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Octopus vs. Calamari – What’s the Difference?

Octopus and Calamari live in saltwater 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 seafloor, 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.

The Quick Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Sake

Made from fermented rice grains, sake is an adult beverage with unique serving styles and social traditions. Because there are so many ways to enjoy it, first timers sometimes find this international drink a little intimidating. That’s why we’ve put together a quick beginner’s guide to help you get acquainted. The Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Sake

Serving Temperature

While you might find sake served at a range of specific temperatures, the two you’ll most commonly find on a menu include:

Atsukan — Sake served hot is widely known at “Atsukan.” This steamy way to enjoy sake is perfect for those who prefer a rich, earthy aroma and stronger sake taste.
Reishu — Sake chilled to a cold temperature is commonly referred to as “Reishu.” A cool glass is a preferred choice for patrons who like a hint of subtle sake undertones.

Hotter temperatures often lend higher flavor density, while chilling sake brings out its quieter tastes. Choose a serving temperature depending on which kind you want highlighted in your beverage.

Filtered vs. Unfiltered

Sake ranges in flavors, color, and even cloudiness. The more transparent sake options are typically “filtered,” or pressed, which means the original sake has been poured through a fine strainer and ran again through paper filters. This process refines the sake opacity and taste. While white, cloudy sake is also pressed, it isn’t double-filtered to completely polish the fermented rice grains. By retaining the color and full rice flavor, “unfiltered” sake retains a higher potency.

Order Sake at Shogun

At Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, we have an array of sake selections for you to sample, including:

Gekkeikan — This eight oz. glass, served hot and steamy, is aromatic, deep, and full of rich flavor.
Shirayuki — Also known as White Snow, this 10 oz. serving of ice-cold sake is the perfect light and airy option.
Shochikubai — Served chilled, our unfiltered sake option retains tiny rice solids which creates the cloud-white color for an undiluted taste.

Whether you’re looking to try your very first sip, a new range of serving temperatures, or an unfiltered variety, our adult beverage menu has all the alternatives you could want. We also offer specialty cocktails, signature drinks, and a range of wines for patrons with different preferred tastes. To order take out, visit our website or call us at 407-352-1607.

Celebrate Your Anniversary at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse

Every year, you and your significant other share an anniversary that  Celebrate Your Anniversary at Shogun Japanese Steakhouserepresents your enduring love, which is why you strive to make each celebration even more memorable than the last. Whether honoring one, five, or 50 years of togetherness, here are a few reasons why Shogun Japanese Steakhouse is the perfect place to commemorate this special date.

The Flair of Japanese Fare

Catering to full-on foodies and not-so-adventurous eaters, the sushi menu balances classic and original sushi options. Pick a staple sushi order you know and love, like a vegetable, spicy tuna, salmon yaki, or ebi ten roll. Or, select from exciting, signature sushi options to find your new favorite flavors. Some of Shogun’s top signature sushi items include the Yagura, Godzilla, Mexican Shrimp, and Lemon Drop rolls.

Luxurious entrée items — served with Teppanyaki vegetables, fried rice, soup, and house salad with ginger dressing — include indulgent options like lobster, filet mignon, and salmon. If you’re in the mood for a little more variety, you can choose from chef specialties to join your preferred proteins into a dish worth celebrating.

Our Chefs’ Showmanship

A great chef can whip up a great meal, but a Shogun chef will also pair your dinner with a great performance. While preparing your meal, our trained teppanyaki chefs display precise knife skills and all-around showmanship right from your teppanyaki-style table.

Patrons of Shogun remember more than what they ate; they remember a perfectly paired dining experience. Filled with delectable aromas of fresh ingredients, exotic flavors of Japanese cuisine, and exemplary exhibitions of culinary performance, a night at Shogun will make this relationship milestone even more memorable.

A Signature Drink Selection

Toast to years of romance with the Shogun signature cocktail of your choice. For sweet, fruity sips, try the Japanese Slipper, Yokohama Mama, or Empress Martini. Or, for a citrus kick with a subtle hint of mint, try the Tokugawa-rita. To share your favorite drink and upgrade to a cocktail for two, ask your shogun server to upsize your glass to a “Super Bowl.”

If you and your significant other would rather split a bottle than share a bowl, browse the steakhouse’s wine menu and select flavor blends from plum Ume-shu, traditional Shōchū “Non-no-ko,” or a variety of other options including moscato, pinot noir, and chardonnay. No matter what you’re in the mood to sip on, Shogun has traditional and modern options to satisfy your palate as a pair.

