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Christmas Steak Event Promotes U.S. Beef for Holiday Menus in Japan

Published: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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To promote U.S. beef for seasonal party menus in Japan, USMEF conducted a “Christmas Steak” cooking demonstration at Café Haus in Tokyo. The event, which attracted more than 50 consumers and a handful of food bloggers, was funded by the USDA Market Access program and the Beef Checkoff Program.

Japanese consumers try some of the dishes prepared at a USMEF “Christmas Steak” event in Tokyo

Japanese consumers try some of the dishes prepared at a USMEF “Christmas Steak” event in Tokyo

Rika Yukimasa, one of Tokyo’s most popular cooking instructors and specialists – especially among health-conscious female consumers – introduced three U.S. beef dishes: chuck eye roll stew, ribeye steak and roast beef salad.

“Beef dishes, especially those using thick-cut items, are very popular for special dishes during the Christmas holiday season among Japanese customers,” said Takemichi Yamashoji, USMEF director in Japan.

Rika Yukimasa, a popular cooking instructor in Japan, explains the attributes and advantages of cooking with U.S. beef

Rika Yukimasa, a popular cooking instructor in Japan, explains the attributes and advantages of cooking with U.S. beef

Tazuko Hijikata, USMEF senior manager of consumer affairs in Japan, opened the event by asking how many participants had tasted U.S. beef. More than half said they had, which exceeded the average number at similar promotions in Japan. Yamashoji explained that many of the participants are followers of Yukimasa, who often introduces U.S. beef and extols its attributes at social media events and television appearances.

Yukimasa offered useful cooking tips and talked about the quality and versatility of U.S. beef. She also introduced ideal side dishes for U.S. beef stew and listed some of the best wines to pair with U.S. beef.

“It was a very good way to show consumers how U.S. beef can get their family in the holiday mood,” said Yamashoji. “The goal is to get consumers to relate these festive times with U.S. beef so that when it comes time to plan a menu or a meal, a number of dishes will be fresh in their minds.”