Issue Ten Winter
With guest chef editor
Josh Raine, Tetsuya’s


Editors’ Letters

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This issue comes with mixed sentiment as we warmly celebrate our tenth issue and simultaneously come to terms with COVID-19, its impact on the foodservice sector and the flow-on effect to suppliers and producers.
From a red meat industry perspective – we are fortunate to remain operational, while the markets for Australian beef and lamb fluctuate with continual changes in demand and behaviour at home and around the globe.
Originally intended to align with Australian Beef the Greatest’s sponsorship of the Australian Olympic and Paralympic teams for Tokyo 2020, this issue has been through its own raft of changes. The postponement of the Olympics, an international travel ban and severely restricted domestic travel, saw us bring the focus squarely back home.
Our guest chef editor Josh Raine hails from one of the country’s most renowned restaurants – the tenacious Tetsuya’s, where many a successful chef has done their time. Before the impact of COVID-19, this national treasure was still at the top of the restaurant game, continually evolving and still, after 30 years, a drawcard for customers around the world seeking the ultimate in fine dining experience.
Sticking with the Japanese theme, we took a trip to Mayura Station, one of the beef producers proudly featured on the Tetsuya’s menu. Wagyu is the fastest growing breed of beef in Australia and Mayura Station has been a key player from the start. Their fully vertically integrated approach – with their very own on-farm restaurant – and a feeding regime with special ingredients like chocolate and lollies – makes the Mayura Station especially sweet.
Whilst this issue was to be filled with food, inspiration and tales of Tokyo – we are proud instead to bring you a wealth of Japanese inspired cuisine from our hospitality community right here at home. From time-honoured traditions to inspired innovations, the finesse of fine dining to the satisfaction of a stadium sandwich – we hope the stories of your comrades, their kitchens and their cooking bring you some ISO inspiration.

Mary-Jane Morse
Meat & Livestock Australia
[email protected]

Earlier this year, before COVID-19 changed the shape of hospitality, I went on an eye-opening trip across the rolling cliffs of the Limestone Coast in South Australia. The bushfires were raging at this point and after flying over much devastation to get there, it was incredible to see the lushness of the area.
My good friend MJ had invited me on this trip, to see how wagyu cattle are produced in Australia. I first met MJ traveling on a produce tour through Queensland when I was a finalist in the Appetite for Excellence program. Coming from a family of farmers, she is incredibly knowledgeable and her awareness of the beef industry is second to none. I remember coming away from that trip and feeling inspired, with a hunger to develop my own knowledge.
My first job was in a local butcher at the ripe old age of 14 – so you could say that the meat industry has been influential throughout my life and I learnt the tricks of the trade early on. When MJ presented me with the opportunity for a trip to delve deeper into wagyu – my ideal location was Mayura Station – a product that has been influential in my style of cooking over the past seven years.
When I moved from the UK and started working with Australian produce, Mayura Station set the benchmark high. I first discovered it as head chef at Urbane where I chose to work with the underrated oyster blade. This amazing piece of meat has an unbelievable flavour profile and people just kept coming back for more. It was on the menu for two years and over that time, Urbane went from two hats to three and I got to work with some of the best producers in Australia.
One of the first products I wanted to bring to Tetusya’s was Mayura Station beef – it truly is my go-to and the basis for our signature Ponzu Wasabi dish. I am exceptionally passionate and appreciative of this product and have now seen first-hand the dedication that goes into its creation. It’s not a job – it’s a lifestyle and Mayura Station has given me the most incredible artwork. All I have to do is frame it.
Visiting Mayura Station was definitely a highlight for me in the making of this issue and I highly recommend you check out the story and the video about this amazing beef.
Whilst I was obviously disappointed that we couldn’t travel to Japan as originally intended, our trip through Queensland trying incredible beef dishes at various Japanese restaurants was really fun and it was great to see the calibre of cooking and the range of cuts being used.
I hope you find some things in this issue to keep you inspired about your craft and your cooking during isolation and beyond.

Josh Raine

Executive Chef

Copyright: this publication is published by Meat & Livestock Australia Limited ABN 39 081 678 364 (MLA).

Guest Chef Profile

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Talented young chef Josh Raine follows a long line of leading chefs to head up the kitchen at iconic Sydney restaurant Tetsuya’s.
For 30 years, Tetsuya’s has set a benchmark for fine dining in the harbour city and helped put Australia on the map as a destination for world-class dining.