Celebrate With Shogun

To surprise your significant other with an unforgettable experience, reserve your table at Shogun Steakhouse. After browsing the sushi menu, specialty cocktail selections, and tabletop entrée options, you won’t want to look anywhere else for your anniversary celebration. Book your reservation today by visiting our website or calling 407-352-1607.

How Is Japanese Cuisine so Healthy?

Eating healthy and eating out don’t typically go hand in hand. For patrons Japanese cuisine shogun Orlandolooking for a guilt-free way to enjoy a delicious night out, however, there are some flavorful fares that also happen to be incredibly nutritious. Whether you’ve made a New Year’s resolution or a lifelong commitment to making the best food decisions, here’s a look at how Japanese cuisine can help you meet your health and wellness goals.

Key Ingredients

Every culture is known for certain dishes, ingredients, and even flavor profiles. For example, American cuisine is often thought of as being rich, indulgent, and somewhat of a cultural blend, whereas Japanese foods are seen as unique, fresh, and full of traditional flavor.

Such distinct flavors often come from fairly regional recipes — which also happen to be extraordinarily healthy. Here’s a look at some nutritious ingredients widely used in Japanese meals.

  • Seaweed – Rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, seaweed is a superfood that ties together the perfect sushi roll or tops off a fresh kaiso salad.
  • Fish – As a choice source of Omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein, fish like salmon and tuna are terrific when served raw inside a sushi roll or prepared to teppanyaki perfection.
  • Wasabi – A spicy serving of wasabi aside a sushi roll, atop a slice of steak, or blended with creamy mayonnaise is packed with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.
  • Ginger – This spicy root has a ton of healing powers. It’s anti-inflammatory and a top choice for patrons with more sensitive stomachs.

Mindful Preparation

Japanese cuisine features a lot of wholesome ingredients, but the mindful preparation is what really makes this choice a healthy one. Rather than slathering vegetables, grains, and proteins in butter, cheese, and processed oil, chefs prepare Japanese meals with little to no extra ingredients.

Using minimal seasonings, spices, and condiments, chefs carefully craft each meal to highlight all of the existing flavors. Fewer additives and fewer preservatives make Japanese cuisine a favorite for many health-conscious patrons, because they allow natural flavors to shine through each bite.

Have a Guilt-Free Meal at Shogun

For patrons who put their health first, dining out doesn’t have to be off the table. At Shogun Steakhouse, we’ve put together a menu for picky, healthy, and everyday diners — so you can enjoy an authentic teppanyaki meal with tons of flavor and even more health benefits. To reserve your table, call us at 407-352-1607.

Kid-Friendly Dishes at Shogun

Kid-Friendly Dishes at Shogun Plenty of people think that authentic Japanese restaurants cater to adults with a polished palate. However, you don’t have to have the most refined taste buds to enjoy an amazing Japanese meal. In fact, the menu at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse was designed with picky patrons in mind—and these are some of the top kid-friendly (and picky palate friendly) dishes to order at your next outing.

Appetizers for All Ages

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Shogun’s starters, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Some of our most popular appetizers on the menu include:

  • Edamame – This colorful finger food is the perfect choice for children who don’t like a ton of spices and sauces. Edamame has a very mild taste packed with a ton of nutrients.
  • Tempura – With an order of fresh, crispy tempura, you can make vegetables fun and flavorful for your children.
  • Okonomiyaki – Dumpling-like bites cooked to savory perfection, Okonomiyaki are a unique take on your child’s favorite comfort food.

Enticing Children’s Entrées

At Shogun, there are plenty of options for your child to pick their favorite protein. For patrons under 12, here are the top children’s items on the Shogun entrée menu.

  • New York Strip – Seared to your child’s preferred setting, our New York strip is the perfect cut for picky eaters at the table.
  • Teriyaki Chicken – This dish packs a ton of flavor. Teriyaki chicken is a fan-favorite for little ones who like a sweet tasting meal.
  • Teppankayi Shrimp – Let your child’s taste buds set sail with an order of teppanyaki shrimp. Lightly seasoned to satisfy, this easy-going entrée is a great choice for eaters of all ages.

