Kimono butcher Miss Marika Watanabe

On March 24th, MariKa, a Kimono butcher, demonstrated her impressive skills in a Kobe beef cutting promotion at the Japan Wagyu World auction Market Eve Festival. As part of the promotion, she showed techniques for preparing Chuck Eye Roll(Kata-Rosu) and Chuck(Ude) in a Japanese-style yakiniku, steak, and stew (slow-cook) suitable state, to suggest new ways of using the beef to foreign buyers, who were fascinated by her performance.

While supporting her in the background, I noticed a few things, which I would like to write about here. The promotion used the shoulder loin and arm meat, which would become quite large even for a small-sized Kobe beef if left in one piece (about 20 kg for the shoulder loin and 13 kg for the arm meat). To improve work efficiency, we considered dividing them into several pieces in advance, but it was rejected because the size of the meat was an important factor in capturing attention and impressing the supervisors during the promotion.

Next, the color of the meat. Meat gets its vibrant color when the components in the muscle (myoglobin and hemoglobin) bind with oxygen.I thought that the colorful appearance of the meat is associated with its deliciousness, so it is necessary to let it color sufficiently before starting. I decided to open it about an hour before cooking and prepare it. Next, the temperature of the meat. Since the flow is to cut the large pieces that have been separated in the cut promotion, I cut them into steaks or yakiniku and offer them to guests, and there is media shooting, so I think it is optimal to emphasize the atmosphere where the fat melts when the knife enters the cut, and the low melting point. Therefore, I decided to control the temperature of the meat in a cool place in the kitchen (pantry). By the way, do you know the exact melting point of beef fat?

For example, olive oil is liquid at room temperature (18 degrees Celsius). I think animal fats are often associated with a higher melting point, but that is probably because they are mostly solid. Animals need to maintain their shape, so fats are covered with glycerin and exist as solids around muscles and their surroundings. Plants also store their oil and fats in a similar structure (cell walls and cellulose) in seeds, but this component is not extracted during pressing, so it appears as a liquid. Therefore, it is correct to say that it is not possible to compare the pure melting points by simple visual comparison. It can be said that there are often differences between preconceptions or images and actual numerical values.

For your information, Kobe beef is characterized by its unique fat composition, which gives it a low melting point and allows it to easily melt at temperatures found in the mouth (below 20℃). (Note that the fatty acid composition varies by individual cow, and high-quality fat melts beautifully even at room temperature without reaching the temperature in the mouth.) I wanted to showcase this feature through the camera, but it turned out to be a failure. This is because it becomes difficult to cut the meat beautifully when it is heated at a high temperature while still in a block. During the wrap-up discussion with Marika after the pre-party, someone asked, “How long was the Kobe beef out of the refrigerator today?” and we realized for the first time that the meat had become too tender to cut easily. I deeply regret that my idea was not well thought-out. Normally, almost all processing of meat that is stored in the refrigerator involves cutting it before it warms up, so it must have been quite difficult to handle.

Also, during the performance, the opening promotion was the most concerning part for me. We announced during the pre-party dinner that the cut promotion for the meat being served at the moment would begin, and asked the audience to focus on the stage, but it took longer than expected for people to pay attention. Marika and I felt that we needed more ideas to shorten the promotion and liven up the event, such as lighting, sound, and sharing the program with VIP guests. We believe that we can perform an even more evolved Kobe beef promotion in the next cut show. Stay tuned!


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