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What is a Shogun Chef?

shogun chef serving foodFrom the 12th to the 19th century, Shoguns were the military might of Japan. Though the Japanese emperor held the title of leader, the real power during this time rested on the shoulders of the Shogun. Unlike the emperor, who inherited his title, the Shogun won and kept his appointment by being the most powerful military force in Japan. The Shoguns were also adept and clever politicians, winning and shifting loyalties often to keep their power intact.

Shoguns in popular culture

Today, the term Shogun is perhaps most familiar from the 1975 James Clavell novel (and later miniseries and musical) of the same name. Since then, the moniker Shogun has been used for everything from horse breeds to chef’s knives to car brands, and has come to denote power, honor, and efficiency.

What is a Shogun chef?

A Shogun chef brings the power and authority of the traditional title to the culinary world. He or she brings precision and efficiency to cutting and serving sushi and cutting, cooking and serving meat, making some of the most beautiful and delicious Japanese food presentations in the United States. Like his or her ancestors, the Shogun chef is a no-nonsense character who puts forth full effort in being the best chef possible.

Shogun chefs at Shogun Steakhouse

Of course, why listen to us ramble on when you can see a real Shogun chef in action at Shogun Steakhouse on International Drive, the best place for sushi in Orlando? In addition to sushi, our menu features a variety of teppanyaki entrees (cooked to order tableside) and house specialties. We even have a sushi happy hour every afternoon. We’re open for dinner seven days a week. Visit us at shogunorlando.com or call us at 407-352-1607 to make a reservation.

The Hype Behind Wagyu Beef

Wagyu is a Japanese term for a type of cattle breed native to the island nation. It refers to all Japanese beef cattle. The “wa” in wagyu means “Japanese,” and the “gyu” means “cow.” The cattle are selected for their physical endurance, with the selection bred to have more intramuscular fat cells. These fat cells are what gives cuts of beef its marbling effect. The Kobe beef, Mishima beef, Matsusaka beef, and Omi beef fall under the wagyu category.

  • Unique taste and tenderness. The marbling on the wagyu beef imparts a unique flavor. In the past couple of years, the beef has found its way into the repertoire of fine restaurants across the United States, including Shogun Japanese steakhouse. Not only is a delicious, but the monounsaturated fats to saturated fat ratio is higher in wagyu beef. 40 percent being the version called stearic acid, which is noted to have minimal impact on cholesterol when compared to other varieties of beef.
  • Cuts and flavors. Just like any sort of beef, wagyu has different cuts with their unique flavor profiles. The sirloin meat is generally used as a type of steak or colloquially called sukiyaki. It has a subtle marbling feature. Other prime cuts include rib roast, the chuck flap, and the bottom flap. The sirloin has a full-bodied taste that quickly spreads throughout the mouth, while the ribs have a deep flavor which tastes best with a hint of salt.

Shogun Japanese Steakhouse offers a unique dining experience that combines the skill of our chef with ambiance and entertainment delivered via an authentic Japanese menu. Our steakhouse highlights the culinary talents of our traditional teppanyaki chefs, who are seasoned experts on the grill. Once you’re seated, they will manipulate the heat and fire in front of you — the audience — to immerse you in the creation of popular dishes, including prime cuts of wagyu beef. You can make reservations via our contact page.

Sushi vs. Sashimi vs. Nigiri

Restaurant menus often offer an overwhelming number of different rolls Shogun restaurant Sashimiand foods served in various ways – all made with ingredients that most Americans would be unfamiliar with. But for those unknown terms in the world of Japanese cuisine, we’ve created a quick translation guide.

Sushi is actually a blanket term that refers to a category of Japanese food made using rice that has been fermented with vinegar, as opposed to being a specific dish. Many refer to sushi as being raw fish, but are actually thinking of sashimi.

Modern sushi takes many forms today, and these are the differences between two popular variations:

  • Sahimi – The word sashimi refers directly to raw sliced meat. Sashimi is served with only slices of fish, with no rice accompanying it. It is often served with soy sauce and a small amount of wasabi. Keep in mind that sashimi and sushi are fundamentally different types of food, even if fish is used in many types of sushi and is the main ingredient in sashimi. Note also that sashimi does not strictly have to be fish, either. A type of sashimi called “gyusashi” is made from beef.