With a swathe of Australia’s best chefs coming up through the Tetsuya’s ranks including Martin Benn, Darren Robertson, Clayton Wells, Luke Powell and many more – Josh recognises he has big shoes to fill. But as they say, if the shoe fits, wear it – and the boy from Oxfordshire is certainly wearing it well.
We visited Josh at Tetsuya’s for a behind-the-scenes look into one of Sydney’s most well-regarded kitchens and the role Australian beef plays on the intricate and exquisite eight-course degustation-only menu.

“I would like to thank the farmers for their hard work and passion – it actually makes my job easier because you are giving me such an amazing product. All your hard work doesn’t get lost – we applaud you and thank you so much for your incredible product.”

Tetsuya’s executive chef Josh Raine.

Josh got his first taste for Aussie fine dining working with Shane Osborn – the first Australian chef to be awarded one and two Michelin stars – at his restaurant Pied-a-Terre in London. Josh arrived in Australia to work at Urbane in Brisbane where he was head chef for four years before moving to Tetsuya’s where he now manages a team of 17 who work together to keep the icon evolving.

Tetsuya’s utilises grass-fed, grain-fed and wagyu beef depending on the menu and the season but generally opts for high marbling across a range of cuts. Beef at Tetsuya’s is wet aged for two months then further aged for two weeks on Himilayan salt blocks to reduce moisture content and allow for quicker cooking whilst intensifying flavours.

At Tetsuya’s the focus is on Japanese technique with French influences – combining the best of both worlds to showcase premium Australian produce. The eight-course menu is heavily centred on seasonality – adapting to focus on the best seasonal produce – with a slightly different version offered across each of the three different dining rooms.

Rangers Valley Black Onyx Short Rib is brined for eight hours and cooked at 60 degrees for 30 hours, then pressed and portioned. For service, it is charred on the yakitori and finished with fermented pickled shiitake powder. Served with charred shishito pepper, enoki and baby leek.

Mayura Station Wagyu Sirloin is cooked over coals then topped with a ponzu veil and served with Tasmanian wasabi, eshallot, applewood smoked cipollini onions and marigold leaf.

Cape Grim Grassfed Tenderloin is cooked over the hibachi grill then left to rest in rendered wagyu fat before a final flash over the coals with miso butter and served with sugar snap peas, charred asparagus and pea tendrils.

Producer Story

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Originally used for labour in mining, forestry, transportation and rice farming in Japan, the breeding characteristics of wagyu cattle were focused on strength and endurance, resulting in large amounts of intramuscular fat stores which served as a readily available energy source for the cattle.

These characteristics now translate to the rich, decadent and tender beef that customers around the world have grown to love. The wagyu name has become synonymous with luxury – a breed of cattle renowned for its exceptional eating experience and unparalleled marbling.

Decadently marbled wagyu beef on the menu at Tetsuya’s in Sydney.

Identifying the potential of wagyu as a premium beef product, key players in the Australian beef industry diligently paved the way for the influx of premium Australian wagyu now on the plates of diners around the world.
These trailblazers were instrumental in importing closely-guarded wagyu genetics to Australia during a small window of time between the mid-1980s through to the 1990s. Names like Blackmore, Westholme (AACo), Sher Wagyu, Robbins Island, Hughes Pastoral and Mayura Station have made Australian wagyu the booming industry it is today.

95% of Australian wagyu production is derived from Japanese Black genetics – one of four breeds of Japanese cattle classified in Japan as ‘wagyu’ – which translates to ‘Japanese cow’. Pictured is a wagyu bull at Mayura Station.

Australia is now the second-largest producer of wagyu in the world – coming in only behind Japan. With highly integrated supply chains that optimise and ensure quality from paddock to plate, Australian wagyu is a trusted source of premium luxury beef. Wagyu is also the fastest growing breed of beef in Australia with our national herd expected to increase to 600,000 in the next five years.

Producer Story – Sweet Home Mayura

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Producer Story: The Way to Wagyu

Sweet Home

We visited Mayura Station on South Australia’s Limestone Coast with Tetsuya’s executive chef Josh Raine to learn more about the Mayura Station story and its unique chocolate fed wagyu beef.
“At Mayura Station, we’re about producing a beef product with the ultimate wow factor. It’s not just about being really tender, my goal is to produce beef with a wonderful flavour profile and it all comes off the back of being focused on producing the best quality beef we can.”


