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A Cut Above: Getting to Know Hida Beef

A Cut Above: Getting to Know Hida Beef

Hida beef is a highly regarded brand of Japanese black-haired Japanese cattle (kuroge wagyu) that is raised in Gifu Prefecture. What better way to try Hida’s fabled beef than with a pilgrimage to one of Hida Furukawa’s very own steakhouses?

Many establishments around Hida proudly offer the local beef and gourmands would be recommended to try all varieties, including Hida beef curry, Hida beef croquettes or Hoba miso-style (served grilled with miso/onion on a Magnolia leaf). 

Purists looking to dine on Japanese wagyu, known for its incredible melt-in-the-mouth texture due to shimofuri (marbling), may not settle for anything less than top-quality A5-ranked steak. This is exactly what you’ll get at a steakhouse like Ikkan, operating for over 50 years.

Ikkan’s Yamayu cattle are blessed by the natural climate and high altitude of the Sugou highlands which, combined with unified fattening and breeding systems, has helped achieve a superior level of beef.

The beef served in Ikkan’s restaurant comes from heifer calves that are fattened over 29 months, with the meat aged an additional 30 days or more before ever being served. When you also consider that Hida beef undergoes a strict and controlled accreditation process to achieve its grade, you really know the Hida beef here is going to be really good.

A Cut Above: Getting to Know Hida Beef

It’s worth grabbing a counter seat to watch the chef’s delicate yet skilled performance of grilling the beef on the teppan iron plate before your eyes. It surely is a sight to behold and builds anticipation for what will be a memorable dining experience. 

A Cut Above: Getting to Know Hida Beef

Gazing at the teppan offers a great chance to appreciate the dedication that goes into getting steak done right and hints at the Japanese concept of kodawari—persistence in pursuit of perfection—which is a parallel that can be drawn with many of Hida’s local artisans and craftspeople.

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