Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Goya Champuru

Finally, something Japanese!

I admit, I've been cooking more American foods lately. Blame pregnancy (I do). Lots of cravings and homesickness you know. Anyway, the other night I made goya champuru. This is so easy and pretty healthy. Basically it's based on goya, a bitter melon from Okinawa. This very bad-tasting vegetable (fruit? there are seeds inside...) is supposed to be very good for you. At the moment I only know two recipes using goya: goya champuru and goya chips (I just drag thin slices of goya through corn starch and then fry them in oil.)

The goya is from Okinawa, and goya champuru (I am told) originates from there. Recipes I have seen (or, offerings in Okinawan restaurants) use SPAM, probably because of the American occupation. However, I suspect that this dish is older than the occupation (but hey, what do I know?) and originally used thinly sliced pork. SPAM is pretty expensive here in Japan (I don't know how much it costs in Okinawa, but here in Kyushu it costs more than I want to spend), so i use a kind of ham steak. It looks more like a pressed ham or even a kind of sausage, which is more SPAM-like to me, and adds a bit of flavor (that is, salt) to the dish. Tofu is also an ingredient, so the meat is probably not necessary, but does give it a nice flavor.

Goya Champuru

pork (maybe 150 grams? I usually use two slices of pressed pork--already sliced when I buy it.)
1 block firm tofu
2-3 eggs, beaten
1 Tbs soy sauce
salt and pepper

First prepare tofu by wrapping it in a towel and then pressing between two towels for twenty minutes. This rids the tofu of excess water, which you don't want in your finished dish. Next, cut off the ends of the goya, then split it in half lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and soft inner flesh.
Place one half of the goya cut side down and then cut into very thin slices. Put slices in water and soak for at least twenty minutes. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. (Here's a photo of what I use): ham steak

Drain goya and pat dry. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok (start with 1 tbs, you may want to add more later). Stir-fry goya until it starts to get tender. Add meat (if using raw pork, be sure to cook thoroughly) and continue to stir-fry. Cut tofu into small blocks (but not too small, stir-frying will make the pieces smaller.) Add tofu and cook until heated through. Next, while continuing to stir, add beaten egg. Soaking the goya in water helps cut down on the bitter taste, but the eggs does this, too. Use two eggs if you want a more bitter taste to come through. When the eggs are cooked, turn off the heat and then stir the soy sauce in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

designer : anniebluesky :