Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawan dish popular all over Japan, especially during the summer. Typically ingredients include goya (ゴーヤ, a bitter green gourd that looks somewhat like a long bumpy cucumber, and is also called niga-uri 苦瓜), tofu, eggs and pork. However, for those that don’t eat meat, it is also delicious without the pork.
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 goya, halved
1 block of tofu
Thinly sliced pork (roughly equal in quantity to tofu, adjust as you like)
2 tsp fresh sliced ginger (add more if you like a strong gingery flavor)
2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
2 tsp sesame oil (can substitute with vegetable oil)
- Cut goya in half (you will only need one half for this recipe), then cut in half again lengthwise so that the inside is exposed. Use a spoon to scoop out the white spongy pulp and seeds； make sure to scrape it all out. Lay the goya flat side-down and slice thinly (so that the slices come out C-shaped). Place the sliced goya in a shallow dish and rub generously with salt, then set aside for 15 minutes.
- Drain excess water from tofu. To do this, place two paper towels together and fold twice. Place on a flat surface (cutting board, plate) and place tofu on top. Fold two more paper towels and place on top of the tofu, then top with another plate. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- If the pork is not pre-sliced, slice thinly.
- Slice fresh ginger into thin strips.
- Wash the goya slices in water to remove the salt. Remove excess water content by wrapping the slices inside two sheets of paper towel and squeezing strongly.
- Heat sesame oil in a frying pan. Add sliced pork and ginger and sautee on medium high heat. When the ginger begins to give off a strong aroma (2 – 3 minutes), remove the paper towels from the tofu, rip tofu into small chunks using your hands, and add to the frying pan. Sautee for another 2 – 3 minutes, then add goya and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, making sure to stir the ingredients. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour over the mixture, adding a dash of soy sauce (be careful not to add too much) and stirring quickly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat before the eggs overcook.
- Serve with rice.