Scott de Bruin, Mayura Station.

Wagyu demonstrates exceptional and consistent eating quality with 75% of wagyu graded by Meat Standards Australia in the top 5% of Australian beef while the remaining 25% graded in the top 1%.

Mayura Station is a family business first established in 1845 that has been specialising in full-blood wagyu cattle since the mid-late 90s. The business now runs just over 8,000 head of full-blood wagyu cattle.

Mayura Station is a fully vertically integrated business focussed on having its own unique provenance. The cattle are born and bred at Mayura Station, they live their entire lives on the property and the majority of the feed and fodder they consume is grown on the property. Here Managing Director Scott de Bruin shows Tetsuya’s chef Josh Raine one of the crops.

The Mayura Station breeding herd is split into two distinct herds – an Autumn breeding herd and a spring breeding herd – ensuring a year-long supply of calves to feed into its production process and provide consistent product year-round.

After Mayura calves are born they spend the first six months with their mother out on pasture before weaning. The cattle are then moved into a free-range feeding program to prepare them for the feedlot – this is called backgrounding. They are still free to roam out in the paddocks but have their nutrition requirements delivered to them daily. Over a period of 12 months, the cattle will graduate through three different feeding rations tailored to optimise their growing at different stages. Based on maize silage grown on the property, grain is slowly added to the rations until the cattle reach 18 months of age.

At 19 months the Mayura cattle enter the onsite finishing feedlot – the aptly named Mayura Moo Cow Motel. The large barn has sawdust floors and cattle can move inside or outside as they please. Three feed rations are fed over a period of eight months – a grower ration during the growth period, a marbling ration to facilitate and optimise the development of intramuscular fat and a flavour ration for the last three months.

Renowned for its uniquely flavoured beef, Mayura’s special flavour ration includes chocolates, biscuit meal and lollies (in addition to grains, silage and foliage) which gives the beef a pronounced sweetness and nuttiness.

Wagyu fat has a low melting point of around 28 degrees celsius and each cut has its own unique flavour profile and different levels of richness from the varying levels of intramuscular fat.

Mark Wright, Chef and Manager of Mayura Station’s award-winning onsite restaurant The Tasting Room, says the best thing about wagyu is being able to pretty much grill everything on the carcase. Pictured here is a chuck tail flap on the menu at The Tasting Room.


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So, we were supposed to be in Japan to shoot a special Roadies Tokyo feature – showing the best of beef at speciality restaurants, izakayas, street stalls and everywhere in between. But COVID-19 had other plans for us and so we kept it local – finding the best versions of traditional Japanese dishes and modern Australian interpretations that we could.

Three days in sunny Queensland from Noosa through Brisbane and on to the Gold Coast wasn’t a bad alternative, exploring a range of Japanese styles and dishes using beef including houbayaki, ishiyaki, sukiyaki, tataki, yakiniku, kushiyaki and gyoza. Yaki basically translates to ‘cooked over direct heat’ but most commonly refers to grilling.

Zeb Gilbert – chef and co owner of the now sadly closed Wasabi in Noosa. We were so lucky to fit a visit in for our Japanese Roadies adventure where Zeb prepared for us a truly unforgettable dish of Jack’s Creek MS7 sirloin with bloodwood fermented honey tare, wagyu fat roasted shallot, smoked bone marrow with red miso and tempura onions.

Incredible koji marinated Angus sirloin expertly cooked over coals at Sumi Open Kitchen in Noosa. Chef/owner Giles Hohnen lived in Japan for many years and is bringing delicious Japanese dining to the Sunshine Coast.

Tetsuya’s chef Josh Raine trying his hand at sukiyaki at Sono Japanese in Brisbane. A traditional Japanese restaurant, we kicked our shoes off and sat down to a delicious meal of sukiyaki; houbayaki – beef grilled over a magnolia leaf; and ishiyaki – a dish of wagyu, mushroom and seasonal vegetables served as fresh ingredients with a hot stone plate to cook at the table.

The insanely tasty wagyu intercostal at the recently opened Yoko Dining at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane. Yoko Dining is the latest venture for restaurateur Jonathan Barthelmess whose other venues include Cho Cho San and The Apollo in Sydney and Greca in Brisbane.

House-made wagyu gyoza at the effortlessly trendy Etsu Izakaya on the Gold Coast. Wagyu, mushroom duxelles and scallion wrapped in silky dumpling dough, pan-fried to crisp perfection and served with chilli soy dipping sauce.

