Japan has been holding out on us, and we are upset. Clarification: at this exact moment we are too full of beef to be actually upset, but as soon as this fatty protein high passes, we gonna be pissed. For years we’ve been hearing Kobe this, Kobe that, bovine massages and beer treatments and WAKE UP, SHEEPLE. The best beef in Japan is here in Ishigaki, and we say this knowing full well we’ve only been in the country for a week.
We first sampled Ishigaki beef in a donburi on our first day here, and since then we’ve organized our lives around where we can get our next cow fix. Luckily for us, Korean (Japanese?) barbecue restaurants are very popular on the island. At these temples to beef, you order a plate of raw meat and veggies to cook to your liking over a grill (note to our restauranteur friends: great business model).
The raw Ishigaki beef comes out heavily marbled with evenly distributed fat. In the U.S., in order for a steak to be marked USDA Prime, the meat must be 6-8% marbled fat. Child’s play. The equivalent grade in Japan requires over 25%. And the fat in Wagyu beef is monounsaturated, so these steaks are basically health food. We read that on the Internet.
Sadly for you and sadly for us, you’re unlikely to sample Ishigaki beef unless you come to Ishigaki. We’re sitting on a tiny island about 1200 miles from Tokyo, so what little beef makes it past us in the next few days will probably be frozen for shipping.