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Kaiso Salad

Seaweeds are a crucial part of Japanese cuisine and are used in a variety of kaiso saladdishes such as soups, sushi, and salads. The word seaweed refers to a variety of species and is divided into three different Phylum: Rhodophyta (red), Chlorophyta (brown), and Chlorophyte (green). Japanese cuisine uses all types of seaweed, which gave rise to the Japanese word kaiso meaning mixed seaweed.

Kaiso salad is typically made with a versatile, brown seaweed called wakame (Undaria pinnatifida). Wakame provides many health benefits and is an excellent source of the following:

  • Magnesium
  • Iodine
  • Calcium
  • Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Folate
  • Lignans

Wakame is salty with a slightly sweet taste and has been grown for hundreds of years by Japanese sea farmers. However, it has become increasingly popular in the west, especially among vegetarians and vegans because of its high omega-3 fatty acids.

The wakame that is mixed into the kaiso salad is not just a favorite of those who prefer a plant-based diet. All kinds of people love the simple combination of the seaweed and its spicy-sweet seasonings.

How Kaiso Salad is Prepared

Only the branches and stems of the wakame are used in the salad. Although there are many ways to prepare a kaiso salad, it is typically made with strands of agar-agar, rice wine vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame seeds, hot red pepper, and sometimes soy sauce.

How is Kaiso Served?

Kaiso salad tastes delicious on its own when eaten with chopsticks or a fork as an appetizer, or when paired with dishes such as grilled or steamed fish, shellfish, and vegetables.

Enjoy a Favorite Today

Whether you want to try something new, or you’ve enjoyed our food in the past, start your meal off right by ordering our favorite, the kaiso salad, as an appetizer next time you dine with us at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse located on International Drive in Orlando. To book your dining reservation, call us today at 407-352-1607.

Octopus vs. Calamari – What’s the Difference?

Octopus and Calamari live in salt water from the tropics to temperate zones. Octopus vs CalamariLike clams and oysters, octopus and calamari are mollusks (invertebrate sea creatures), classified as cephalopods, meaning “head-footed.” The ”arms,“ are connected to their heads, while the rest of the body is in front of the head.

Characteristics: Cephalopods are physiologically similar to other mollusks, but the main difference is their lack of a shell. An octopus does not have a shell at all, while calamari has a small internal flexible backbone called a pen. When in danger, both use defense mechanisms, such as swimming away quickly, camouflaging themselves, and shooting ink at their predators.

Habitat: Calamari swims in the open ocean waters, either alone or in schools, and uses its eight sucker-lined arms and two specialized tentacles to catch its prey, which consists of various fish and shrimp. Octopus are solitary creatures that live in dens on the sea floor, which trap their prey of bottom-dwelling crustaceans and mollusks, by using its eight arms lined with suckers.

How Do Octopus and Calamari Differ in Taste and Cooking?

Octopus is commonly confused with calamari, though both are surprisingly different in taste (when served raw) and cooking methods. Many people think calamari dishes are made from octopus, when in fact calamari is actually made from a type of squid. This confusion could be due to similar tastes when the octopus is prepared.

  • Octopus – Octopus has a light taste that some compare to chicken or even pork. A low-calorie protein, both nutritious and filling, the octopus is full of vitamins and is low in fat and high in iron. Octopus can be prepared by blanching it in boiling water and then baking it, as well as boiling, grilling, or poaching. Because octopus evolves in taste depending on what ingredients are used when cooking, many prefer to eat it raw.
  • Calamari – Calamari can be a bit tougher than an octopus but the meat has a smoother texture, and when cooked right is tender and firm. The meat of calamari easily soaks up butter and sauces and can be prepared in a number of ways, such as braising, boiling, searing, and grilling. The key to getting a tender texture as opposed to a chewy one is by cooking the calamari hot and fast or low and slow. Cooking at temperatures in between will leave you with unpleasantly tough

Experience the Taste of Japan

Discover the deliciousness of both by ordering octopus nigiri or sashimi as an appetizer, and then calamari as an entrée served with teppanyaki vegetables, fried rice, soup, and house salad with ginger dressing. For one of the most unique dining experiences in Orlando, join us at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse by calling 407-352-1607 to reserve your table.

