I adore it when the Japanese language adopts words from other languages but with that lilting multisyllabic style they have. Like omurice, which is omelette (omuretsu) and rice (raisu) shoved together. It’s a totally fitting of this dish too, which is literally ketchup fried rice wrapped in an omelette and topped with ketchup.

I’ve been busy rotating and retreating to some old dishes that are easy to make in bulk, so since I had fried rice things, I decided to exercise my recently developed experience with eggs.

I worked off the recipe from justonecookbook. People keep on telling me about the really fancy version with the awesome unfurling egg pocket. I can work on that later, I guess.


  • Make ketchup fried rice without egg:
    • Cook 2 cups rice with 80% water. Or gather as much leftover rice.
    • Saute a medium onion diced. Add 3 chicken thighs cut small chunks. Season with salt and generous pepper. Cook. Add 1/2 lb frozen veggies (e.g. corn, carrots, peas, beans).
    • Cut in cooked rice. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1.5 tbsp ketchup.
  • Make thin omelettes:
    • beat 1 egg and 1 tbsp milk.
    • Over medium heat, add ~1/2 tsp oil or butter. Pour in egg mixture, and tilt pan to coat. When it sets on the bottom, turn heat to low.
  • Optionally spread some shredded cheese down the center.
  • Heap fried rice down the center, less at the edges.
  • With a spatula, delicately fold over the uncovered side edges. It’s okay if the edges don’t meet or if they rip a little. Scoot omelette to side, then flip upside down onto plate. Garnish with ketchup.

The city a body, the roads its vessels

Imagine the city as a living body. In that body, the roads would be its blood vessels. Traversing those roads are us humans, wandering through the tangle of highways and roads like like blood cells pumping through a maze of arteries and capillaries. Among them — about 1 in 300 — are us white coat-clad doctors, like those 1 in 800 white blood cells wandering among the red blood cells. Like those WBCs patrolling and protecting the body, doctors are the city’s healers.

So what does that make hospitals? Congregations of sick cells and a place where white blood cells go to work? Continue reading The city a body, the roads its vessels

Wedding guest with a camera

This post was written in retrospectively in July 2017 about a wedding that happened in August 2013. One of my closest friends from high school was getting married, so I made a big drive from Santa Barbara where I was working up to the Bay Area where we’re from.

This was within a couple of months of me getting my camera and within a week of me getting my macro lens. Whoa. This probably explains my excess of shots of table ornaments and food.  Continue reading Wedding guest with a camera

Dashing through London

Thanks to studying for my Step 2 board exam in the middle of wedding season, I only scheduled myself 10 hours to explore London! 6 hours after landing the first day, and 4 hours the morning before the wedding ceremony.

I do seem to enjoy darting around excessively and unnecessarily before my friends’ weddings (I ran a quick half marathon before last September’s wedding), but the strangeness of this habit is not lost on me. How much can I really get to know a city if I’m mostly just moving around with my camera? And why did I choose to spend my valuable time abroad in such inauthentic fashion, working hard to misrepresent my trip through a few photos? Continue reading Dashing through London

Lamb Biryani

As a sendoff, I cooked biryani: a lavish rice and curry layered dish drizzled with butter and saffron (as far as I understand it, anyway). It’s a non-trivial dish with raw spices, including the most expensive spice in the world!

Recipe from here.

Lamb Biryani

  • Marinate ~1.3 lb lamb shoulder with bone cubed in 1 tsp turmeric, 3 tbsp greek yogurt, 1/2 tsp salt 2 hours to overnight.
  • In 2 tbsp butter, fry 1 bay leaf, 5 green cardamom pods crushed, 4 cloves, 3 cm cinnamon until crackling.
  • Add 2 medium onions diced. Saute until soft.
  • Add 6 cloves garlic minced, 2” ginger minced. Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp fennel powder.
  • Add lamb, 2 tbsp tomato paste, mixing well. Saute.
  • Add 1/2 cup water. Simmer for an hour, until reduced.
  • Rice: Soak 500g (2.5 cups) basmati rice for 30 minutes. Drain. Cook rice with 4 cups water with 2 bay leaves, 3 green cardamom pods, pinch salt, until 75% done, 7-10 minutes. Drain.
  • Saffron water: Infuse generous pinch saffron in 2 tbsp hot water.
  • Assemble: In deep casserole dish or pot, brush with melted butter. Layer rice and lamb plus sauce in thirds, drizzling in saffron water with layers. Drizzle top with saffron water, 1-2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp chopped mint. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes. OR Layer in pot, cover, cook on low for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with 1 tbsp coriander. Serve with red onion rings, lemon wedges, mint chutney.

Mint Chutney

  • Puree 2 cups cilantro sprigs (1 bunch), 1 cup mint leaves, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 1 green chili, 1/2″ ginger, 1 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup water as needed.

Mei Mei’s Double Awesome

Rumor has it that a little shop in Boston called Mei Mei’s serves this delicious breakfast sandwich made of two poached/fried eggs on a scallion pancake with pesto sauce and cheese. It’s called the “Double Awesome.” 

Making it called for learning how to make pesto and scallion pancakes, which wasn’t so bad. 

Mei Mei’s Double Awesome

  • Prepare a scallion pancake. Make 2 onsen tamago (or poached eggs). Make pesto.
  • Fry one side of the scallion pancake. Flip.
  • Sprinkle half with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese to let melt.
  • Lightly fry the eggs cracked directly into a pan.
  • When pancake and eggs are both fried, place eggs over cheese. Spread pesto over other half. Fold pancake into sandwich. Cut into half.

Continue reading Mei Mei’s Double Awesome

Weddings and Lions

My best friend got married! I’ve known him since, what, kindergarten? Maybe little girls fantasize about their friends’ weddings, but certainly not us. While we were sitting in math class or doing school projects or playing Super Smash Bros or rehearsing music duets together or just growing up side by side, I truly never about what this day would look like.

But here we are, 26 years later. He’s standing in City Hall with his wife, and I’m there alongside their families bearing witness with my camera to their ceremony.
Continue reading Weddings and Lions

med student, photographer, musician, runner, cuber