As a young college grad, Orkin moved to Tokyo where he opened two ramen shops, succeeding against the odds in Japan’s famously cut-throat culinary scene.
An outsider living in Japan (a.k.a. a gaijin), Ivan absorbed everything he could about the food and culture, before returning to his native New York to open a pair of Stateside Ivan Ramen locations.
The food he cooks reflects his Jewish-American upbringing, lifelong admiration of Japan, years of diligent study and the daily demands of being a busy family man.
In The Gaijin Cookbook, he condenses his experiences into approachable recipes for every occasion, including weeknights with picky kids, boozy weekends, and celebrations. Everyday dishes like Pork and Miso-Ginger Stew, Stir-Fried Udon, and Japanese Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce are what keep the Orkin family connected to Japan.
For more festive dinners, he suggests a Temaki Party, where guests assemble their own sushi from cooked and fresh fillings. And recipes for Bagels with Shiso Gravlax and Tofu Coney Island (fried tofu with mushroom chili) reveal the eclectic spirit of Ivan’s cooking.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.