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Carving out a niche for wagyu afficionados

By Li Yingxue | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-31 07:57

Carving out a niche for wagyu afficionados

Meat Mate, a chain of modern butcher shops in Beijing, offers chilled Australian wagyu beef freshly delivered every day. You can also have it cooked in the store. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A cut of chilled Australian wagyu beef can take as little as 15 days to reach the refrigeration cabinets at Meat Mate, a chain of modern butcher shops in Beijing specializing in the delicacy.

Japanese wagyu is one of the world's finest meat products and is famous for its signature marbling, but it is not readily available on the Chinese market.

Australia received its first wagyu genetics in 1990 and has been successfully breeding the cattle ever since. Australian wagyu producers currently export up to 90 percent of their beef globally.

Meat Mate, which opened in Sanyuanqiao in October 2016, was the first outlet in the capital focusing on selling chilled Australian wagyu.

The group's newly-opened second store at the Indigo mall in Chaoyang sells every cut of Australian wagyu beef, other than organs and tongues.

Frozen beef is commonly found in Beijing restaurants and used in home cooking, but chilled beef is much more difficult to find.

Chilled wagyu beef is freshly cut and deboned from the cattle and stored at a temperature of between 0 C and 4 C within 24 hours, before being transported in refrigerated containers for export.

The low temperature helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and gives the beef its tender taste.

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