The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater, and Lifelong Outsider by Ivan Orkin and Chris Ying

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Chicken and egg bowl (Oyakodon)

    • Kiyah on October 31, 2022

      This is a simple dish that's good for a weeknight dinner. Put the rice on to cook and then you can throw this dish together while you're waiting.

  • Fried pork cutlets (Tonkatsu)

    • Kiyah on August 29, 2020

      The author is right about this recipe: it's a good starter for people who may be hesitant about trying Japanese food. My husband's idea of Japanese food is that it's all seafood or teriyaki. He liked this dish (what's not to like about a breaded and fried piece of meat?). Simple and straightforward, not a whiz bang flavor-wise but I would make it again. I would make the pieces of pork tenderloin smaller. I think I made them too big for the recipe and they took a little longer than the recipe called for.

  • Seasoned ground chicken (Tori soboro)

    • Kiyah on October 31, 2022

      Another good quick dinner to serve over rice. You could throw in some peas or finely chopped carrots to give it some color.

  • Hayashi rice

    • Kiyah on September 06, 2020

      Hayashi rice was on the docket tonight. I had to substitute Chinese rice wine for the red wine since I forgot to pick some up. Also, my immersion blender bit the dust so I could not puree the sauce as instructed at the end. It was fine, though. We enjoyed this, although it seemed a little one note for me, possibly because of the lack of red wine. My family ate it with no problems. I think if I let it stand overnight the flavors would develop, like the book suggests. Maybe next time! I'll see how the small amount of leftovers taste for lunch tomorrow.

  • Tempura batter

    • Rinshin on November 03, 2019

      A little confusing here. For the ingredient list, there should be 1 3/4 C ice water. It is mentioned in instruction part.

  • Dashi

    • K8CanCook on March 09, 2020

      I made the Dashi recipe to go with a smoked pork belly ginger ramen. The recipe lent excellent flavor to my dish, and I would make it again. Highly recommended. Very easy to execute.

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Reviews about this book

  • Kitchn

    ...this curious cookbook reflects his lifelong obsession with Japanese culture and cuisine, dividing years between Tokyo and New York.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1328954404
  • ISBN 13 9781328954404
  • Published Sep 23 2019
  • Format eBook
  • Page Count 395
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publishers Text

Ivan Orkin is a self-described gaijin (guy-jin), a Japanese term that means “outsider.” He has been hopelessly in love with the food of Japan since he was a teenager on Long Island. Even after living in Tokyo for decades and running two ramen shops that earned him international renown, he remained a gaijin.
Fortunately, being a lifelong outsider has made Orkin a more curious, open, and studious chef. 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.

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