Satsuma Fukunaga Wagyu Is Melt-In-Your-Mouth Goodness

Satsuma, Japan hosts Satsuma Fukunaga Wagyu, where third-generation care creates exceptional Wagyu beef in stress-free, music-filled barns.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s September 2023 Issue.

The province of Satsuma is in the Kagoshima Prefecture on the island of Kyūshū, Japan. The subtropical climate here makes it a mostly temperate place throughout the year. 

Satsuma’s pristine waters, wide-open pastures, and lush greenery are some of the reasons why Satsuma Fukunaga Wagyu’s farm thrive and produce some of the best Wagyu (literally “Japanese cattle” in English) in the world. 

The third-generation Fukunaga family assures their cattle are monitored from breeding to processing and utmost care is given for the cows that live in a comfortable and stress-free environment. 

Their barns are covered in soft sawdust-covered floors for cushioning with fans and mist showers all around while jazz and classical music are played daily. 

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Fukunaga Wagyu Ribeye. Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao
Fukunaga Wagyu Ribeye/Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao

Highly Acclaimed

Cattle are at peace and unbothered with such conditions that they sleep on their bellies as opposed to getting light sleep on their feet. 

They are fed a diet of takie, which is a feed of grain and molasses, steamed every morning. This not only makes the meat sweet and tender, it also plays a role in lowering the melting point of the meat’s fat, allowing each slice of meat to melt quickly in the mouth. 

Fukunaga Wagyu Starter. Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao
Fukunaga Wagyu Starter/Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao

The Wagyu beef produced has excellent marbling and has a deep flavor –rich and mildly sweet in taste. In Japan’s Wagyu Olympics, where fat quality is judged, Satsuma Fukunaga beef scored a monounsaturated fatty acid (the same healthy fat found in avocados and olive oil) value of 62%, which exceeds the average of 57.6% of other Wagyu. 

They’ve received much acclaim at Japan’s National Beef and Meat Co- Co-initiative Competition and have also received the title of Grand Champion at the Yokohama Meat Fair and National Meat Business Cooperative Competition.

Uni Rice with Fukunaga Wagyu. Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao
Uni Rice with Fukunaga Wagyu/Photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao

A dinner at One World Kitchen had members of the Fukanaga family and Chef Ryo Yokosawa fly to Manila to sample their special Wagyu. The starter Yokosawa prepared gave diners a glimpse of how special this Japanese beef was.

These included a slightly torched Wagyu nigiri (the typical sushi with a hand-formed mound of rice underneath) sushi using short rib, and two dishes prepared using rump–Wagyu tataki (seared briefly) with eggplant and a sushi roll with chopped Wagyu and Japanese uni or sea urchin.

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia September 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Banner photo by Pepper Teehankee and Michelle Ayuyao. 

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