-Pay no attention to the man not measuring.
I get to do that.
You do too if you cook for 30 years in the kitchen.
I'm Ivan Orkin, and I am very lucky
to be showcasing a recipe from my new book,
"The Gaijin Cookbook."
I am a gaijin,
and I'll be making curry rice.
And I can tell you that we're gonna do it
the fancy chef way with our own roux and all that,
or I can tell you the real way
I cook at home, which is using a box.
And I'm not ashamed.
For those of you who have never seen one of these,
this is curry in a box. Add water.
We're gonna add some vegetables and some meat
and make it, uh, chunkier and -- and more delicious.
I've probably made this well over 1,000 times in my life.
One of the things I do to make this really delicious
is I braise some pork shoulder.
What I love about this is there's just --
there's no way to mess this thing up.
You could have leftover chicken.
You can hack it up and just mix it into your sautéed vegetables.
Melt your magic blocks of curry roux,
and it would be delicious.
So we cut it up into hunks,
and then I'm gonna take some salt, right?
I'm gonna mix it all in there
so it's got a little seasoning on it,
and, of course, you can measure it all out from the recipe.
But I'm not.
We got a little oil, any kind of vegetable oil works
as long as you got the sound.
Gonna add a little bit more oil.
So this whole book that I wrote
about Japanese home-style cooking, it's -- it's funny.
I grew up in a house in Long Island
with a mom who didn't like to cook.
I didn't have comforting food until I moved to Japan,
and I raised my kids there.
And matzo ball soup is not my comfort thing.
People say, "Oh, it's like chicken noodle soup."
I'm like, "I don't know from chicken noodle soup.
My mother never made me chicken noodle soup."
If she did, she opened a can of Campbell's.
So we're getting a nice color on this guy.
So the book's called "The Gaijin Cookbook"
because I'm a gaijin. I have the white face.
In Japan, it's really kind of considered a derogatory term,
and I've been going to Japan since 1987.
And I remember when it was pretty okay to call a person
a gaijin in a derogatory way,
and so the Japanese, if I say, "My book is called
'The Gaijin Cookbook,'"
some people would be uncomfortable by that.
I've been called gaijin long enough
where I can own the name.
Um, I mean no disrespect by using it.
Even now I still am reminded
that I'm not Japanese when I'm there.
This guy's pretty ready. I'm gonna add my stock in here.
I have some really delicious, you know,
made-from-scratch chicken stock,
which really is a great way to go.
You can use canned chicken stock.
A lot of the nice markets now sell good chicken stock.
You don't even have to make it.
It's a little expensive, but you can buy that, too.
And worse comes to worst, you could use water
and throw in a-a-a Knorr's cube
and -- and a couple of onions and carrots for flavor.
The pork can really give off a little bit of scum
that can make your whole thing a little bit bitter,
so we just skim it off a little bit and throw the lid on.
And we're gonna put it in the oven at 350 degrees
for about 2 hours.
All right. Et voilà.
We have this lovely, lovely pork shoulder.
Skim off a little bit of this extra fat,
which you don't really need.
Look at that.
That's perfect. All right.
So we're gonna put that guy over here,
and now we're gonna have the magic red pot
come from the sidelines.
All right. We have a couple of onions.
In my opinion, onions and carrots
are the main things you really want.
My kids don't love potatoes.
I don't always put potatoes in there for them
'cause they're a pain the ass, but if you like potatoes --
And I love potatoes.
When I make curry for me, I always put potatoes.
But if this isn't for your kids or if your kids
are spectacular eaters, clean out the vegetable drawer.
I mean, I put mushrooms in there.
You know, I sliver up cabbage.
I put any kind of vegetable you have.
Just cut it up and put it in, man, it's so good.
One thing I'm really sure of
is that you can eat real food, and -- and we're hackin' here.
We're usin' a box of stuff, but everything else is fresh.
We have carrots and potatoes and onions and -- and pork.
It's all real food.
I always like to get a little color on my onions.
Gonna add a little oil.
[ Sizzling ]
Hack up our carrots.
Where's your microwave?
You don't have a microwave?
Oh, my fucking God. Seriously?
That's my -- That's my -- That's my huge hack.
I suppose this is more of a highfalutin place
than my kitchen at home,
and I know that I'm not supposed to cook things
in microwaves and Instant Pots and things like that.
But let's get real, people,
we only have a limited amount of time.
And why is a microwave bad anyway?
You throw these carrots in the microwave oven
just for 3 to 5 minutes, and they just get, like, just under.
They're, like, they're just a little bit hard to the tooth.
You throw them in this thing. Remember we're gonna cook it
in liquid for just 10 minutes,
so if you throw it in the microwave,
you don't have to wait for them to cook through.
They really, basically cook through,
and they're still really delicious.
To prove that I'm not a fancy-pants chef,
I'm gonna seek out a microwave oven.
I understand that there is one somewhere around here.
For those of you not microwave s-savvy,
cooking the carrots on a metal plate would lead to disaster.
Very fancy place.
There's a line.
There's a line for the microwave.
[ Microwave beeps ] What you cooking in there?
Yeah, you bring it from home?
Nice. Check it out.
Thank, man. -Yeah.
-All right. So gonna toss those guys in here.
Let's go for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
What do you need?
A cookie -- Oh, my God. Are you sure?
You sure you want to do that?
A cookie dough Larabar.
Chocolate chip cookie dough.
[ Microwave beeping ]
We'll put that guy in there.
You can see my onions are caramelized and beautiful,
and they're really ready. I love it like this.
I'm always afraid to really talk about how long it takes,
but spend the extra time in the onions
because, to me, caramelized onions
are basically the secret of all good cooking.
We have our chopped-up veggies that we cooked in our microwave,
in our non-Munchies-kitchen microwave.
Now we're gonna mix it all up,
and we're gonna go back to our pot.
So the magic box is finally being opened.
We're gonna go ahead and use this whole thing.
We're gonna open 'em up, and you can see that they're --
Right, and we know what a roux is? Right?
I mean, roux is flour and fat and -- and sometimes seasoning
that is used to thicken things.
This one is made for you.
Man, this looks good. All right.
So we're gonna add in some meat.
We're gonna add in some broth.
We also have some other things here that make this lovely --
a little bit of honey, a little bit of milk,
not a lot, just a little bit to make it
a little richer, a little sweeter.
So we're gonna go ahead and mix this in,
and the one thing that I caution you
is that these -- these bricks take a while to melt.
So if you don't painstakingly mix them
and make sure they're mixed, you're gonna end up
biting into this.
You're gonna think it's a hunk of meat,
and it's gonna be a lousy memory.
And you're gonna hate my cookbook,
and you're gonna hate me.
So this is just about ready.
I'm gonna add a little bit of this milk in, and see?
The color kind of brightens up some.
We're gonna add some honey and then taste.
So we have our rice, and we just do a nice...
a nice ladle of curry.
What I have here is fukujinzuke,
which is different kinds of vegetables that are pickled.
They're really delicious.
I just can never get enough of, myself.
We have sushi ginger here. It's similar.
It's sweet. It's tart. It's crunchy.
It'll taste good with curry rice.
So here's the dish.
I had the carrots and the potatoes in this liquid
for no more than 6 minutes,
but they're perfectly tooth-tender.
They're delicious, and they're real vegetables.
They weren't hydrogenated or dried out or nothing weird.
It's really, really good, and the meat is really tender.
Follow the recipe and you come up with this.