Wagyu Course Launched at U.S. University

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A wagyu beef steak is seen in a plate in Osaka, Japan, June 30, 2019. Picture taken June 30, 2019.

NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) has launched a wagyu course in cooperation with a U.S. university to introduce cooking methods for different Japanese beef parts and to promote consumption.

Japan’s beef exports to the United States tripled to about ¥9.1 billion in 2022 from three years before, driven by a boom in branded wagyu, including marbled Kobe beef, according to Japan’s agriculture ministry.

But the popularity of Japanese beef has been limited to major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and its demand has been cooling.

The slowdown is partly due to a dietary habit of using only limited parts of the beef, such as the sirloin for steak.

The wagyu course was opened as part of a collaboration between JETRO and Drexel University in Philadelphia, which offers a culinary arts program.

Around 50 people, including students and chefs, have taken part in the course that teaches how to prepare dishes using beef shoulder loin and shank, which are popular in Japan. “A special technique is required to butcher marbled wagyu,” a meat industry official said.