VIDEO: Okinawa Kitchen: Frying up bitter melon goya

Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

VIDEO: Okinawa Kitchen: Frying up bitter melon goya

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

If you live on Okinawa, you might have heard about Goya, a local cucumber-like vegetable also known as bitter melon. As the name suggests, this green, bumpy veggie has a bitter taste but is a favorite in the summer season. Goya is also considered an Okinawan superfood as it is rich in vitamin-C, iron, and fiber, which are thought to be ideal for good health especially in the summer heat.

Goya is great raw in a salad, but the most popular way to consume this treat is fried up in goya champuru, a stir fry. Cooking it with other foods such as tofu, bacon, and eggs, you can lighten up the bitter taste.

Why don’t you try some goya champuru and beat the summer heat?

Ingredients (for two people)

  • One Goya bitter melon (approx. 300g)
  • Bacon (50g)
  • Tofu (200g)
  • Two eggs
  • Pepper and salt (small amount)
  • Dried Bonito flakes (as much as you want)
  1. Wash goya, tofu, and eggs with water.
  2. Cut goya into thin slices of about 5mm (approx. 0.2 inch) thickness.
  3. Dice tofu into small cubes of about 2cm (approx. 0.8 inch) sides.
  4. Cut bacon into small slices of 1cm (approx. 0.4 inch) width.
  5. Beat eggs in a bowl.
  6. Pour olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and add tofu.
  7. Add bacon and continue frying.
  8. Add in sliced goya.
  9. After the ingredients start to soften and brown, stir in beaten eggs and a pinch of salt.
  10. Cook through until the eggs are done.
  11. Plate your stir-fry and sprinkle with pepper and dried bonito flakes.

* Add olive oil if necessary when frying

* The amount of each ingredient mentioned above is just for reference. Please add or reduce them to cater to your taste.

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