants, and even some izakaya taverns.
However, if going to Japan is not an option in the foreseeable future, and you would really like to try their version of steak, check out the selection at naturallygrownmeats.com. There’s a wide offer of high-quality steaks for you to choose from. If you have some cooking skills, we’re sure you’ll be able to prepare one the way they do it in Japan.