February 25, 2004

cooking with ivan

Tonight, while cooking up some declicioso curry rice, I decided that I'd begin sharing some of my wacked out cooking recipies with all-o-ya'll. Really, I was surprised how well my curry came out. I guess with that instant cook stuff it's hard to go wrong.

Read on, and find out more about Ivan's "cheap-assed student in Japan trying to not be hungry but not go out to eat while saving money" cooking techniques.

[Updated on: 02.26.2004 ]

So, I'm a student. I don't need to know how to make pretty dishes or crap like appetizers or whatever crap. I just want something to fill my stomach that won't make me throw up out of every hole on my body.

The first obvious choice was to make ramen and expand on that. That's actually what I did, but it began to get old, and ramen every day for every meal just ain't healthy. So, after all my culinary experimentation, I've come up with the follwing three groups:

Ivan's Three Food Groups

  1. Ramen/Noodles
  2. Rice
  3. Pasta

It's from here where we first begin. Yea, some people may say, "Hey, you nitwit, pastas are noodles too." Well, to you I say, "foo!" This is my system, dammit!

Anyhow, it's from these three groups that I first decide what to cook for the day. Ramen/Noodles are generally easy. Rice is actually quite complicated because it involves more imagination, and working those brain juices can be difficult when your stomach juices are a-hollar'in! Pasta is easy but can be made more difficult depending on if you have time.

Which leads me to another thing. These recipies can take from 3 minutes (cup noodles, baby!) to an hour to cook. Not to mention going to the store to get stuff. Cause all you've got is a tiny little fridge, right? So, let's get some things down you should keep in your keep-cool device.

Stuff That Lives In Your Fridge

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Onions

This is the bare minimum stuff you need around. Notice the variety of colors. Now, what other crap do you need?

Other Crap We Need

  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce

I don't personally have Oyster Sauce at the moment, since I can't find any decent kinds of it here in Japan, but that stuff is a lifesaver. You can really put it in anything and it'll turn out good. And you have to remember to always have Garlic. This is just shit you need folks!

Needless to say, you should also need Ramen, Rice, and Pasta in your cupboard somewhere. Well, if not in your cupboard at least somewhere in your kitchen and not in your underwear drawer.

And, of course, we need the stuff we're gonna cook with.

Tools and Shit

  • Pot (so we can boil shit)
  • Pan (so we can fry shit)
  • Knife (so we can cut shit)
  • Peeler (so we can peel shit)
  • Spoon, Spatula, and Stuff like that

I also recommend some music playing while you cook, cause Kitchen Dancing, much like Shower Singing, should be enjoyed whenever possible.

So, that's it for now. Stay tuned for more installations of Cooking with Ivan in the coming weeks.


Those are some of the foods I have to have too, garlic, also olive oil, tomatoes etc.

#69 - Posted by: Carol at February 26, 2004 09:38 AM

Tomatoes are troublesome for the lazy, I think. I'd buy them to throw into salads sometimes, though. They just fall apart too easily for the kind of cooking I do. Maybe you'll see what I mean when I start putting some recipes up. Unless I'm making pasta sauce from scratch, I generally avoid them. (Although, my mom did have a nice delicious dish of fried eggs and tomatoes, mmm)

I forgot to put Oil into the essentials, doh! I'll add that on now.

#70 - Posted by: Ivan at February 26, 2004 04:40 PM

ramen, rice, and pasta? dr. atkins is turning in his grave! haha

#113 - Posted by: odd at March 23, 2004 07:37 AM

Sup, odd! Welcome to the discussion!

I swear, I've lost like 10lbs eating in Japan. I gotta pull in my pants and belt it up; this stuff ain't makin' me any fatter--that's for sure. :P

#123 - Posted by: Ivan at March 24, 2004 07:18 PM
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