On Our Desk: The Ivan Ramen Cookbook

This tome tells the story of a man who has dedicated his whole life to crafting the perfect bowl of ramen.

  • Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo's Most Unlikely Noodle Joint is
  • Orkin's recipe for Four-Cheese Mazemen uses Edam, Parmesan, mozzarella, and Monterey jack.
  • Shio ramen components: toasted rye noodles, menma, pork belly chashu, half-cooked egg, and finely shredded green onions
  • The book's foreword is by Momofuku chef David Chang. In it, Chang gives Orkin advice on opening up a ramen shop in NYC (which Orkin plans to do this fall).
  • "Answers from a Master: Shimazaki-San" is an interview with Orkin and his friend and fellow ramen cook, who says, "I don't think making ramen is really a job. I have a passion for ramen."
  • Orkin's Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Mazemen (a summer special)
  • Orkin's butcher, Fukuya-san

All photos by Liz Barclay

Long Island native Ivan Orkin moved to Japan 10 years ago and opened 12-seat ramen shop Ivan Ramen in a small town on the outskirts of Tokyo. Despite his American heritage and limited formal training in ramen making, Orkin gained a cult following for his nuanced broths and perfectly textured noodles. He’s finally come home, and gearing up to open an Ivan Ramen at 138 Orchard Street this fall.

Can’t wait for a bowl of Orkin’s immaculate shio ramen with toasted rye noodles, pork belly chashu, and half-cooked egg (pictured below)? Lucky for you, Orkin’s cookbook, Ivan Ramen: Love, Obsession, and Recipes from Tokyo’s Most Unlikely Noodle Joint is on sale today. Lucky Peach editor-in-chief Chris Ying collaborated on the book with Orkin, and Momofuku chef David Chang penned a foreword.

We leafed through the book and found incredible recipes like bacon, lettuce, and tomato ramen, four-cheese mazemen, breakfast yakisoba, Orkin’s classic shio ramen, plus instructions on how to make ramen noodles.

This isn’t just a cookbook, though, it’s a memoir. The tome tells the story of a man who has dedicated his whole life to crafting the perfect bowl of ramen—from his upbringing in Long Island, to opening shop in Tokyo, to becoming an American authority on ramen in Japan. This is one cookbook you’re going to want to get your hands on, and fast.

shio On Our Desk: The Ivan Ramen Cookbook

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