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The Difference Between Dumplings and Gyoza

Jiaozi, the Mandarin word for dumpling, is commonly served as a Gyozadelicious side dish or a fun snack in Asia. Its Japanese cousin is the gyoza. What’s the difference between a jiaozi and gyoza? Turns out the two have a few key differences despite being quite similar.

Dumplings, AKA Pot Stickers

Originating in China, the dumpling, more commonly called the pot sticker, is made of wheat flour dough wrapper filled with meat and/or vegetables. This common side dish is cooked many different ways. Dumplings are most commonly steamed, pan fried, deep fried, or boiled.

Gyoza

While jiaozi dates back about a thousand years, gyoza is a much more recent innovation. During World War II, the Japanese ate jiaozi while occupying Manchuria. After returning home, some Japanese sought to recreate the jiaozi back home using Japanese ingredients and preparation methods. The gyoza was soon born with a thinner dumpling wrapper and more finely chopped stuffing. The dish is most commonly pan fried to create a wonderful crispy texture that also enhances its unique flavors.

Authentic Japanese Cuisine

While the two are similar, dumplings and gyoza have distinctly different flavor, texture, and cooking techniques that set them apart. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, our gyoza features the unique flavors traditional to the Japanese dish. These tasty gyozas are the perfect appetizer for any meal. Treat yourself and your palate by reserving your table today at 407-352-1607.

The History of the California Roll

The California roll is a delicious alternative to traditional sushi rolls that The History of The California Roll can be found in just about any Japanese restaurant in the United States. Because it is often prepared with cooked imitation crab, it is regarded as a starter roll for people new to sushi who are not ready for raw fish.

From Humble Beginnings

You can’t walk into a sushi restaurant without finding the California roll on the menu. Despite their prevalence in sushi culture, the history of the roll is enigmatic. The most commonly accepted creator of this roll is Ichiro Mashita.

Mashita was a Los Angeles sushi chef in little Tokyo. His early version of the California roll dates back to the early 1960s. At the time, he implemented the standard wrap with nori seaweed on the exterior of the roll, but Americans would often remove it thinking it was inedible. As a result, the reverse roll with rice on the outside was born. At the time he created the roll, imitation crab was not available, so he used real crab. Sesame seeds, cucumber, and mayonnaise were also absent from the original recipe.

Competing Histories

Other contenders for the coveted title of inventing the California roll include:

  • Ken Seusa is another chef from Los Angeles who asserts ownership of the innovation. He has the earliest documented claim for the California roll, and per food writer, Andrew F. Smith, the claim stood uncontested for more than 20 years.
  • Chef Hidekazu Tojo from Canada claims to have started the version of sushi in which the rice is on the outside of the roll. His claims also include the addition of cucumber, cooked crab, and avocado, which can be seen as support for his claim since those are the current ingredients of the California roll.

The Legacy Rolls On

Due to its incredible innovation and simple design, the California roll went on to become a popular dish in Southern California. By the 1980s, it was widely known across the entire country.

The California Roll is a great option for anyone interested in trying sushi without consuming raw seafood. If you’re looking to enjoy a delectable California Roll or other sushi plates in the Orlando area, Sakura Sushi should be your first choice. We pride ourselves on offering fresh, quality sushi, and a traditional Japanese experience. Book your table today at 407-352-1607.

The Difference Between Nigiri and Sashimi

Ordering sushi can be intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the food itself. There are so many options that you have probably never heard of, and it could confuse even the most experienced connoisseurs. Nigiri and sashimi are often easily confused. They look very similar and are not the traditional “roll” with which most people are familiar. Knowing the differences between nigiri and sashimi is a key step in increasing your understanding of the finer points of sushi.

Nigiri

Rice treated with vinegar is a major element in any sushi dish. Nigiri is identified by a small ball of vinegar-treated rice on which the fish or shellfish can rest. Typically, a dollop of wasabi may be on top of the rice and act almost as a paste to hold the fish on top. The fish may be served raw or cooked.

Sashimi

Technically, sashimi is not considered sushi. While most people think that sushi means ‘raw fish’ sushi actually denotes the usage of vinegar-treated rice, which is absent from Sashimi. Instead, sashimi is simply very fresh meat, sliced and served raw and often garnished with daikon radish, shiso leaves, and toasted nori. Sashimi does not necessitate fish either. Beef, horse, frog, and many other types of meat can be served as sashimi.

Expand Your Tastes

Trying new things and experimenting outside of your comfort zone can be enjoyable and rewarding. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we give you the opportunity to try new food that you might not have even heard of before. Nigiri and Sashimi are excellent choices when you are looking to try new dishes. Call us at 407-352-1607 and reserve your table today.

Okonomiyaki: The Japanese Pancake

Most people aren’t very familiar with Japanese cuisine, despite how much it has to offer. While sushi is delicious and the most popular choice, many people have not heard of the tasty and savory okonomiyaki. Often considered a type of Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is typically associated with the Kansai and Hiroshima areas of Japan. Both of these areas offer a different take on okonomiyaki.