A decadent selection of premium wagyu cuts ready for the grill at Wagyu-Ya on Chevron on the Gold Coast. Wagyu-Ya are the yakiniku specialists with an extensive range of wagyu from rib cuts, loin cuts, skirt to offal. Yakiniku, or Japanese style BBQ, allows you to cook your meat selections at the table and is the preferred way to enjoy wagyu in Japan.

On The Menu

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Japanese ingredients and techniques have been widely adopted and adapted in Australian kitchens from the finishing of proteins over binchotan to the essential ethos of seasonality and simplicity. To celebrate our tenth issue – we hit the streets to discover the story of 10 Japanese dishes or styles of cuisine and how they utilise Australian beef.

Umami, widely acknowledged as one of our five taste receptors – being saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness and umami – is a combination of two Japanese words that translates to ‘delicious taste’. It is essentially a savoury flavour and is typically derived from things like broths, mushrooms, cooked meats and soy sauce.
From traditional Japanese barbecue to hot pots, charcoal grilled meat on sticks to steaming bowls of noodles – these dishes pack a umami punch while letting the produce shine. Simple and adaptable – take some inspiration from our Ten for Ten.

Yakiniku means ‘grilled meat’ and refers to bite sized slices of meat (most commonly beef) cooked on grills over charcoal or gas.

Yakiniku is the Japanese style of barbecue and makes the most of the carcase, providing diners with a wide selection of cuts to choose from or sets of chef selections.

Yakiniku means ‘grilled meat’ and is the Japanese version of barbecue

Highly marbled wagyu is generally favoured with cuts like skirt, chuck tail flap, short rib, tongue, chuck eye roll, intercostals and sirloin widely used.
The beef is technically sliced depending on the cut – some into small chunks and others into paper thin slices – and cooked on a grill built into the table. A selection of sauces or ‘tare’ are provided for dipping and usually consist of soy sauce, bbq, miso and sesame.

Shinbashi’s Premium Wagyu Yakiniku Box

Paper thin slices of chuck eye log at Shinbashi

At Shinbashi Yakiniku in Melbourne, we sampled the Premium Wagyu Box featuring eight cuts of Australian wagyu including oyster blade, short rib, rib finger, tongue, sirloin, skirt and more – each with their own unique flavour profile, levels of tenderness and flavour. Also, the new chuck eye log option – paper thin slices of wagyu expertly prepared for us over the coals at the table and dipped into raw egg before eating
Yakiniku is a refined style of barbecue where diners can enjoy a range of cuts and experience the variances in textures and flavours in a celebration of the carcase. The communal dining experience also encourages conversation about cut preferences, connecting the diner and encouraging deeper awareness.

Ramen is one of Japan’s most instantly recognisable dishes – despite the fact it is actually of Chinese origin and an adaption of Chinese wheat noodles.

Ramen translates to ‘pulled noodles’ which are served in a meat broth most often flavoured with soy, salt or miso and topped with barbecued or braised pork known as chashu.

Shou Sumiyaki’s Wagyu Ramen

Ramen has a long and diverse history in Japan but really hit its popularity straps as a ‘trendy’ dish in the 1980s when its customer base began to evolve from workers to young urban diners. Waiting in line for hours and seeking out speciality regional varieties of ramen became a pastime for the early iteration of the modern ‘foodie’.
Ramen can now be found all over the world in all its various forms with hours and days put into the development of broths, lovingly crafted handmade noodles and the careful preparation of toppings – and in its instant form in a packet on the supermarket shelf.
At Shou Sumiyaki in Melbourne, David Blackmore fullblood wagyu scotch fillet is thinly sliced to top specially-imported Japanese ramen noodles. Piping hot soy based broth is poured into the bowl at the table then the beef is briefly torched to enhance its rich umami flavours.

Shou Sumiyaki’s wagyu beef ramen – broth is poured and the wagyu is torched at the table

Tataki has two meanings in Japanese cuisine – to pound or hammer, and fish or meat that has been seared on the outside and raw in the middle. Tataki is generally considered an option of the ‘o-tsukuri’ course in a traditional Japanese meal – a raw fish or meat dish served after hors d’oeuvres.