 

  • Nigiri – This type of sushi gets its name from how it is made. Nigiri means “to grasp,” and references the way the rice is pressed into shape by hand. That rice is then topped with a variety of toppings – often fish.

Although many types of sushi have simple presentations, the preparation is anything but. Our sushi chefs take the utmost care in selecting the finest cuts of fish for our sashimi and nigiri, bringing out unique and delicious flavors from each cut depending on how it is sliced or what it is garnished with.

View our sushi menu at Shōgun Sakura Sushi — the best Orlando Japanese sushi on International Drive. Call us today at 407-352-1607 or reserve your table online.

Reasons Why Sushi is Good for You

Sushi may be the perfect healthy dining option. Cut into six or eight pieces, a typical sushi roll is not only delicious, but free of added fat, loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, and packed with protein. Here are a few reasons why sushi is good for you and some suggestions on which rolls you should order.

 Low on Calories

While each roll of sushi has a different calorie count, there are a few smarter choices you can make when ordering. To keep the calorie-count low, avoid deep-fried crunchy rolls, mayo-based sushi, and drowning your sushi in additional sauces. For an even healthier boost, try sushi rolled in brown rice instead of white. Brown rice is rich in fiber and won’t raise your blood sugar levels as much as white rice.

Chef’s Suggestion: California roll

High in Protein

Common sushi ingredients such as fish and shrimp are high sources of protein. Some rolls can provide as much as 13g of protein. Other protein-rich seafood is used to make nigiri — paired pieces of rolled rice topped with wasabi and a variety of toppings. These toppings range from shrimp, eel, scallops, tuna, salmon, to octopus.
Chef’s Suggestion: Yagura roll or Nigiri

 Great for the Heart and Mind

The fish most commonly found in sushi rolls (tuna, mackerel, and salmon) are high in omega-3. These fatty acids are believed to improve mental abilities and memory function. Also, the high concentration of fish oil found in sushi can greatly improve cardiovascular health.
Chef’s Suggestion: Rainbow roll

Improves Your Energy and Mood

Nori, the type of seaweed used to wrap sushi is a great source of minerals and antioxidants such as zinc, iron, and vitamins K and B. The B12 vitamin converts our food into glucose to give us energy. Seaweed also contains iodine which helps regulate thyroid functions such as metabolism and mood. Read more about the health benefits of seaweed here.
Chef’s Suggestion: Vegetable roll

The health benefits of sushi don’t necessarily stop when your meal ends. After you’ve finished your satisfying meal, cleanse your palate with the accompanying ginger left on your plate and walk out with glowing, healthy skin courtesy of its anti-inflammatory and healing antioxidants.

Enjoy your healthy sushi meal at the best Orlando Japanese Steakhouse on International Drive, call us today at 407-352-1607 or reserve your table online.

A Beginner’s Guide to Sake

In Japan, the word “sake” refers to all alcoholic drinks. However, in the United States sake is predominantly known as a Japanese fermented rice beverage that can be served hot or cold. If you’re looking to expand your horizons (and palate) to the Land of the Rising Sun, familiarize yourself with Japan’s most popular exported drink with our beginner’s guide to sake.

How Sake is Made

Often referred to as “rice wine,” the drink’s brewing process is more akin to beer making than wine. With ingredients that include rice, water, yeast, and the “koji” mold spore, the drink’s fermentation process takes around two and a half weeks to a month depending on the desired strength of alcohol content. Aromatics or distilled alcohol can then be added to create a variety of sake flavors with differing aromas and textures. Finally, after maturing in barrels for six months to a year, the sake is ready to enjoy.

Different Types of Sake

Junmai – An unadulterated, pure rice sake that only includes the basic rice, water, koji, and yeast ingredients without any additives. Rich and full-bodied with strong bite, junmai is best served warm or at room temperature.

Honjozo – This nice starter sake includes a small amount of distilled alcohol to bring out its smooth flavor and aroma. Light and easy-to-drink, honjozo can be enjoyed warm or chilled.