Hiroshima

Much like a pancake, okonomiyaki is made from batter. A particular characteristic of the Hiroshima okonomiyaki is the layering of ingredients. Usually, there are layers of batter, pork, cabbage, and then extra toppings like octopus, cheese, or squid. Udon noodles make a delicious topping, as does fried egg. The ordered layering of these ingredients and toppings is usually up to the chef’s style and the customer’s preference.

Kansai

The Kansai style of okonomiyaki features a batter typically consisting of flour and eggs, accompanied by shredded cabbage, grated nagaimo (a variant of yam), and water or dashi (a soup stock). Unlike the Hiroshima style, the ingredients are mixed rather than layered, and there is less cabbage than would be included in the Hiroshima style of the okonomiyaki.

Preparation

Okonomiyaki is thought to have originated in Osaka. Similar to a pancake, all of the ingredients and batter cook evenly on a pan or griddle with flipping in between. Many restaurants which serve okonomiyaki have ‘grill-it-yourself’ options which allow the customers to use a bowl of ingredients and make their own okonomiyaki. There are also diner-style restaurants where chefs prepare it at the counter right in front of the customer.

Book Your Reservation Today

Regardless of what you put in it or how it’s made, okonomiyaki is a wonderful dish that everyone should try. The customizable recipe allows anyone to make the dish to their liking, and it is as easy as making a pancake. To try okonomiyaki yourself, trust no other than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. We offer authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by our teppanyaki chefs before your eyes on our tableside grills. Make a reservation today by calling us at 407-996-4444.

What Is Smelt Roe?

Sushi is always a great meal option, and it comes in so many different varieties. Nowadays raw, cooked, and even vegetarian selections are available. There is no deficit in the many preparations of sushi, and one of the most delicious ways to enjoy it is with smelt roe.

Smelt is a type of small fish from the family known as Osmeridae. These fish have several smaller classifications including capelin, the rainbow smelt, and European smelt. Roe is a general term for fish eggs, so smelt roe is simply eggs from Smelt fish, much like as caviar refers to roe from sturgeon.

Understanding Smelt Roe

Despite how rarely smelt fish meat is used, smelt roe is very popular in sushi restaurants. Distinguished by its reddish-orange color, smelt roe is crunchy and bountiful with omega-3 fatty acids which are phenomenal for your health. Omega-3 Fatty acids promote heart health and assist in sustaining mental health and wellness. Smelt roe, or as it is known in Japan, masago, has many different uses which should be explored by anyone interested in delicious food. It can be eaten in many ways such as in standalone rolls, covering the outside of sushi rolls as a garnish, or even used as a spread.

Try Smelt Roe Today

When looking to expand your dietary horizons, smelt roe is a worthwhile option. Aside from the amazing taste, it is fantastic for your health and can be eaten in many ways. If you are interested in trying it for the first time, look no further than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Treat your taste buds to a new delicacy and book your reservations today at 407-352-1607.

Improving Your Health with Wasabi

Those who enjoy the delicacy of sushi are most likely already familiar with the spicy paste known as wasabi. While it makes a great pairing with a tuna roll, wasabi has so much more to offer in the way of health benefits. Commonly overlooked, this fiery green condiment can help you by offering the following:

  • Cavity Prevention – Studies have indicated that wasabi can suppresses bacterial growth in the mouth which aids in halting cavities from forming. The chemical compound found in wasabi known as isothiocyanates prevent sugar from sticking to your teeth.
  • Decontamination – Wasabi has natural antibacterial properties which lead to fighting E. coli and other unwanted bacterial infection. This natural bacterial deterrent is in fact why wasabi is so commonly eaten with sushi, as it protects from any bacteria present in the raw fish.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – When ingested, wasabi acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It fights against platelet aggregation which is the cause of arthritic pain and joint swelling.
  • Fighting Cancer – Containing those ever resourceful isothiocyanates, wasabi promotes healthier liver function and blocks enzymes which could lead to pre-carcinogenic compounds. By preventing these harmful enzymes, the risk of developing cancer decreases.

Reserve Your Table

While the intense spicy flavor might be too much for some, there are far too many benefits to ignore. Wasabi goes great with sushi, and even better with your body, so be sure to enjoy some on your next visit to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. For an authentic experience, book your reservations today at 407-352-1607.

Why You Should be Eating Edamame

If you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant before, chances are you’ve had edamame. Much like peas, edamame come in their own fuzzy pods, usually housing two or three beans. You can eat soybeans raw, cooked, grilled, or salted—virtually however you prefer it. But what are these beans and what potential health benefits can they bring you?

Baby Beans

In order for edamame to have the texture and flavor we all love, it is necessary to harvest them early. This soybean is in its prime before the beans have a chance to harden. Like lots of other greens, edamame is low in calories and cholesterol, gluten-free, and is a wonderful source of calcium, iron, and protein.

