What Is Akaushi Beef and Why Is It Considered the Best Beef?

Akaushi beef is frequently one of the first topics brought up in any discussion of high-end beef, but the average American doesn’t know that much about its history or flavor. The reason for this is simple. While breeds such as the black Angus have been farmed for more than 150 years in this country, Akaushi (pronounced ah-ka-OO-shi) is a relatively new breed that’s only been available outside of Japan for a couple of decades. People are simply more familiar with more established cattle breeds, making Akaushi something of an afterthought in many minds. 

However, Akaushi is anything but an afterthought to beef connoisseurs. Akaushi cattle is known for extreme fat marbling, giving the beef unparalleled juiciness, a rich umami flavor, and a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that must be experienced to be believed. Akaushi is also associated with several health benefits you wouldn’t typically associate with beef, including the ability to help lower cholesterol. 

If you’re interested in trying Akaushi beef for yourself, Hall Farmstead makes it easy to order premium Japanese American wagyu that’s sure to live up to your expectations. All Hall Farmstead Artisan Wagyu cattle are DNA-tested and tracked for authenticity, repeatability, and consistency, ensuring every cut of beef provides a luxurious dining experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Continue reading to learn more about why Hall Farmstead chose Akaushi cows and bulls as the backbone of our herd!

What differentiates Akaushi cattle from other breeds?

The Akaushi breed goes by many names, including Japanese Brown, Japanese Red, Kumamoto Red, and the Emperor’s Breed. The word “Akaushi” itself translates to “red cow”. A Japanese cattle breed originating from Kumamoto, Japan, Akaushi cattle were bred to produce the highest quality of meat. Native Japanese cattle were bred with foreign species such as the Korean Hanwoo, the South Devon, and the Simmental from 1900-1910. This practice stopped abruptly in 1910 when Japanese ranchers realized that foreign genetics were hurting the quality of their beef. Foreign breeds might have been better for yield as measured by pounds or producing milk, but the flavor of the meat reached perfection. 

Thereafter, the Japanese enforced strict policies to ensure the genetic purity of their beef, seldom exporting cattle to any other country. One exception was made in 1994 when a small herd of Akaushi was transported to the United States via a specially-equipped airplane. To this day, the vast majority of Akaushi beef sold in the U.S. can trace its lineage back to that 1994 herd. 

Akaushi have a genetic predisposition to put on fat on the inside of their muscles instead of the outside, leading to superior marbling and less waste. The resulting lean fat is partially responsible for the rich, buttery flavor and silky texture that the beef is known for, explaining why it’s prized around the world. 

Do Akaushi cattle yield real wagyu beef?

The term wagyu beef applies to four specific breeds of Japanese cattle: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. Akaushi is another name for Japanese Brown, so all Akaushi are considered wagyu. However, the vast majority of wagyu cattle are from the Japanese Black breed, meaning that the majority of wagyu cattle are not Akaushi. Put another way, all wagyu beef is a premium product, but Akaushi beef stands out for its quality even among other wagyu breeds. 

It’s also worth noting that many meat vendors and restaurants attach a wagyu label to their beef without any connection to the breeds above due to the name’s connection with fine dining, quality, and a premium price point. Hall Farmstead emphatically does not do this: All of our cattle qualify as wagyu with a demonstrable Akaushi ancestry that ensures high-quality wagyu beef.

Are there any health benefits associated with Akaushi ground beef and steaks?

While Akaushi is known for its superior marbling and rich, one-of-a-kind flavor, the meat also carries substantial health benefits that you do not get with average beef. Akaushi beef is naturally high in oleic acid (the good fat found in olive oil) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), two fatty acids that may help reduce cholesterol. Akaushi contains reduced lipoprotein molecular complexes limiting the transportation of cholesterol to organs and tissues as well. 

If you’re familiar with the good and bad types of cholesterol, you’ll be pleased to learn that Akaushi beef is naturally high in good cholesterol (HDL, or high-density lipoprotein). Not only does HDL help eliminate LDL (low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol) and other fatty buildups in the arteries, but it can also help guard against hypertension and all of the chronic medical conditions associated with elevated blood pressure. Naturally, Akaushi is low in LDL cholesterol. 

Akaushi beef contains more mono-unsaturated fat than saturated fat too, making it easier to take advantage of the health benefits of beef. All beef products are a rich source of high biological proteins and other essential nutrients, but health experts generally advise avoiding them or consuming them in moderation due to their fat content. Akaushi is a leaner meat that doesn’t carry the same cardiovascular risks and may even help prevent coronary heart disease, making it a tremendous source of protein and amino acids. 

While research is ongoing, evidence suggests that Akaushi products may have other health benefits as well. CLA has been associated with immune system support in clinical studies, so the CLA in beef might provide the same benefit. There have even been studies associating Akaushi and some of the nutrients it contains with anti-inflammatory properties and lowering the incidence of breast cancer. All told, Akaushi is considered one of the healthiest, most flavorful meats available. 


How to find the best Akaushi beef in the U.S.

Most American wagyu has a 50/50 genetic makeup between Japanese wagyu and Red Angus, but Hall Farmstead knew we could provide a richer, more luxurious dining experience. Therefore, our entire herd is comprised of Artisan Wagyu cattle with a minimum of 15/16 Japanese Akaushi Wagyu heritage, offering the rich taste of Japanese breeds, our Japanese American wagyu stands out from the competition. 

Great beef comes from superior genetics, but we go a step further. Our herd is fed corn and soybeans grown on our land and hydrated with natural spring water to ensure consistency in flavor, tenderness, and marbling. We also keep the lives of our animals as stress-free as possible, reducing muscle tension that can otherwise make beef tough. We’ve thought of everything so you can focus on a luxurious meal. 

Premium Japanese American wagyu from Kentucky

All wagyu beef is not created equal. Our Akaushi cattle originated in Japan and were handpicked by Hall Farmstead as the basis of our premium Japanese American wagyu. Our Kentucky-based ranch shares many environmental similarities with the birthplace of Akaushi in Kumamoto, Japan, so we can raise them right. All Hall Farmstead Artisan Wagyu cattle are DNA-tested and tracked for authenticity, repeatability, and consistency to ensure every cut of beef exceeds your expectations. 

We also makes it easy to buy premium Japanese American wagyu. We offer one-time orders and a subscription service delivering premium cuts directly to your doorstep monthly or quarterly. Subscribers receive access to exclusive cuts you won’t find anywhere else and are even eligible for special bonuses. 

We know that Akaushi isn’t that well-known in the U.S. and we’re always happy to connect with potential customers and educate them on the many benefits of our Japanese American wagyu. We’re also extremely proud of the product we sell. Look no further than Hall Farmstead to find a meal you and your loved ones will remember forever!