Ginjo & Junmai Ginjo – This light, fruity, premium sake offers complex flavors and intense aromas. Easy to drink and often served chilled, ginjo is also available as junmai — without additives.

Dai Ginjo & Junmai Dai Ginjo – On the expensive end of the sake-spectrum, the super-premium dai ginjo is a top shelf sake. Very light with complex aromas that enhance its fruity taste, dai ginjo is usually served chilled and also offered junmai.

Futsushu – The opposite of dai ginjo, futsushu is regarded as flavorless, low-quality, bottom shelf sake.

Nigori – Cloudy and unfiltered, nigori is a sweet and creamy sake with a thick, chunky texture, strong rice flavor, and often served cold.

Nama-zake – A rare unpasteurized sake, the sweet and fruity nama-zake must be served cold to remain fresh.

Shiboritate – With a wild and fruity flavor, the taste of fresh-pressed shiboritate sake is often compared to white wine.

Get a taste of the best sake in town. View the diverse list of sake /Japanese wine selections served at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse located in the Rosen Inn on International Drive. Call us today at 407-352-1607 or reserve your table online.

Shrimp, Scallops, or Both?

seafoodIf you’re a seafood lover, you may enjoy eating both shrimp and scallops. But for some, one is a favorite over the other, especially since the tastes and textures of each are different. Much of the taste difference is due to the fish’s diet and the fact that their fat is held in their oil and then dispersed throughout their body.

Shrimps feed on plankton, worms, and small shellfish. Whether a shrimp comes from freshwater or saltwater will determine its overall flavors and texture. People love eating shrimp because they are relatively inexpensive. Plus, there are hundreds of ways to incorporate them into recipes, whether you want to eat them cold as an appetizer or cooked on a teppanyaki grill served with vegetables and fried rice.

Scallops feed on microscopic plants and animals by using the tiny hairlike structures called gill cilia along with mucus to move the food particles towards their mouths. When prepared correctly, scallops are sweet and tender, requiring little added flavor because they are delicious on their own. Scallops can be cooked in a variety of ways including baked, fried, pan-seared, or grilled. Their texture should be soft and chewy, not rubbery or tough.

Whether you enjoy eating shrimp, scallops, or both, these quick cooking lean proteins make for a delicious and decadent meal.

If you’re in the mood for seafood, experience entrees made with shrimp, scallops, calamari, and lobster at Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse. Located inside the Rosen Inn on International Drive, our staff is dedicated to giving you a meal of a lifetime. For reservations, please call 407-352-1607 or reserve your table online.

The Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is not only delicious, but it’s also one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Wild-caught salmon is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and contains an exceptionally high omega-3 content.

Here are a few ways eating salmon benefits your health.

Boosts immunity – The combination of omega-3’s, selenium, and vitamins A and D help improve immunity both short and long-term. Eating at least two servings a week can help lessen the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Enhances brain function – Regularly eating salmon can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, protect fetal health during pregnancy, and decrease memory problems that happens with old age.

Benefits heart health – Salmon contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, which when eaten, help improve serum cholesterol. Also, salmon is an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that balances blood pressure and helps keep your heart healthy.

Keeps bones strong – The polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D help to improve bone health, reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Helps lower inflammation – Eating fish protects your cells from DNA damage, plus, the vitamin D helps to prevent autoimmune disease.

Aids in weight control – In addition to increasing your metabolic rate, salmon keeps you feeling fuller longer and prevents you from wanting to snack all the time. That’s because it’s a high-protein, low-calorie food.

Whether you prefer your salmon sashimi style, in sushi rolls, or cooked over the teppanyaki grill, Shōgun Japanese Steakhouse wants to give you the ultimate Japanese dining experience. Located on International Drive, come and see why we’re the premier choice for Japanese cuisine! To reserve your table, call us at 407-352-1607 or book your table online through our website.

The Meaning of Sakura

 

The national flower of Japan, the cherry blossom – or Sakura, represents a time of renewal and optimism. The pops of pink mark the ending of winter and signify the beginning of spring. Due to their quick blooming season, cherry blossoms also symbolize the transience of life, a major theme in Buddhism.