Tsukuri means to make or create and while fish or seafood are most common, there are no rules about what protein is used and beef, venison, chicken and vegetables are often substituted. Tataki-style in the o-tsukuri course refers to food which has been seared quickly and left raw on the inside.

Sokyo’s tataki of Ranger’s Valley MS5 tenderloin

At Sydney’s premier Japanese restaurant, Sokyo, Rangers Valley MS5 tenderloin is lightly seared then delicately arranged with pickled daikon and wasabi, topped with crispy leeks and served with a scallion cracker. It’s a perfectly balanced dish of sumptuously tender beef finessed with flavour from the light sear, acidity of the pickled daikon and a playful punch of wasabi – ideal for loading onto the crunchy shards of crisp scallion cracker.
At Chaco Bar, the focus is on waste minimisation and using a range of cuts on the menu including their tongue tataki. Angus beef tongue is dry aged for three weeks and coated in wagyu fat for the last week. It is cooked over charcoal then sliced into 5mm pieces and served with onion, shallot and brined chilli. Chef Chris Xin says the juiciness of the back part of the tongue is comparable, if not juicier, than a MS9 piece of beef.

Tongue tataki at Chaco Bar in Sydney

Commonly shortened to ‘robata’, robatayaki is a traditional style of Japanese coal grilling that originated in Hokkaido.

Originally cooked on a grill in a sunken hearth in Japanese houses – it served two purposes in the cold northern prefecture, to cook food and to keep warm.

Chaco Bar’s MS9 chuck tail flap, bone marrow and oxtail dashi

Robatayaki translates to ‘fireside cooking’ and the modern interpretation of the method in restaurants is typically a large coal fired grill to cook meat, vegetables and seafood at high temperatures. Many chefs have adapted to cooking robata style by finishing dishes on the hibachi grill – leveraging the unmistakable flavour of cooking over binchotan coal.
At Chaco Bar, MS9 chuck tail flap is dried overnight to reduce excess moisture and then coated in bone marrow fat before hitting the grill – the bone marrow fat is rendered down from marrow bones that aren’t the right shape for service.
The chuck tail flap is cut from the chuck primal and is essentially the ribless meat from ribs 1 through 5. Derived from a working primal, it is a full flavoured cut but beautifully tender from the large levels of intramuscular fat of the wagyu. Once cooked, it is rested, sliced and served with bone marrow, oxtail dashi, seeded house mustard and pickled shiitake mushrooms – it’s a beef trifecta robatayaki style.

At Sokyo, chef Chase Kojima has evolved the style further to suit his venue and menu. Rangers Valley MS3 wagyu tri tip is first cooked on the grill then moved to the hibachi to finish.
The beef and the hibachi are covered with a stainless steel pan and then flavoured oil is sprayed onto the coals to create lots of smoke to finish the cooking process and give the beef a robust smoke flavour. Served with butternut puree, pickled shallots and greens dressed in white soy and marrow vinaigrette.

Wagyu tri tip finishing over the hibachi at Sokyo

Sokyo’s wagyu tri tip cooked to perfection robatayaki style

Kushiyaki is a general cooking term relating to grilled skewers of meat, seafood and vegetables.

Kushiyaki encompasses the commonly known ‘yakitori’ – which refers to the skilful beak to feet cooking of chicken on skewers over coals.

Wagyu tri tip kushiyaki – the best bar snack going around

Eating grilled meat on sticks is an age old Japanese tradition with yakitori being the oldest and most common version. For much of Japan’s early history, eating meat from a four-legged animal was forbidden and consumption of beef wasn’t common in Japan until sometime after 1867 when the Buddhist prohibitive ban on eating meat was lifted.
Nowadays, kushiyaki is enjoyed all over Japan from specialty restaurants to izakayas, wine bars and street stalls and is generally ordered as a set or by the skewer.
Bite size chunks are skewered onto bamboo and expertly grilled over charcoal flame. Traditionally kushiyaki is ordered with a choice of shio (salt) or tare (sauce) – salt is sprinkled onto skewers before grilling or the skewer is dipped into the sauce after cooking.

Wagyu tri tip is threaded onto skewers and cooked over coals at Chaco Bar

Chaco Bar’s wagyu tri tip kushiyaki – to share, or not.

Nabemono – or Japanese hot pot – generally comes in two main styles – shabu shabu and sukiyaki. Shabu shabu originated in Osaka in the 1950s and comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound the meat makes as it is swirled in the broth ‘swish swish’.

