Today, I am going to be making, “Goya Champuru”.
“Goya” is a word for bitter melon in Japanese. “Champuru” means “Stir-fry” and “Mixed” in Okinawan dialect.
So it should be translated in “Stir-fried bitter melon with other ingredients”.
In summer, we eat Goya to enjoy a seasonal taste and for its nutrients at the same time.
In my grandma’s backyard, in Amami-island located up north Okinawa, there was always bitter melon vine in summer. She used to pick them to make Goya Champuru for dinner.
To tell you the truth, I couldn’t understand the taste at that time. But now, I enjoy it very much.
I know the most of the people don’t like the bitter melon so much, or even never tried. However, if you follow my procedure, you will have much less bitter and good Goya Champuru.
Bitter melon has tremendous nutrients and health benefits to beat the summer heat, like vitamin C, B carotene, and many more.
1 Goya (bitter melon or gourd)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small firm tofu (150g)
2 large eggs
150g sliced pork belly
1 tablespoon mirin ( 2/3 tablespoon sugar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Bonito flakes
※Bitter melon is a tropical plant probably originated in South-East Asia. It grows fast, thin stems and tendrils climb up a trellis to anywhere to the end.
1.Cut in half lengthwise. Slice thinly as much as you can. Transfer to a bowl, add salt and toss to coat. Set aside while preparing other ingredients.
2.Tear firm tofu into 2 inch chunks. Place onto a bamboo mesh tray, to get rid of excess moisture using their own weight.
3.Cut sliced pork belly into 2-inch lengthwise.
4.Beat the eggs roughly, add a pinch of salt and mix.
5.Squeeze out the excess moisture to remove the harsh bitterness. Don’t worry, the nutrients remain.
6.Heat the frying pan on high heat. Add a table spoon of oil, swirl to cover the surface.
Pour the egg mixture, make soft scrumble egg. Take out.
7.Clean the pan, heat on high. Add in the sliced pork belly, cook until no longer pink. Add Goya, cook until the color turns blight about 2 minutes.
By cooking with the oil, B carotene is digested and absorbed. Moreover, the bitterness masked by the oil.
8.Add tofu, and cook until heated through. Season with mirin and soy sauce. Stir to season all around, and evaporate excess moisture. Add scrambled egg, break up a little.
9.Drizzle with sesame oil. There you have Goya Champuru!
Transfer to a serving dish, topped with “Katsuobushi” Bonito flakes. Give a dish nice Umami.
The bitterness of Goya masked by the fat from pork belly and egg make it milder. It’s the summer taste for us!
Goya is the best food to our weary body from the long and hot summer heat. The bitterness is from momordecin, it works to detox and stimulates nerves.
Usually, our dinner consists of the main dish made of meat or fish, two to three side dish, made of vegetable or combination of meat and vegetable.
Rice and miso soup, and our dinner are complete.
We serve the main dish with a serving dish, or individually depends on the dish. I like to serve with a big serving dish so we can control how much we eat.
All right, that’s it for today!
I did my research on the internet, I think you can find Goya in the Asian market. I hope you will give it a try!