Kobe beef is a special type of meat that comes from the Japanese region of Kobe. The cattle that produce the prime beef products is called Wagyu. While the prized meat originally came directly from Japan, after live Wagyu were exported, breeders in other countries began producing Kobe beef. Most Kobe beef today comes from Australia and California.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has strict certification procedures for Kobe beef and its verification. The cattle must be under 30 months old and come from a genotype of Waygu influence. Fat marbling in the meat must be abundant and free of any dark cutting characteristics. To qualify as Kobe beef, the meat must meet the requirements of grade A prime beef, be firm and evenly colored.
A 3-oz. serving of Kobe beef hamburger contains about 240 calories, of which 160 come from fat, according to Black Angus Meats, a meat supplier in Mississauga, Canada. An average burger is closer to 8 or 10 oz., making it more realistic that you'll consume about 800 calories in a half-pounder and about 530 calories of fat. Those fat calories are what makes the Kobe distinctive, and cannot be removed without cutting the prime value of the meat.
Eating a full-sized Kobe burger should be limited to a rare treat because of the high fat content. According to MayoClinic.com, if you eat an average of 2,000 calories per day, only 400 to 500 of those calories should come from fat. The saturated fat in the marbled Kobe beef exceeds the limit of saturated fat you should consume to avoid heart failure, which is closer to 7 percent of your daily calorie intake, or about 140 calories at most.
While you're packing on the fat and calories, you will receive additional nutrition from a Kobe burger. According to Black Angus Meats, an 8 oz. burger contains about 50g of protein, more than a day's requirements. The same burger also packs on about 173mg of cholesterol and about 146mg of sodium, with traces of iron.
If you want to enjoy the rich, fatty taste of a Kobe beef hamburger, consider eating a slider, or a small version of the big burger that is typically 3 to 4 oz., thin and about 2 1/2 inches wide. A Kobe beef slider has about 340 calories, of which about 144 are from fat and 8g saturated fat. A slider has about 24g of protein and 22g of carbs.