Kind of like a meaty fondue – shabu shabu ingredients are served raw at the table, usually decoratively arranged on platters.

Shabu Shabu is a Japanese style of hot pot

Like many Japanese styles of cuisine – shabu shabu is a communal dining experience – usually gathered around a central custom made hot pot built into the table.
The traditional shabu shabu broth is a simple dashi made from kombu and is eaten with a variety of thinly sliced meats and fresh vegetables. Paper thin slices of beef are most common and served with the broth along with tofu, cabbage, mushrooms and seasonal produce variations. Rice or udon noodles are usually mixed with beaten egg and added to the broth as a finisher.
At Azuma in Sydney’s Chifley Square, chef/owner Kimitaka Azuma offers diners a choice of shabu shabu or sukiyaki in a theatrical experience that is an ode to authentic Japanese dining and tradition.

Shabu Shabu with 2GR fullblood wagyu at Azuma in Sydney

A delicate dashi broth is flavoured with a little sake and seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, sanuki udon noodles and Masshigura rice – and served with intricately prepared 2GR full-blood wagyu – sliced delicately thin for swishing through the broth. Condiments include individual bowls of sesame and ponzu sauce, thinly sliced green onions and chilli rice balls for flavour customisation.

Katsu translates to ‘cutlet’ and generally refers to meat that’s been pounded thin, breaded with panko breadcrumbs and deep fried. Similar in form to a schnitzel, katsu is one of the many Western foods adopted into modern Japanese cuisine and adapted to suit local tastes.

There are several versions of katsu including pork, minced meat, chicken, prawn and beef – known as gyukatsu. In the last few years, gyukatsu has become extremely popular in Japan and is usually served rare on a small iron plate for guests to continue cooking to their liking.

Shou Sumiyaki’s gyu katsu is made from David Blackmore Wagyu Tenderloin

At Shou Sumiyaki in Melbourne’s Chinatown, David Blackmore fullblood wagyu tenderloin is seasoned and then coated with breadcrumbs. Portions are then deep fried for approximately one minute resulting in a golden crumb and rare beef inside. The gyukatsu is rested and then sliced into bite sized pieces and served with a special sauce and cabbage salad to cut through the richness.

Tobanyaki is another style of Japanese cooking done at the table and traditionally means ‘to roast on a ceramic plate’.

The toban retains heat allowing the ingredients inside to cook evenly and the meat to retain its juices and flavour inside the pot. The slow cooking process is similar to steaming and the meal is ready when steam readily billows from the lid.

Suki Beef Tobanyaki at Dohtonbori ready to hit the teppan

At Dohtonbori in Melbourne, tobanyaki is offered in three varieties – Japanese potato with butter; assorted mushroom; or suki beef. The suki beef is like a mini version or an individual serve of sukiyaki – the traditional Japanese hot pot. Served in a small cast iron pot, the suki beef tobanyaki consists of thinly sliced wagyu, a range of mushroom varieties, an egg, butter and sukiyaki sauce – a sweet salty sauce of soy, sugar and mirin. All ingredients are prepared in the cast iron pot and then cooked on the teppan – a metal grill plate in the middle of the table – for around five minutes.

Tender slices of wagyu beef dipped through sweet sukiyaki sauce and runny egg yolk – the best way to tobanyaki

Sushi is a dish of vinegared rice served with various fillings and toppings – and despite popular opinion – does not mean raw fish.

Originally a means of preservation, fish was wrapped in fermented rice and stored for up to a year, then the rice was discarded and the fish consumed.
This preservation method was believed to have originated in SouthEast Asia before moving into China and Japan. In the 16th century, using vinegared rice and consuming it with the fish was introduced and this is typically the way sushi is still enjoyed today.

Hugely popular and widely commercialised across the world – sushi is no doubt the most recognisable form of Japanese cuisine – although many adaptations of sushi are questionable at best. The skill, precision and art of a true sushi master are unparalleled and can not be easily replicated. Sushi continues to evolve with new ingredients, preparations and more and more distinctly western influences to love or loathe.

Aburi is a style of sushi where the protein is partially cooked

Aburi Beef Tataki Sushi Rolls at Dohtonbori in Melbourne

At Dohtonbori, you can ditch the fish and opt instead for their Aburi Beef Tataki Sushi Rolls. Aburi translates to ‘flame seared’ and is a style of sushi where the protein is partially cooked and partially raw. At Dohtonbori, thin slices of wagyu beef are lightly seared, laid atop rolls of sushi rice and finished with finely sliced scallions.

