Cooking Local: Goya Chanpuru
CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GILLOTTI
Goya Chanpuru is an Okinawan classic. Goya (ゴーヤー) is a knobby green bitter melon that is useful during the hot, humid summers of Okinawa due to its cooling qualities. Chanpuru means “to mix” and can be used with any number of vegetables. The usual recipe that I see around town has some variety of the following ingredients: goya, onion, egg, or pork. This recipe is vegetarian, but you’re welcome to add pork if you’d like.
I found green and white goya at my local farmer’s market, so I used both in this recipe. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Both taste the same, so don’t worry if all you can find is green. Most of the local Japanese grocery stores sell goya year round.
4 medium or small goya
1 ½ cup bean sprouts
4 green onions
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin (みりん)
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee or preferred oil
Cut the ends off the goya and cut it into halves. Take a spoon and really dig all that white seedy stuff out.
Then THINLY slice the goya. This is very important. Use a mandolin if you have it.
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. 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 with the rest of the dish. Once the egg has set, it’s ready. Serve this over steamed sticky rice.