Wagu vs. Kobe Beef

Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR

Wagu vs. Kobe Beef

Considered the pinnacle of decadence and luxury among steak connoisseurs, Wagu beef is highly prized for good reason. So what accounts for the price tag and what exactly is the difference between Wagu & Kobe?

Kobe (koh-bay) beef refers to a specific strain of Japanese cattle (Tajima) and must be born, fed, and fabricated in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan – think Champagne or Prosciutto di Parma. After a rigorous grading process roughly half of the Tajima cattle quality as Kobe which equates to about less than one midsize US cattle ranch.

Loosely translated Wagu (wag-yoo) means Japanese cattle. Wagyu sold in the U.S need only be 25 percent Japanese cattle which is renowned for its intense marbling, unmatched flavor, and surprising tenderness, thus the range of quality in American Wagyu beef can range significantly. The quality of Wagyu generally comes down to the bloodline and breeding of the cattle and that’s where knowing your rancher and sourcing responsibly comes in. 

Urban Farmer Portland proudly serves 7X Wagyu which is 100 percent pure Japanese beef raised in the high mountain meadows of Colorado. Once a year we are lucky enough to receive one of the four 100 percent American Wagyu steers raised 30 minutes away in Hillsboro Oregon at LDR Ranch. A relationship Chef Matt has built with Bob Laderoute over the last nine years with deals made with on his good word and a handshake.