Goya Chanpuru, a popular Okinawan dish, is a mixture of goya and tofu. This vegetarian dish goes well with rice and bread.
The main ingredients for Goya Chanpuru are goya, eggs, tofu, and jagaimo (Japanese yam). In this article, we focus on the goya, which is one of the main ingredients.
What’s Goya and Where Can I Get It?
Goya (bitter melon) is also known as bitter gourd or balsam pear. When you search online for goya recipes, you’ll find them mentioned in many different names such as bitter squash, balsam-pear, Kareli, and karela.
It’s mainly grown in Asia, India, Africa, and Latin America. It goes well with meat dishes to balance the flavor because it has a strong bitter taste.
Goya is not popular in other countries except for Okinawa Island in Japan where Okinawans like to cook with goya. The main season for goya is July-October in Okinawa, but you can get it pretty much all year round in Asian supermarkets outside Okinawa.
If you can’t find goya, I think zucchini or other squashes work well too. You might need to adjust the amount of salt and sesame oil.
How to Slice Goya for Goya Chanpuru Recipe
First, cut off the top and bottom of the goya. Then slice it in half lengthwise so you have two long pieces. Next, using a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the seeds/pulp from the center.
Slice the goya crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Don’t worry if some of the pieces are different sizes. They should be around 2 cups’ worth in total, not including the seeds. **You can use other kinds of squashes or zucchini instead (see note below).
Ingredients (Serves 2, but Robin usually eats it all)
- 1/2 cup goya, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, and seeds removed
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated if you’re in a hurry like me!
- 1 block of tofu (about 200g), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium-sized nagaimo, peeled and sliced thinly (**zucchini works too)
A little bit of soy sauce for seasoning, if needed. But it probably won’t need any!
Boil Water Boil water in a pot over high heat. Add goya and boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the goya quickly to remove excess water. (I didn’t do this step well, so my final dish was too watery.)
Kick-Ass Sauce Heat 1 Tbsp. sesame oil up in a frying pan over