What are the best side dishes for Wagyu beef? The perfect sides are comprised of vegetables such as mushrooms, onions, spinach, asparagus, salad and brussels sprouts, as well starches including baked or mashed potatoes and rice pilaf. The goal when choosing side for this delicacy should be to let the rich and fatty cut of meat shine and not compete with the meat.
Wagyu is a very rich and flavorful beef. It is a wonderfully marbled cut that’s fat holds the key to its rich flavor. We’ve compromised a list below of side dish options to compliment your next rich wagyu meal.
Mushrooms pair well with beef and particularly compliment the smoky flavors of wagyu.
Clean your favorite brown or white mushrooms (we like cremini or portobello best) quickly underwater making sure to dust off any dirt but not to let them absorb much water, pat dry and slice or leave whole is small enough.
On medium to high heat, add a knob of butter and a bit of olive oil to a pan. Add your mushrooms slowly, being careful not to crowd the pan.
Let the mushrooms cook without disturbing them, ideally around 3 minutes, this will help them brown. Then add salt, pepper and minced garlic to your taste, stirring occasionally.
Add a splash of white wine to the pan and cook down. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley.
Sautéed onions are another great side to your wagyu. The onions end up slightly sweet after being cooked.
In a large pan on medium heat add a large amount of sliced onions, make sure to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt over the onions to draw out moisture.
Cook stirring occasionally, and add a splash of water to the pan to release the stickiness. This process takes around 15 minutes.
Toward the end of cooking and when the onions are mushy and brown a splash of wine can be added to enhance the flavor.
Mashed potatoes are a simple yet delicious comfort food that won’t compete with the richness of your wagyu. Their flavor can be enhanced by adding a sprinkle of chives or roasted garlic at the end of preparation.
To make this side dish peel and cut potatoes, add to pot of water, salt and boil. Cook until tender (usually 15-20 minutes depending on the size).
Drain, Add butter, sour cream, crème fresh or milk and mash. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. Add in roasted garlic, garlic powder or chives if you wish.
Another simple yet hardy side dish would be baked potatoes, they can be eaten plainly with butter or with an addition of crème fresh or sour cream and chives.
We prefer russet potatoes that have been washed of all dirt and patted dry. Then the skin should be rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper.
The next step is to pierce their skin with a fork all over, this will allow steam to be released, creating a crust outside and soft inside.
Simply place your coated and pierced potatoes in a preheated 425°F or 220°C on foil lined baking sheet, for 40-60 minutes.
When they are soft if pierced with a fork they can be taken out to let cool. Cutting them open before serving to let steam out and adding simple topping will compliment your beef perfectly.
Rice pilaf is a wonderful starchy side to wagyu beef that can be dressed up or down with the addition of some of your favorite vegetables.
This flavored rice is simple, easy to make and can be customized to compliment your wagyu even more.
In a sauce pan on medium heat melt butter and you may add chopped garlic, onions or celery or all 3 (or another vegetable of your wish).
When they have softened add a long-grained rice, usually jasmine and basmati work best. Toast the rice in the pan with your softened vegetables until it looks a bit glassy.
Add broth until you can touch the rice with your finger and the liquid reaches your first knuckle. Let it reach a boil then reduce the heat to low.
Cover and leave covered until rice is soft and all the liquid is gone, this usually take around 15-20 minutes. Fluff with fork.
Roasting asparagus in the oven is also a great and simple addition to wagyu beef. Roasting diminishes the naturally bitter taste of the asparagus and leaves you with an earthy flavored vegetable that pairs well with decadent wagyu.
Wash and trim the bottoms of a bunch of asparagus spears. On a baking sheet arrange the asparagus, drizzle with olive oil, coat with salt and pepper.
You can also add either a squeeze of lemon, garlic or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Massage the ingredients into the asparagus and place baking sheet into a preheated 425°F or 220°C oven for 10-15 minutes, until the asparagus is soft when prodded with a fork.
An excellent addition to this simple recipe is hollandaise sauce.
Oven roasted brussels sprouts are a bit sweet, nutty and not at all bitter, making them a wonderful addition to your wagyu beef.
Start by washing and halving your brussels sprouts. In a bowl, add olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic and a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup if you wish.
Massage together and arrange evenly on a baking sheet. Place in a preheated 425°F or 220°C oven for 20-30 minutes, they should have a soft center with a golden crispy outer layer.
This classic side dish pairs wonderfully with wagyu and other fatty cuts of meat.
Sautee half a diced onion in oil on a large skillet, when the onion begins to soften add 1 pound of clean fresh spinach. Add leaves to wilt and cover.
After wilting (about 3 minutes) add 4 cloves of minced or sliced garlic. Finish with salt and pepper and either a squirt of lemon juice or a dusting fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Most fresh salads with a light dressing will add a brightness to your hearty meal. Focus on a simple salad as it should compete with your main course.
A vinaigrette style dressing would add freshness to your meal while creating a balance in flavors. Try not to add too many ingredients but rather focus on using fresh leafy greens and simple dressing.
The Best Wine Pairings for Wagyu Beef
Because Wagyu is a true delicacy, it is appropriate to pair it with a wine that is also of high quality to celebrate the occasion.
A red wine is the best suited with most beef and certainly with this cut. A few favorites include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, Nebbiolo, or a Tempernillo. All of these are full bodied wine that can beautifully compliment your beef.