Another Japanese adoption and adaption of a widely popular Western cuisine, the hamburger – the hambagu gained popularity when Japan opened up to Western culture from 1868 during the Meji period – and quickly became a Japanese staple.

The hambagu is similar to a hamburger – but without the buns. Mince is mixed with breadcrumbs and finely chopped vegetables along with salt and sometimes eggs – a typical take on the burger patty – and served with sauce, rice and vegetables.

The Ume Burger at Barangaroo features a specially blended beef patty and wagyu sauce

Sydney’s premier destination for Japanese style burgers, Ume Burger, generally sticks with the buns, as is the Aussie preference when it comes to our hamburgers. Their award-winning burgers are crafted around a secret signature beef patty designed in collaboration with Vic’s Meats. Previously made in-house, the sophistication of the Vic’s Meats facility ensures the density, diameter and consistency of every Ume patty.
The Ume Burger consists of a secret signature beef patty, wagyu mince sauce, tomato, onion, mayo and American cheese. The wagyu mince sauce is a significant sauce for the business and has been used across the two sites on other menu items like their taco, pasta wafu and miso bolognese. Based on a bolognese recipe, it is cooked down overnight for 8-10 hours with a mix of western and Japanese ingredients.

Wagyu Katsu Sando: Three Ways

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If there was a sandwich Olympics – and we think there should be – surely the Wagyu Katsu Sando would take pride and place on the podium. Of Japanese origin, the Wagyu Katsu Sando was created by chef Kentaro Nakahara and first appeared as a dessert at his renowned yakiniku restaurant Sumibiyakiniku Nakahara in Tokyo.

Since then, iterations of this salacious sandwich have found their way onto menus around the world – as daily specials, secret menu items and as a dedicated course of a $200 tasting menu. From fine dining to fast food, customers have queued up around the block for a taste of this decadent treat and with prices ranging anywhere from $30 – $200 – it’s obviously adaptable to a range of outlets.
We recruited three Sydney chefs to create their own version for us – at three vastly different venues – to show there’s a wagyu katsu sando for everyone. Humble white bread meets premium wagyu beef. The rest is really up to you.



Chef Chase Kojima

The Sokyo Wagyu Katsu Sando

Sokyo is Sydney’s premium Japanese dining experience – and that’s what executive chef Chase Kojima wanted to reflect in his version of the wagyu katsu sando. Chase and his team experimented with different methods before settling on sous vide the beef before frying to get the best texture for their sando.
Chase uses AACo’s Westholme Sirloin MS9. The Westholme cattle came to Australia from Japan more than two decades ago with strong lineage that traces back to champion wagyu bulls and cows. Westholme cattle are born on AACo’s pristine outback stations, raised on grass and finished on a specialised grain blend to achieve rich marbling throughout the cut.

The Sokyo Wagyu Katsu Sando


Net food cost — $19.00
Sale price — $65.00




Umami Chutney


5g karashi mustard powder
10g water
65g diced shallot
160g diced red onion
100g sugar
10g soy
12g citrus vinegar
4g kombu
10g bbq sauce
2g salt


Truffle Mayo


30g fresh black truffle
200g Kewpie mayo
50g truffle oil


Wagyu Sirloin Katsu

Westholme Wagyu Sirloin MS9+
2 whole eggs
50ml cream
2g salt
Japanese white bread

Sous vide steak seasoned with shio kombu before crumbing

Method – Condiments

To prepare the chutney, mix mustard powder with water and set aside. Cook shallot, onion and sugar until caramelised. Once it becomes soft and caramelised mix in the other ingredients. Mix chutney with karashi mustard.
For the mayo, grate the fresh black truffle with a microplane and mix with truffle oil and mayonnaise.

Method – Katsu

Portion sirloin into 130g slices removing the cap for an even size. Season with salt and pepper and place into a vacuum bag. Sous vide at 54 degrees for 45 minutes then chill in ice water.
Mix together eggs, cream and salt.
Remove crusts from a whole loaf of Japanese white bread then grate bread with a cheese grater. Toast crumbs in an oven at 120 degrees ensuring not to colour.
Season the sous vide sirloin with shio kombu then coat with tempura flour. Dip into the egg mixture then coat with panko. Deep fry at 150 degrees for 3 minutes.