How to Properly Incorporate Wasabi and Ginger When Eating Sushi

When first trying sushi, it’s pretty common for most people to figure out Wasabi and Gingerhow things work by trial and error. For some, it takes a handful – or a dozen – times to use chopsticks to finally lift up a single piece of sushi without dropping it.

Luckily, for those who have a hard time using chopsticks, it is customary to use your hands when eating sushi, regardless if you’re in a casual or fine dining restaurant. Of course, if you’re eating sushi that’s messier, such as ones that have sauce, you may want to improve your chopstick skills to help keep your hands clean. In addition to following the proper chopstick techniques, there are some dos and don’ts when it comes to adding condiments to your sushi.

Why You Shouldn’t Mix Wasabi into Your Soy Sauce

While placing chunks of wasabi into your soy sauce or adding ginger on top of your sushi rolls won’t get you banished from a fine dining Japanese restaurant, properly incorporating the items will help enhance your overall experience while giving respect to the chef.

Mixing the wasabi into your soy sauce changes the flavors for both the soy sauce and wasabi. For soy sauce that has been freshly prepared and didn’t come from the bottle sitting on your table, adding wasabi kills the taste. Most sushi chefs who serve soy sauce have created it specifically to complement the sushi they are serving you.

The same thing goes for the wasabi. When a chef chooses to serve you fresh wasabi that’s been ground from the stem instead of one that comes from a powder or tube, you want to enjoy it the way the chef intended.

Ginger Is Not Meant to Lay on Top of Your Sushi  

Ginger is meant to be eaten between sushi servings to cleanse and refresh the palate. If a sushi chef wants to incorporate ginger into a sushi dish for balance, he or she will do it at the time they are making it.

How Should You Add Wasabi and Ginger to Your Sushi?

If you want to add wasabi to your rolls, dab a small piece of wasabi on one side of your sushi, then flip it over and dab the other side into your soy sauce. This way, you get the proper balance of all of the flavors at the same time.

For ginger, place a piece in your mouth between eating different kinds of sushi.

Experience Freshly-Prepared Sushi Rolls

Join us at the Shōgun Sakura Sushi located on International Drive for a one-of-a-kind sushi experience. Our sushi bar offers freshly-prepared sushi rolls, authentic nigiri, and sashimi, handcrafted by our sushi chefs and served in an intimate setting. To book your reservation, call us today at 407-352-1607.

The Popularity of Teriyaki Sauce in Japanese Cuisine

Whether you order fish, chicken, or beef, teriyaki sauce is a popular addition teriyaki plateto many food items in Japanese cuisine. The word teriyaki refers to a method of cooking and combines the words “teri,” meaning luster or gleam, and “yaki,” meaning grilled or broiled.


Teriyaki cooking methods have been used for centuries, beginning in the Tokugawa (or Edo) period. During the Tokugawa shoguns dynasty (1603-1867), many changes in urbanization and agricultural methods led to the introduction of new ingredients and styles of cooking.

While shouyu is the primary flavoring used in authentic Japanese cooking, teriyaki became popular in the United States during the 1960s when Japanese immigrants settled in Hawaii. This unique marinade was created using local products such as pineapple juice and brown sugar, which were blended together in soy sauce.


Traditionally, teriyaki sauce is made by mixing and heating three ingredients: sugar, soy sauce, and sake (or mirin). Mirin is a Japanese rice wine, similar to sake, but with more sugar and a lower alcohol content of 14%. However, there are many versions of teriyaki sauce, which include the addition of garlic, ginger, cornstarch, honey, vinegar, and red pepper flakes.

Teriyaki sauce is appealing to many because of its simplicity and the way it makes food look even more appetizing. The mirin or sake, along with the caramelization of the sugar, is what gives the teriyaki sauce its luster and shine.


If you want a thick, glossy, and sticky sauce to use as a topping or to serve on the side, then you’ll want to reduce the mixture when cooking. You can do this by combining the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer until sauce has thickened and reduced by half–about 10 minutes.

Marinating meats and veggies in teriyaki sauce up to 24 hours before cooking is also a popular method of preparation. The teriyaki dishes are then served with steamed white rice, which is eaten with the excess sauce.

