Goya Champuru

This may be a traditional Japanese recipe from the Okinawa prefecture but in a more modern and fitness conscious world, it is practically a carb-free recipe that is loaded with protein.

Goya; which is known in the west as bitter melon or bitter gourd is an extremely bitter fruit (or vegetable… debatable) from the squash family. I only know one dish that uses this alien-looking plant and that is the Japanese Goya Champuru. It’s basically a stir-fry that hardly contains any starchy carbs but is coated in a saucey glaze that is both savory and sweet. Goya Champuru gets it’s high protein content from 3 different ingredients: tofu, bacon (or other meat) and egg. Let’s go over the rest of the ingredients and I will also show you a trick to make the bitter melon less bitter before you throw it in your stir-fry.

  • Ingredients
    • Main:
      • 3-4 small fruits of Goya/bitter melon
      • 150g firm tofu
      • half an onion
      • 4-5 bacon or beef bacon slices
      • 2 eggs
      • Bonito flakes for garnish
    • For the sauce:
      • 1 Tbsp red miso paste
      • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
      • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
      • 1 Tbsp cooking wine or water
  • Method:
    • Curing the Goya:
      • Remove the stem ends of the Goya and cut it in half lengthwise.
      • Scrape out the white pulp and seeds inside the Goya with a spoon.
      • Slice the Goya into thin half-moon slices.
      • Add the slices to a bowl and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Gently rub the salt into the Goya slices and let it sit for 10 minutes. This process will draw out some of the bitter juices from the Goya.
      • Finally rinse the Goya slices from the salt using cold running water and drain well.
    • Mix all the ingredients of the sauce together by slowly pasting the miso into the brown sugar first and then adding the liquid ingredients one teaspoon at a time and stirring well in between additions.
    • Heat a large wok or skillet and add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Fry the tofu until it starts to get a golden color on both sides. Remove from the wok and set aside.
    • Beat the eggs well and drop them into the wok. Stir quickly until it is half cooked. Remove from the work and set aside with the tofu.
    • Add the bacon to the wok and brown both sides before adding the onion. Stir-fry until the onion starts to become slightly translucent.
    • Add the Goya slices and half of the sauce. Continue to stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Finally add in the rest of the sauce, tofu and eggs to the wok, while giving everything a final toss to coat all the ingredients with the sauce.
    • Serve immediately on a shallow dish and garnish with bonito flakes for additional savory punch. Enjoy!

You will also find a full video recipe demonstration on my IGTV (in Arabic).


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