Sokyo chef Chase Kojima building his wagyu katsu sando

To Serve

Lightly toast two thick slices of white bread, spread with truffle mayonnaise then place the wagyu katsu onto the bread. Spread umami chutney onto the katsu. Top with the other slice of bread and cut into four pieces. Place onto a plate grated with fresh horseradish.



Chef Faheem Noor
Mrs Palmer Sandwich

Mrs Palmer’s Wagyu Katsu Sando

The hot new sandwich shop on the block, Mrs Palmer Sandwich in Darlinghurst, takes sandwich basics seriously with their own custom baked bread – the perfect vessel to transport premium produce to your lips. Their version of the wagyu katsu sando, created by chef Faheem Noor, hits the Mrs Palmer special board with gusto using Tajima MBS7+ cube roll.
The Tajima brand is from Andrew’s Meats and uses specially sourced F1 crossbred wagyu. An F1 is a “first cross” – meaning a 100% full-blood wagyu bull is crossed with another breed of cow. In the Tajima case, wagyu bulls are bred with Angus cows resulting in beef that is extremely tender, yet still firm to the palate with juicy, silky and enduring flavour.

Mrs Palmer’s Wagyu Katsu Sando


Net food cost — $12.80
Sale price — $35.00




200g Tajima cube roll MS7+
Egg wash
Panko crumb
Fried onion
Wasabi cream
Beef jus
Homestyle white loaf

Mrs Palmer Sandwich’s custom baked bread

Crumb the steak then deep fry for 2.5 minutes. Rest for two minutes. Butter and lightly toast two slices of thick-cut loaf.
Butter bread with wasabi cream then place the rested steak onto bread. Add fried onion and drizzle with jus. Slice and serve with fried lotus chips.

Sliced wagyu katsu layering onto thick white bread



Chef Martin Dulke
Venues Live – ANZ & BankWest Stadiums

Stadium Sher Wagyu Sando with furikake dusted chips and whisky pickle

Venues Live chef Martin Dulke thinks it’s time to kick the hot dog to the curb with the ultimate in game-day satisfaction – whether your team is on top or not. This hot-in-the-hand stadium showstopper is set to hit the menu at ANZ Stadium in Sydney – with a whopping 90,000 capacity – and is adaptable across both the corporate suites and general retail menus.


Martin prefers Sher Wagyu for his sando – an award-winning brand of wagyu based at Ballan in central Victoria. Since 1991 the Sher family have been producing full-blood and crossbred wagyu and managing all stages of the production process. Their cattle are pasture-fed until 18 months of age and then grain-fed for 400+ days.

Stadium Sher Wagyu Katsu Sando


Net food cost — $10.65
Sale price — $25.00




150g Sher Wagyu Rib Eye Roll MS8
2 slices white bread
½ cup tare sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1-2 tbs water
1 cup fresh panko breadcrumbs
Sea salt

Your steak should be about the same size as your bread

Trim the ribeye roll into a 2cm thick, 12x12cm square portion – or roughly the size of the bread.
Whisk together eggs and water in a mixing bowl. Prepare bowls of flour and panko ready for breading.
Season steak with sea salt then dip in flour, egg and then breadcrumbs.
Preheat a fryer to 180°c then fry the steak for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Remove and test using a digital thermometer – ideally, the internal temperature should be 52°c.
Rest the steak for 6 minutes on a rack in a warm place while you prepare your other ingredients.

Crumbing the steak for the Stadium Sando

Pan fry bread slices on one side until golden brown then brush the tare sauce on the untoasted side of the bread. Place the rested steak on the sauced bread and close the sando.
Using a serrated knife, cut the sando into halves or four squares and serve with furikake-dusted, hand-cut fries, a Yamazaki Whisky-infused dill pickle and pickled daikon.

At ANZ Stadium, the sando will be served in wooden boxes for corporates and a similar shaped cardboard box at retail


Fast Facts

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Fast Facts

In 2017, Japan’s foodservice industry generated AUD $468 billion in sales - 46% larger than the GDP of New Zealand

The 2020 Michelin Guide to Tokyo includes 226 restaurants with Michelin stars - more than any other city in the world

Japan imports 66% of its total beef supply - almost half of this is Australian beef

Japan is Australia’s largest export market for grain-fed beef

The foodservice sector is a core channel for Australian beef, accounting for around 70% of Australian beef to Japan