Goya Chanpuru Bitter Melon Stir Fry

Goya Chanpuru Bitter Melon Stir Fry

  • Serves 3-4
Rated by 72 people
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Try an Okinawan summer favourite with this colourful goya chanpuru bitter melon stir fry. This colourful stir fry hails from the sunny island of Okinawa in southern Japan and is made with vibrant green goya, soy sauce, tofu, pork and egg. It is not only the perfect dish to beat the Okinawan summer heat and fight off the last of the summer fatigue, but it also gets you energized for a great autumn.


• 1 goya (bitter melon/karavella)
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 block tofu
• 100-200g sliced pork or 1/2-1 can luncheon meat
• 2-3 eggs
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp dashi stock granules
• 2 tsp cooking sake
• 1 tsp soy sauce
• bonito flakes
• mayonnaise

How To Prepare

  1. Slice the goya in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and pith (all of the spongey white matter surrounding the seeds) with a spoon, then cut into thin slices. Next sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and leave to sit for 5 minutes.

  2. Drain the tofu and pat dry with kitchen towel. Next, wrap the tofu in kitchen towel and place a heavy, flat item like a chopping board on top to help squeeze out any remaining water before microwaving for 3-4 minutes (500W). Now slice your pork into rectangular strips and we’re ready to begin.

  3. Warm the sesame oil in a frying pan, tear up the tofu with your hands, then stir fry in the pan until the tofu is browned and has less water. Transfer to a plate and leave to one side.

  4. Rinse the goya in water, then add to the frying pan along with the pork. Cook until the goya and pork are well heated through, then add the tofu once more, sprinkle on the dashi stock granules and pour on the cooking sake and soy sauce, mixing well.

  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add a sprinkle of salt if you like, then pour into your frying pan and cook until heated through. Once the eggs are cooked taste test a little bit of your goya champuru and see if you need to add more soy sauce or dashi stock granules.

  6. Serve the champuru onto a plate and garnish with lashings of mayonnaise and bonito flakes.

Tips and Information

• Goya has a tasty, mild and bitter flavour, but if you’re not good with bitter tastes you can soak the bitter melon in hot water for 30 seconds before stir frying to help reduce the flavour. A dab of oyster sauce can also help to counteract the bitter taste.

• Goya is a surprisingly popular vegetable in the UK, but you might know it better as: karavella, karela, kugua, bitter gourd, bitter melon, korola, caraille, cerasee or kudret narı. This tasty vegetable is enjoyed in the Near East, Africa, Asia, South East Asia, the Caribbean and South America. So you should be able to find it in most regional food specialist stores with a fresh vegetable section. Goya is also used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine so it can also sometimes be found in health food stores too.