Desserts to Dive Into

It’s not easy to make a sweet treat that won’t satisfy. Here are some of Shogun’s delicious dessert dishes that everyone at the table will want to take a bite out of.

  • Ice Cream – Simple and satisfying, you can easily top off any meal with a scoop—or two—of your little one’s favorite flavor.
  • Chocolate Decadence Cake – For those who have a serious sweet tooth, the chocolate decadence cake is the icing on top of a perfect dinner.
  • New York Cheesecake – This rich and traditional dessert is the perfect slice for small and grown guests at your table.

Full-Course Fun at Shogun

If you’re looking for the perfect place to hold attention and appetites, bring your little ones to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. With an entire entrée menu dedicated to children, yours are sure to find a meal that meets their liking. To reserve a table for you and your family, call 407-352-1607.

4 Ways to Add Wasabi to Your Dinner

The color green is often associated with health and wellness, and there are quite a few foods that live up to the shade’s standard. Packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, wasabi has a lot of patrons wondering where they can get more. Here are a few ways to add this popular ingredient to your next dinner outing.

Dab It on Sushi

Even sushi novices know that soy sauce and wasabi always accompany sushi rolls, which makes this order an obvious choice for those who want to add more to their meal. However, the best way to use these condiments is to avoid mixing them. Adding wasabi to soy sauce can minimize the flavors of both ingredients and mute some essential tastes, which is why chefs place them separately. If you want to cover your piece with condiments, dip one side into soy sauce and use the other side to add a small dab of wasabi. Just remember, too much wasabi can mask the delicate flavors of your choice of fish, but a small scoop can actually bring out some of the most complex tastes in each roll.

Mix It with Mayo

Wasabi doesn’t always have to show up on the side to be a part of your dining experience, because some of your favorite rolls already use it as a star ingredient. Turns out, rainbow, sunrise, philly, and vegetable rolls all come bundled with wasabi mayonnaise. This kicking condiment provides a subtle wasabi spice with a creamy mayo taste preferred by pickier patrons. A thin layer of wasabi mayonnaise is the perfect punch for wasabi newcomers, and it’s light enough for enthusiasts to still add an extra little dollop over top. So, if you want to pack extra wasabi into your dinner, order rolls with double the reward.

Use It as a Dip  

If you’re starting dinner with a fried finger food, like shrimp or vegetable tempura, ask for some wasabi or wasabi mayo on the side. As the perfect dipping sauce and nutrient-dense condiment, wasabi can add a layer of heat to any appetizer and get your palate ready for the main course. If you want to elevate your entrée, you can spice up your steak or other star protein with this delectable dipper. Ask for some wasabi on the side or have it heated right over the top of your cut.

Find It at the Right Restaurant

Wasabi might be a popular condiment, but not every restaurant is on the same page. If you want to enjoy all of the ways to eat wasabi, reserve your table at Shogun Steakhouse. Our authentic Japanese menu is filled with traditional and original items perfect for wasabi pairing. You can even find this colorful condiment throughout the specialty rolls in our Sakura Sushi menu. To book your reservation, visit our website or call us at 407-352-1607.

6 Appetizing Appetizers to Kick off Your Dinner

Ordering appetizers can be tricky. If you choose something too heavy, you might end up full before your meal even hits the table. But if you skip out completely, you miss out on a complete dining experience. Instead of accidentally filling up on soda or watching the clock until your entrée arrives, check out these distinct Japanese appetizers that will change your entire dining experience.


Edamame Beans

Served warm inside of their soft, fuzzy shell and garnished with a light pinch of salt, edamame beans are soybeans harvested just before maturation. This colorful vegan treat is a great finger food preferred by patrons in the mood for a fun, simple snack. As a healthy appetizer to help you gear up for the main course, edamame will keep your hands busy and your hunger at bay until your entrée arrives.

Kaiso Salad

Kaiso salads stand out from mainstream salads for being prepared with seaweed rather than traditional lettuce. But instead of the nori seaweed that holds together a classic sushi roll, kaiso salads feature wakame seaweed as the star ingredient. Because of its salty-sweet profile and distinct seaweed flavor, this vegan dish is a go-to for patrons across all diets. An excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and flavor, kaiso salad is a light appetizer perfect for those preparing for a hearty Japanese meal.

