Sunday, November 20, 2005

Velvety Burger

Last week, I dropped in at Isetan supermarket, which is at the basement of Isetan Scotts, and in a moment of fancy at the fresh meat counter, handed over S$10/- for two minced beef patties (each having a diameter of a little bit less than 4 inches and approximately 1.5 cm thick). "That's pretty steep for minced meat," says you and I would agree except that these were Wagyu minced beef patties. Now, if you are 'in the know' on Wagyu, skip the rest of this post, sit back and just enjoy the photo of my juicy velvety burger!

Wagyu Burger

Wagyu beef are generally characterised by (and in fact highly prized for) their strong white fat marbling in the meat. Wagyu is actually a breed of Japanese cattle (link shows pic of this huge black cow), genetically predisposed to intense marbling, producing white veins of unsaturated fat spreading out like a spider web throughout the meat. If bred in Kobe, Japan according to the strict standards imposed by the Kobe prefecture, Wagyu beef is entitled to be designated "Kobe Beef". All Kobe beef is Wagyu beef BUT not all Wagyu beef equates Kobe beef (think Champagne and sparkling wine) as Wagyu cattle are also reared outside of Kobe or for that matter outside of Japan.

Methinks Kobe Wagyu cattle have a darn good life, fed on sake/beer and high premium-grade grains coupled with regular massages - do the same to me and my skin will shine with glowing health and I too will have a nicely plump torso spotted throughout with layers of fat! [maybe you should just ignore that last phrase in italics, a little too horrific to imagine!]

The Wagyu beef that I bought came from Australia, and to be frank, I didn't expect too much from the minced meat since I figured that most of that wonderful white fat marbling thru' the slab of meat will somehow be decimated when minced. Adding just a pinch of sea salt and black pepper to the patties, I heated up my oiled griddle pan and seared the patties on both sides on high heat, then lowered the heat to cook the patties to just about cooked. Place patties on toasted buns, add a couple of lettuce leaves and tomato slices for crunch and top with sliced onion rings fried in a black pepper sauce and the burger was ready for its taste test.

Was it a waste to use Wagyu beef minced? Well heck, NO! It was one bloody tasty burger, the meat was velvety in texture (not rough or dry like most cooked minced beef), sweet in taste and flavor (not sugary sweet, more like the taste which we Cantonese would associate with good strong meat broth or soup), and definitely didn't taste like any burger I've eaten before (I'm not even going to insult the Wagyu by comparing it with McDonald's, Burger King or Carl Jr.). My palate for home-made beef burgers has just been raised ten notches higher, it's going to be tough returning to normal minced beef *sigh*.

6 Comments:

Blogger boo_licious said...

Drools! I wish we had wagyu burgers - they look much easier on my pocket than wagyu steaks.

11/21/2005 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger olduvai said...

sounds heavenly!

11/21/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger slurp! said...

i think that's a pretty fair price to pay for 2 x wagyu patties even though it's minced. glad it turns out well.

is there certification of any sort displayed?

11/21/2005 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous pfong said...

That just looks mouth watering! Great food shot.

11/22/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Piggy said...

the burger looks yummy! i feel like rushing to Isetan and grab some wagyu patties now...

11/22/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

dear boo_licious - wish you could try them too!

hi olduvai, nice of u to drop by :)

wow slurp, my wagyu were not Kobe beef quality-leh, no certification provided other than label that claimed they were Australian wagyu.

thanks pfong!

dear piggy - worth the trip down to Isetan :D

11/22/2005 11:08:00 PM  

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