Influencing Japan

Teriyaki sauce is not only a favorite in the United States but has become increasingly popular in Japan over the last couple of decades. Fast food chains now offer menu items such as teriyaki burgers, hamburger steak, and meatballs made with teriyaki sauces, as well as other similar sauces, which appeals to both children and adults alike.

Enjoy Your Favorite Dishes with Our Teriyaki Sauce

At Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse, we offer freshly prepared dinners of beef, chicken, shrimp, and lobster. Enjoy your favorite meal with the addition of our delicious teriyaki sauce, and see why so many of our guests order teriyaki dishes time and time again! The combination of our authentic cuisine and the entertainment our teppanyaki chefs provide will surely leave you feeling satisfied. Call us today at 407-352-1607 to reserve your table.

History of the Philly Roll

For over 30 years, Madame Saito has been proudly serving Japanese cuisine Philly Rollin the greater Philadelphia area. Born in Kobe Japan, Saito, whose given name is Ai, adopted the name Madame when she was living in Paris.

Saito and her husband decided to move to Philadelphia with dreams of enrolling their three sons into the University of Pennsylvania. After arriving in Philadelphia in 1981, the Saitos opened an authentic Japanese sushi bar in Upper Darby called Asakura.

In the 80s, Japanese cuisine in Philadelphia was enjoyed mostly by expats, which led Saito to begin teaching sushi classes along with other Japanese cooking techniques to expose her Western customers to the cuisine. She also started integrating additional western-style ingredients such as avocado, mayonnaise, and other sauces into her sushi.

By 1983, the Saitos purchased a second restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown which they named Tokyo Center. Known as the most authentic Japanese stop in Philadelphia, business was flourishing with expats and locals, who all loved the food and the atmosphere. Not only did the ground floor of the Tokyo Center have a triple sushi bar, but the three-story building included a cooking workshop space, kimono tailor, and Philadelphia’s first karaoke bar.

The same year, Saito opened the first ever sushi bar at Reading Terminal Market, the most famous food destination in Philadelphia. Around the same time, Mayor William J. Green III asked Saito to create a signature sushi roll inspired by the city of Philadelphia. Most of Saitos non-Japanese regular customers were Jewish, so she thought of lox and bagels. She combined salmon and Philadelphia’s own cream cheese brand, creating one of the world’s most well-known fusion sushi dishes- the Philadelphia roll.

The Philly roll became so popular because those who were just beginning to eat sushi were less intimidated by starting with ingredients they were accustomed to. Also, back then many people in the restaurant business knew each other, which is how they were able to share menus all over the world.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Saito was famous for her fusion cuisine where she catered to Americans pallets, but in the last decade has returned to her Japanese roots by serving more traditional Japanese dishes.

It’s because of pioneers like Madame Saito that we can enjoy food items such as the Philly Roll for years to come. Although the same ingredients are typically used, they can vary depending on where the sushi is made.

For a Philly roll you’ll fall in love with, visit us at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse. Made with smoked salmon, cucumber, cream cheese, sesame seeds, and wasabi mayo, we know we’d make Madame Saito proud! Come and experience an authentic dining experience that combines skill, taste, and entertainment like no other restaurant located on International Drive. To make reservations for your next dinner, whether intimate or large, call us at 407-352-1607.

Vegetarian Options for You

Any restaurant should try to cater to the dietary needs of its customers, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse we are no different. Many people are opting for a vegetarian lifestyle, and we embrace it wholeheartedly by offering meal options which don’t interfere with the vegetarian diet.


Whether you’re dining with meat-eaters or other vegetarian friends, our appetizers are sure to please everyone. Our menu features many great options that allow you the indulgence of exquisite Japanese cuisine without compromising your vegetarian tendencies. Edamame, East Asian soybeans, is a delicious and nutritious start to your meal. If you want more greens in your diet, try our kaiso salad, which is made of seaweed.


It is often difficult to find a main course dish which doesn’t include meat, but we offer a variety of wonderful tofu options, including one prepared with vegetables on our teppanyaki grill. The meal also includes fried rice, miso soup, and a house salad adorned with ginger dressing.


No meal is complete without a satisfying side, and just because you are a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you won’t have any options. We have a comprehensive menu of side orders which accommodate vegetarian needs, such as:

  • White rice
  • Fried rice
  • Udon noodles
  • Vegetables
  • Salad

Once in a Lifetime Experience

Embracing the vegetarian lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up on traditional Japanese cuisine. Shogun Japanese Steakhouse works hard to meet the needs of all of our customers, while remaining true to our Japanese roots. By offering such a wide variety of vegetarian options, we can ensure you a phenomenal dining experience. Book your table today by calling us at 407-352-1607.