Multiple Health Benefits

Many studies show that eating soy protein rather than just animal protein can have many benefits. Along with lessening PMS symptoms, regulating blood sugar, and preventing migraines, the soy found in edamame can also help:

  • Prevent breast and prostate cancer
  • Help lower cholesterol
  • Protect from age-related brain diseases
  • Prevent depression
  • Help kidney diseases in type 2 diabetics
  • Help you stay energized
  • Help prevent osteoporosis

Edamame Done Right

If you’re itching to try traditionally-prepared edamame, check out Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Our chefs know all the best ways to prepare edamame, so it isn’t just healthy, it’s also delicious. Check out some of our other appetizers, or call us today at 407-352-1607 to reserve your table.

What’s the Deal with Eel?

Also called unagi, freshwater eel is a very common type of fish used in sushi rolls. However, they aren’t just any old fish. In fact, eels are so special and difficult to cook properly that eel chefs are a completely separated profession from sushi chefs. If you are an avid eel consumer or looking to try it in the near future, here are some things you should know before you dig in.

Eel Facts

Eels are on the sustainable seafood advisory list, meaning experts recommend consumers do not partake in them since their populations are under pressure from overfishing. However, eel is still offered in many sushi restaurants and steakhouses. Other important facts on unagi include:

  • Eel is so popular in Japan, they have a special day for eating it; the midsummer day of the Ox (between mid-July and August). The Japanese eat it during the hotter months because it is rich in vitamins and thought to increase stamina.
  • Eel is always prepared grilled and steamed.
  • Most sushi chefs don’t attempt to cook eel because if not done properly, the flavors become unpleasant, and the texture is rough.
  • If consumed raw, the blood of eels can be toxic.
  • The sushi version of unagi is called unakyu.
  • Although most eels come from eel farms, they are not bred in captivity. Instead, they are captured when they are young and raised on an eel farm until they are old enough to be eaten.
  • Eel sushi rolls are often served with brown ‘eel sauce’ made from eel, sake, sugar, and soy sauce.

Shogun-Style

If you’re dying to try professionally-cooked eel, Shogun Japanese Steakhouse is the place for you. Teppanyaki-style cooking right at your table makes Shogun the perfect place for your next event, party, or anniversary. To check availability or reserve your table, call us today at 407-352-1607.

3 Types of Japanese Tofu

Asian supermarkets stock a variety of tofu. Even local grocery stores stock their shelves with this product. Did you know tofu provides a good amount of protein while costing just a fraction of meat protein? And did you know tofu is an extremely versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes, adding a bit of flair and a lot of nutrition? How tofu becomes an ingredient in a dish depends on what type you’re using.

The Types of Tofu

In Japan, there are three common types of tofu, each with its own textures and benefits. Certain types of tofu are used for specific dishes due to how firm they are.

  1. Yakitofu – This is the firmest tofu because it is lightly grilled before it gets packaged. Since this type of tofu sticks together the best, it’s commonly used in dishes such as nabe, sukiyaki, and oden.
  2. Momentofu – The second firmest tofu with a medium consistency. It can also be known as regular, coarse, spongey, cotton, or wool tofu. It is the most common tofu found in a variety of dishes including scrambled eggs.
  3. Kinutofu – With ‘kinu’ meaning ‘silk’ in Japanese, this is the softest type of tofu out there. Since this tofu is neither drained nor pressed, all of its liquids remains within the tofu as it forms giving it its silky texture. This type of tofu can be found in vegetarian and vegan-friendly desserts such as custards, puddings, and “milk” shakes.

Orlando Japanese Steakhouse

No matter how firm you prefer your tofu, Shogun Japanese Steakhouse is the place to go. With our expert teppanyaki chefs and authentic Japanese food, including dishes featuring tofu, dinner at Shogun is more than a meal, it’s an experience. Book a table for your next event by calling us today at (407)-352-1607.

What is Teppanyaki?

Teppanyaki is a word used to describe how a particular dish was prepared. The word teppanyaki directly translates to “grilling on an iron plate.” You’ll commonly see steak, seafood, and even fried noodles cooked on a teppanyaki. Unfortunately when most people say “hibachi- style cooking,” they typically mean teppanyaki. Although they are quite similar, there are a few significant differences between the two styles as listed below:

Teppanyaki

  • Griddle-style cooking
  • Flat, solid grill
  • Ideal for chopped ingredients like onions, bean sprouts, and mushrooms

Hibachi

  • Open-grate grill
  • Uses charcoal to cook foods
  • Can cook larger items like meats

Where Did it Come From?

Teppanyaki-style cooking inspired the idea of Japanese steakhouses. Gathering a group of people around a large and flat grill to watch a master chef prepare dinner was not a popular outing until 1945 when a restaurant chain called Misono cooked on a teppan in Japan in front of guests. However, this style of cooking was found to be more popular with tourists rather than the natives of Japan. The tourists were hypnotized by the skillful maneuvers and tricks performed by the chefs. By 1964, teppanyaki was made popular in the United States by the Benihana restaurant chain in New York. It continues to be one of America’s favorite Japanese-style dining experiences.

Shogun Japanese Steakhouse

This westernized Japanese cooking style is both fun and delicious. When you eat out at restaurants like Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, you’re choosing a venue that’s perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and all celebrations alike. To book your next event with us, call us today at (407)-352-1607.