Here’s a recipe of one of the most popular dishes in Okinawa 沖縄 , Japan.
Goya Chanpuru (ゴーヤチャンプル) is a famous traditional dish from Okinawa ( the southernmost prefecture of Japan). The word “Goya” means bitter gourd or bitter melon while “Chanpuru” is derived from the Indonesian word “campur” meaning “mix”. It is a stir-fry dish mainly consisting of bitter melon, tofu and Spam. Some may wonder why local Okinawans are so in love with this canned meat that is originally from the United States. Here is a brief history.
Bitter Melon or Goya 2 pcs, medium size
Tofu (firm) 300g
Spam 1 can, sliced
Egg 2 pcs, beaten
Hon-Dashi (bonito fish soup stock) Granules 2 tbsp
Katsuobushi (dried, smoked bonito flakes) for garnish
Bean Sprouts 2 cups
Onions 1 large, sliced
Garlic 2 cloves, crushed
Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine) 2 tsp
Salt and Pepper
Carrots 1 small, thin slices (optional)
Nira Chives 1/2 cup (optional)
Quail Eggs 6 pcs (optional)
- Wash and cut the goya in half lengthwise and gently scrape off the seeds with a spoon.
- Slice the goya thinly and transfer to a bowl. Gently rub salt into the goya and let sit for 10 minutes to moderate the bitterness. Wash and drain well.
- Wash and slice all other vegetables.
- Slice the Spam into 1 cm thickness.
- Remove excess water from the tofu with a paper tower. Chop into large portions.
- Beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
Hon-Dashi, Mirin & Katsuobushi
- You can use other stock or soy sauce instead of Hon-Dashi, sugar + white wine instead of Mirin and dried shiitake mushrooms or Rousong (pork floss) instead of Katsuobushi (if you can’t find them in your local grocery store).
1. Heat about 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil (or any cooking oil) in a skillet. Fry the tofu until slightly golden brown. Set aside.
2. In the same skillet, stir fry sliced Spam with garlic and onions, cook until just start to brown. Season with pepper.
4. Add the fried tofu and pour the beaten eggs all over. Cook, stirring occasionally.
5. Finally, garnish it with Bonito flakes.
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