Yesterday, I would have traded a slice of chocolate cake for this bitter melon dish. Crazy, but true. I wouldn’t have traded a whole chocolate cake for it though, I’m not insane. I blame the heat. My body needed some cooling bitter taste.
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawa classic. This knobby green bitter melon is useful during the hot, humid summers of Okinawa. Chanpuru means “to mix” and can be used with any number of vegetables. The usual recipe has goya, onion, egg and pork of some variety. I didn’t do anything fancy here. I just wanted the goya. I guess it was a teensy bit fancy since I bought both green and white goya. What’s the difference, you ask? Not a clue.
4 medium or small goya (I used white and green, but all green is great too)
1 ½ cup bean sprouts
4 green onions
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee or preferred oil
Cut the ends off the goya, cut it into halves. Take a spoon and really dig all that white seedy stuff out. Then THINLY slice the goya. Toss the goya in a bit of salt and let it sit for 20 minutes in a colander. While this is sitting, roughly chop the green onions and start heating the ghee. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with salt to taste. Rinse the goya well then add to the hot skillet with ghee and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add the bean sprouts, soy, mirin, and pepper. Cook this for about 10 minutes, then create a hole in the middle of the veggies and pour in the egg. Top the veggies with the green onion. Let this cook for about 3 minutes undisturbed, and then you can start mixing it a bit with the rest of the dish. Once the egg has set, it’s ready. You can serve this over rice or another grain.
Vata- swap 3/4 of the goya for zucchini, summer squash and onions. So much goya will be too bitter for you.