A small bitter gourd
A slice of dried beancurd
A few eggs
Some sliced pork
And my brain computes that I can make goya champuru!
This Okinawan dish is basically a mix of vegetable (goya which is bitter gourd) and beancurd, stir fried together. Often, pork and eggs are added. It is closer to Chinese cooking than Japanese cooking.
When I first heard the word ‘champuru’, I thought of the Malay word ‘campur’ (mixture) and the Hokkien word ‘cham’ (mix). Or is the latter also borrowed from the Malay language?
The linguist in me is ever so curious, so I did a search and on the Japanese Wikipedia, and there was a source that recorded that the origin of the Okinawan word ‘champuru’ is indeed from the Malay word ‘campur’. I’ve yet to find the link between the Malay and Hokkien words, although the likelihood is very high in this multi-lingual and multi-racial country.
Anyway, I call this the “what’s in the fridge” goya champuru recipe. Hence, the proportion may not be the best.
WITF Goya Champuru
A small bitter gourd, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and sliced thinly
A slice of dried beancurd, cut into small rectangles
An egg, beaten
Some sliced pork
Seasoning: 2 TBS mirin, 1 TBS light soy sauce, a dash of pepper
1 TBS vegetable oil for frying
1. Rub some salt into the bitter gourd to make it crunchy and to remove some of the bitterness. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse out the excess salt in the bitter gourd slices, and squeeze dry.
2. Wrap the dried beancurd in a piece of kitchen paper to remove excess liquids before cooking.
3. Marinate the pork in the seasoning.
4. Using medium fire, heat up the oil in a frying pan and lightly brown both sides of the beancurd pieces.
5. It’s champuru time! Mix the pork and bitter gourd into the frying pan with the browned beancurd pieces. Pour the remaining seasoning into the frying pan and stir well. Lower the fire and cover the frying pan with a lid. Simmer till the bitter gourd is soft and the beancurd has absorbed the seasoning.
6. Remove the lid and pour the beaten egg over the mixture. Once the egg starts to cook, turn off the fire and stir the egg bits evenly.
7. Serve hot with rice.