Kobe beef refers to cuts of beef from the black Tajima-ushi strain of Wagyū cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy, renowned for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi, teppanyaki. and more.
Kobe beef is also called Kobe niku, Kobe-gyu or Kobe-ushi in Japanese.
Kobe beef in Japan is a registered trademark of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. It must fulfill all the following conditions:
- Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Farm feeding in Hyōgo Prefecture
- Bullock (steer) or castrated bull, to purify the beef
- Processed at slaughterhouses in Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa and Himeji in Hyōgo Prefecture.
- Marbling ratio, called BMS, of level 6 and above.
- Meat Quality Score of 4 or 5
- Gross weight of beef from one animal is 470 kg or less.