Stuffed Gyoza

Gyoza is a modern rendition of traditional dumplings. While chefs prepared regular dumplings with thick wrapper stuffed with meats and vegetables, they assemble gyoza with a thinner wrapper and finely chopped filling options. Pan-fried to bring out aromatic flavors and an audibly crisp bite, this appetizer is a unique way to sample some cultural comfort food.

Stacked Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake that doesn’t belong on the breakfast menu. Although its preparation is similar to conventional pancakes, okonomiyaki’s key ingredients create a drastically difference taste. Those who want a dense, flavorful, and savory appetizer to share before their meal often go for okonomiyaki prepared with pork, cabbage, and optional toppings like cheese or fried eggs.

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

Tempura is a friendly appetizer to introduce newcomers to Japanese cuisine. Featuring deep-fried vegetables and shrimp, tempura is a crisp, warm, fresh fare that everyone at the table is guaranteed to love. But, unlike more common fried food options, tempura is dipped in a light batter that creates a bright flavor without weighing patrons down before dinner.

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki is an artistic appetizer prepared with traditional Japanese influence. To get this dish just right, chefs sear the exterior of a piece of fresh tuna, quickly remove it from the heat, and cut thin slices for delicate strips with temperature and texture contrasts. This results in tuna slices with crisp, tender edges and signature pink middles. Typically made with bonito or ahi tuna, this dish is a protein-packed way to prepare for dinner.

Order Yours Today

If you’re interested in sampling any of the starters mentioned above, secure a seat at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. Our full menu will happily guide any patron from appetized to all full. When you’re ready to reserve your table, call 407-352-1607.

What Is a Teppanyaki Chef?

SHOGUN Japanese SteakhouseA teppanyaki chef is more than a cook who’s mastered the teppanyaki style of cuisine. Being a successful teppanyaki chef requires equal parts performance and culinary mastership. On top of their duties to perform and prepare meals, teppanyaki chefs must have even greater multitasking skills to keep guests full of food and information.

Teppanyaki Style Cooking
Teppanyaki is a traditional Japanese style of cooking. There are minimal seasonings and additives included in teppanyaki cooking. A masterful teppanyaki chef only choose pairings that highlight natural flavors in foods.

Common foods prepared by teppanyaki chefs include:
• Meats
• Vegetables
• Noodles
• Rice

Teppanyaki foods are most famously prepared using a flat, iron griddle. However, there are a lot of other tools that teppanyaki chefs often have to juggle in their day-to-day. Japanese knives, special sauce bottles, broilers, fryers, and even blenders are some of the kitchen tools that teppanyaki chefs must be comfortable switching between.

Teppanyaki Chef Training
Although teppanyaki cooking is a performance art, there are no smoke and mirrors. What you see with a teppanyaki chef is exactly what you get, which requires some serious knife skills. In fact, many teppanyaki chefs in training enroll in a culinary institute to perfect their cooking skills in the classroom.

Although formal education is a strong background skill to get your foot in the door, you don’t exactly have to have teppanyaki experience to get started. Of course, your journey to becoming a chef may take a little bit longer, but starting from an introductory position and learning from the professionals is a great way to improve your own skills.

Teppanyaki Job Duties
Teppanyaki chefs are highly skilled, yet even the most experienced ones still take time to become experts in their field. Because there are so many elements that go into being a teppanyaki chef, these individuals often train for years before reaching expert levels.

Teppanyaki chefs are responsible for multiple duties while cooking for a group. The chef must correctly size each portion and ensure that every dish is reaching the proper temperature according to its serving size. Also, since they are both preparing food and performing for guests, teppanyaki chefs often share fun facts about the dishes being cooked or provide other culinary insight for patrons.

Teppanyaki in Orlando
If you want to enjoy the delectable dishes and spectacular showmanship of an experienced teppanyaki chef, come see them in action at Shogun Steakhouse. We’ve decorated our menu with a range of teppanyaki dishes that our chefs use to bring traditional cuisine and entertainment right to your table. To book your reservation, visit our website or call us at 407-352-1607.

How to Easily Use Chopsticks

Shogun Japanese Steakhouse - Orlando FloridaYou might be familiar with how to use chopsticks for everyday meals, but taking on more complex dishes can seem like an unreachable milestone. To make these traditional utensils easier to use at every level of expertise, we’ve put together a go-to chopstick guide.

For Specific Dishes

Despite how daunting it may seem, there’s not exactly a perfect way to pick up noodles or rice with chopsticks. However, it’s always best to aim for small amounts when using chopsticks, because you won’t be able to twirl noodles into a bundle or grab large bites of rice like you would with a fork.