Cherry blossoms’ magnificent but brief lifespan, falling a couple of weeks after full bloom, reminds people that similar to the delicate white-pink flowers a human’s life is also short and beautiful.

Additionally, fallen cherry blossom petals represent the souls of Japanese samurais with a noble character, who were known not to fear death, and who were killed while sacrificing their lives for the emperor.

There are many more significant meanings of the cherry blossom, and the Japanese reflect on them every year during a custom called hanami. The word hanami means “flower viewing.” During a celebration that’s more than a thousand years old, people gather to eat, drink, and celebrate with a picnic-style party underneath the cherry blossoms.

The word sakura is still widely associated with musical lyrics, poems, literature, clothing, and restaurants.

If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese dining experience in Orlando, join us at Shōgun Sakura Sushi located in the Rosen Inn on International Drive. Just like the cherry blossom’s beauty awakens many senses, Sakura’s selection of the finest Orlando sushi will excite you. To reserve your table, please call 407-352-1607 or book a table online through our website.

The Health Benefits of Eating Seaweed

For thousands of years, individuals in Asian cultures have been eating seaweed saladseaweed, and with good reason. Seaweed contains antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, and minerals, many of which are not found in land-grown vegetables. However, one of the best-known benefits of seaweed is that it’s an outstanding source of iodine, a nutrient lacking in almost every other food. Consuming adequate levels of iodine is essential for maintaining a healthy thyroid. An underactive thyroid caused by iodine deficiency can lead to fatigue, depression, and difficulty losing weight. Eating just one gram of brown seaweed will give you five to 50 times the recommended daily intake, with red and green varieties yielding slightly less.

Beyond basic nutritional benefits, seaweed has also been known to regulate estrogen and estradiol levels, control PMS, and help prevent inflammation –  which can lead to numerous health problems like arthritis, celiac disease, and asthma.

Eating Seaweed

In Japanese restaurants, you typically eat seaweed that’s incorporated into a small kaiso salad, miso soup, or sushi roll. But if you’d like to eat seaweed at home, you can do it in several ways. Add kombu (brown kelp) into soups. Use arame in a variety of dishes including baked goods. Seaweeds that are sold as flakes or granules can be used as a salt substitute. For a great gluten-free alternative, try kelp noodles, which are low in calories, high in calcium, and do not require any cooking before eating. Love fried chips, but want a healthier option? Dulse is a softer, chewy-textured seaweed that’s commonly dried and eaten as a snack.

Mixed with the right ingredients, seaweed can be exceptionally flavorful, while at the same time provide you with a number of health benefits.

For delicious kaiso salads, freshly prepared sushi rolls, authentic nigiri, and sashimi – dine with us at Shōgun Sakura Sushi located at the Rosen Inn. For reservations, book your table online or call us at 407-352-1607.

Filet Mignon vs. New York Strip

When it comes to steaks, the best cuts you can get come from the Longissimus dorsi and the Psoas major. Commonly referred to as filet mignon or tenderloin, the Psoas major is a pair of shorter muscles that run below the steer’s spine and are the most tender pieces of meat on the steer. The Longissimus dorsi, which make up New York strips, run from the neck to the hip of the steer and is the second-most tender muscle.

If you’re unsure as to which cut you should select next time you’re in the mood for steak, check out the differences of two of the most popular cuts of beef, which you can conveniently choose from at Shōgun Japanese Restaurant.

New York strips are fine-grained in texture with medium fat content and are relatively tender with a bit of chew. They have good marbling, a robust beefy flavor and, because there are no large pockets of fat, they are easy to trim, cook, and eat. These flavorful, large hunks of meat are a favorite of Japanese steakhouses.

Filet mignon is a small, compact melt-in-your-mouth tender piece of steak. The meat is very fine-grained in texture as well as low in fat, which makes it both buttery and mild in flavor compared to other cuts of meat. If you prefer a softer, thick cut of beef, filet mignon is a perfect choice.

Regardless if you favor New York strip or filet mignon, the teppanyaki chefs at The Shōgun Japanese Restaurant will cook it to perfection right in front of you. We strive to ensure you and your guests receive a complete dining experience comprised of skill, taste, and entertainment. For reservations, please call 407-352-1607 or book a table online.

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