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What Is Akaushi Steak? Is It The Best Cut Ever?

akaushi steak

Akaushi steak is one of the most luxurious and sought after specialty steaks available. Originating in Japan, Akaushi steak comes from a breed of cattle that is often referred to as the “Emperor’s Breed”.

Before 1994, Akaushi was only available in Japan but eight females and three males were shipped on an equipped Boeing 747 to bring this delicacy over to the United States where they were bred at the HeartBrand Ranch in southern Texas.

Nowadays, there are around 1,000 Akaushi bulls and 8,700 cows around the United States making it highly accessible. 

Akaushi steak is extremely expensive as the meat can cost up to $200 per pound. It is loved for its buttery and rich taste.

The Akaushi cows themselves are one of the most desired animals for specialist farmers and can cost as much as $30,000 because of how valuable they are to breed. The HeartBrand Beef sells Akaushi bulls as well as various cuts of beef under its own program. 

For those who are interested in where Akaushi comes from and the differences between Akaushi steak and Wagyu steaks, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done all the research so you don’t have to and you’ll be an Akaushi expert by the end of this mini guide. 

What is akaushi ground beef?

Akaushi is a specific Wagyu breed of cattle that originated in Japan. It has become renowned for its texture and taste as it has been richly marbled with fat that makes it very flavorful and tender.

It is because of this specialized treatment that makes it one of the most expensive varieties of steak available and is often used in Kobe restaurants.

The HeartBrand Akaushi beef is known as the best in the States and consists of a unique ratio of fats which aids to lower cholesterol as well as Oleic acid which provides the buttery taste.

It is often referred to the crown jewel of all meats due to the specialized processes that come with maintaining the cows. They have to be fed and treated on a careful diet to ensure that the meat is of the finest quality. 

What is the difference between wagyu and akaushi steak?

The best way to think about Wagyu and Akaushi is that Wagyu is a more generalized term for Japanese cattle overall whereas Akaushi is a specific breed of Japanese cattle.

When it comes to comparing the specific breeds of cattles, there are a lot of differences in the genetic makeup which affects the texture and taste.

Wagyu is a broad translation of beef making it a more generalized term and Akaushi falls under the umbrella of Wagyu.

In total, there are four different breeds of Wagyu which are: Japanese Black which is known as Kuroge Washu, Japanese Polled which is known as Mukaku Washu, Japanese Brown which is known as Akage Washu or Akaushi and Japanese Shorthorn which is known as Nihon Tankaku Washu.

They are all different in their tastes and are among the most expensive meats in the world thanks to the high demand in Kobe restaurants. 

How is Wagyu beef killed?

Japanese cattle are treated with the utmost care and respect to ensure that the cows are relaxed at all times. Starting from birth, the cows are given a number rather than a number and kept on a strict diet of rice straws, crop silage and concentrate.

According to the (debunked) legends they are often fed beer to induce their appetite and are given daily massages with sake to ensure that they are relaxed. This acts as a substitute for exercise due to the tight living spaces as well as aiding the marbling that the beef has become so well known for. 

When it comes to slaughtering the cow, they are spoken to gently and given special treatment.

The death itself is incredibly swift to ensure that the cow is dead before their muscles have the time to tense up meaning that the meat isn’t tightened during the process. It is due to this process that there is limited supply in Akaushi steak compared to regular American steaks. 

Can you get real Wagyu beef in America?

In the United States, any Wagyu beef only has to consist of 46.9% of Wagyu genetics to be sold at retail as Wagyu.

But YES, you CAN buy real Wagyu beef in America: If you shop at CrowdCow. They sell an amazing sortiment of pure-bred wagyu steaks all the way up to the highest possible quality: A5 grade.

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Regardless of these requirements, restaurants often refer to their beef as Wagyu despite it containing no Wagyu genetics at all to give a luxurious vibe to their foods.

If you are interested in purchasing some Akaushi meat, always check how much Wagyu content there is in the meat to see how much you are getting for your money, especially because it runs to expensive prices.


In conclusion, Akaushi meat is so expensive because of how luxurious it is as well as the health benefits that come with it. Compared with American beef, Akaushi beef has a unique ratio of healthy fats which help to lower your cholesterol.

Its signature taste and texture helps to elevate any dish and it is often used by Michelin chefs who only used the most luxurious ingredients.

With it becoming more accessible around the United States, be sure to try some if you can so you can enjoy one of Japan’s finest delicacies. The Akaushi cows and bulls are put on a specialized diet to ensure that the quality is consistent throughout. 

If you are looking to buy and try Wagyu / Akaushi steak, then I recommend you to visit



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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