Better Dining with Group Seating

When it comes to dining out, it should be no surprise that the atmosphere is Group seatingjust as important as the food itself. When you go out to eat, you want to ensure that your restaurant of choice offers a phenomenal ambiance to heighten your experience. At Shogun, our group seating offers just that by providing you with a fantastic dining experience as you mingle with new friends.

Enjoying the Show

A major component of what makes Japanese cuisine so fascinating is its construction. In almost any other restaurant, your food will be made in the kitchen out of your sight, but at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we offer group seating around our teppanyaki griddles. This seating arrangement places you on the front lines of the action as your chef prepares your meal. The process of creating your meal on a teppanyaki griddle becomes an art form as our skilled chefs put on a show.

Eating and Interacting

Enjoying a meal together is a social event which is why we offer you an ideal seating situation in which the entire party can sit around the grill. This type of seating results in great communication. You even have the opportunity to meet new friends if your party doesn’t take up the entire seating area around the griddle.

Your Ideal Restaurant

Food plays a major role in many social interactions, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we create the perfect atmosphere to sit together and bond over a meal. Whether it be a business dinner or a meal among friends, you can rest assured in knowing that you will receive a top of the line experience. Reserve your table today by calling us at 407-352-1607.

What Does Shogun Mean?

Many companies have a name rich with meaning and personality to  What Does Shogun Meanrepresent their brand. Ours is no different. Not only does the name ‘Shogun’ represent what our company stands for, but it helps drive our culture and the authenticity of the food we offer.

Taking a Look at the Past

Shogun is short for ‘Seii Taishogun,’ which translates to “general who overcomes the barbarians.” Between the 8th and 12th century, Shogun was the title offered to chief military commanders. Soon after the end of the 12th century, the title Shogun was given to the military ruler of Japan, and through their military control they held unquestionable authority over the Japanese territories.

What it Means to Us

The title of Shogun is one of prominence and respect, and at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse we make it our goal to earn those same accolades through excellent service and top quality food. In our endeavor to continue the tradition of respecting the title of Shogun, we also seek to provide authentic fare for our customers.

Enjoy the Authentic Shogun Experience

If you are looking to enjoy a true Japanese steakhouse experience, then look no further than Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Our fresh sushi and delicious authentic dishes are truly a treat for the senses, as we will stop at nothing to ensure the best meal for you. Call us today at 407-352-1607 to reserve your table.


The Art of Teppanyaki

In Japanese cuisine, many delightful meals are made on an iron griddle. The Art of Teppanyaki This style is referred to as teppanyaki. Once you understand the finer arts of teppanyaki, you can incorporate several different ingredients for the ultimate dining experience.

What Does it Mean?

Teppanyaki grills are often confused with the more commonly known hibachi grill, but there is a distinct difference. A teppanyaki grill is typically fueled by propane to heat a flat surface, whereas a hibachi grill will usually use charcoal with an open grate. The word teppanyaki itself is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ‘teppan’ and ‘yaki.’ These words mean ‘iron plate’ and ‘grilled, broiled, or pan fried’ respectively.

Know Your Dishes

Teppanyaki-style cooking yields a great range of delicious entrees. Some of these meals include:

  • Okonomiyaki – Commonly referred to as the Japanese pancake, okonomiyaki is a savory meal, which includes many layers of noodles, egg, yam, shredded cabbage, and meat.
  • Monjayaki – Similar in preparation to okonomiyaki, monjayaki has a thinner batter which makes it runnier, resulting in consistency on par with that of melted cheese.
  • Yakisoba – Japanese for fried buckwheat, these delectable noodles are fantastic when served with vegetables and bite-sized pork.

Enjoy a Teppanyaki Meal Today

Japanese cuisine is rich with varying styles and preparations, but a teppanyaki meal is a must-have. At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we offer only the best and can ensure that your taste buds will thank you for our expert teppanyaki craftsmanship. Reserve your table today by calling 407-352-1607, and begin enjoying the best in Japanese cuisine.

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.


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.