Eating Rice

When eating rice with chopsticks, hold your sticks sideways so you can scoop rice out of the bowl. Position your sticks underneath a cluster of rice and slowly bring them closer together as you lift the rice. To make this dish easier to eat, bring the bowl closer to your mouth to reduce the amount of time you’ll have to balance each bite on your chopsticks.

Eating Noodles

Once you’ve assumed the correct handling position, use your chopsticks to grab noodles from either end or anywhere in the middle. When you have a solid but delicate grip on the noodles, simply lift them from the bowl to your mouth. Start slurping the noodles and use your chopsticks to lift the remaining bits of noodle to keep broth from splashing. If you’re struggling to keep a good grip, you can also use your chopsticks to lift noodles into a spoon until you’re ready to try again without it.

For Specific Ages

Chopsticks have a bit of a learning curve, but these tools are much easier to master when you start using them as a kid. Learning to use chopsticks can make meals more enjoyable and interactive for everyone at the table. There are many gadgets designed to ease kids into using chopsticks, but these aren’t necessary for teaching your children how to eat more traditionally.

Encourage your kid to grip the chopsticks just as they would a pencil and make sure they comfortably use their dominant hand. When first introducing your child to chopsticks, you may want to start with larger pieces of food that are easier to grip. Typical beginner foods include:

  • Broccoli florets
  • Pieces of chicken or beef
  • Apple chunks
  • Marshmallow pieces

Once they’ve gotten the hang of it, encourage them to move on to rice or noodles. Remember, using chopsticks shouldn’t be something your child dreads. If they struggle to get the hang of it at first, keep a fork ready for them to switch back and forth comfortably.

Chopstick-Friendly Steakhouse in Central Florida

You don’t have to be an expert chopstick user to enjoy a meal at Shogun Japanese Steakhouse. With a range of sushi rolls, udon bowls, and chef’s specialties, you can practice using chopsticks at every level. We also have a children’s menu filled with chopstick-friendly entrees that will prepare your little ones for more challenging dishes. To reserve your table, call 407-352-1607 today.

Different Types of Sushi Rolls

Sushi is a go-to order for so many patrons around the world, but it can be intimidating to try for the first time. To find the right sushi roll for your taste, you’ll need to understand what goes into each and every bite. We’ve unrolled some of the most famous sushi items to help you decide which to order next.

California Roll

The California roll has been for many the gateway into the delicious world of sushi. California rolls feature cooked krab, cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayonnaise. Wrapped in a non-traditional rice coating with a sesame seed garnish, this is a friendly option for sushi newcomers looking for a roll that doesn’t have raw fish.

Spicy Tuna Roll

The spicy tuna roll is a fan favorite for both sushi novices and enthusiasts. Topped or rolled with sesame seeds and spicy mayonnaise, spicy tuna rolls are a simple but tangy option filled with fresh tuna and crisp scallions.

Philadelphia Roll

First rolled in Philadelphia, this is a sushi treat with complex flavor profiles. The Philly roll packs bright and fresh tastes of smoked salmon and cucumber that mix beautifully with the rich flavor of its most famous ingredient: cream cheese. Combining those tastes with a small spread of spicy mayonnaise and sesame seeds, this roll is a smoky and creamy option that gets more delicious with each piece.

Vegetable Roll

Thanks to classics like the vegetable roll, even the pickiest eaters can enjoy sushi. These rolls are prepared without any fish, making them a popular choice for vegetarians and the less-adventurous. Vegetable rolls typically feature cucumber, avocado, and carrot along with both spicy or wasabi mayonnaise.

Ebi Ten Roll

The ebi ten sushi roll marries the delicious flavor of fried shrimp tempura with the fresh, light taste of cucumber to fill every bite with a crisp texture. Topped with sesame seeds and a drizzle of eel sauce, the ebi ten roll is the perfect pick for those who love a good crunch.

The Finest Sushi Rolls in Orlando

Luckily, for Central Florida locals and visitors, all of these famous sushi rolls are available on the Sakura Sushi menu at Shōgun Sakura Sushi. Our chefs offer a range of signature and classic sushi rolls filled with fresh ingredients and the finest cuts of fish. To reserve your next sushi outing, call us today at 407-352-1607 or select your table online by clicking the red button at the top of this blog.