Japanese food is difficult to do well in most non-Japanese homes (and several Japanese restaurants, too, if truth be told). The reason is its simplicity. When a dish contains only a handful of elements, each one must be perfect in order for the resulting dish to come together and reach the sublime heights to which it aspires. Obsessive attention to detail, the highest quality ingredients, a finely tuned sense of balance and restraint are all necessary and often sadly lacking. Which is why, if you'd like to taste a great bowl of ramen outside of Japan (and a few other places here and there,) you will probably need to take on the difficult task of making your own from scratch. But if you pick up a copy of Ivan Orkin's Ivan Ramen, such a dream is now quite wonderfully, if obsessively, possible.