My Okinawan Husband's Champuru

My Okinawan Husband's Champuru

I learned this goya chanpuru (bitter melon stir-fry with tofu, pork, and egg) from my Shimanchuu (Okinawa island native) husband. This is how we prepare it in our house.

Ingredients: 2 to 3 servings

80 to 100 g
Bitter melon
Tofu (firm)
about 300 g
Beaten egg
1 large
Dashi stock granules
a small amount
1 teaspoon
*Cooking sake
2 teaspoons
Soy sauce
1~2 tablespoons
Bonito flakes
to taste


1. Cut the bitter gourd in half lengthwise, and scrape out the white fluffy pith with a spoon. Slice into half-moon slices about 5 mm thick. Bring water to a boil in a pan, and briskly parboil the sliced bitter melon.
2. Drain the boiled bitter melon well. Heat oil in the pan and stir-fry the pork. When it's about halfway cooked, add the bitter melon and stir-fry.
3. When the bitter melon has wilted, add the tofu, miso, and cooking sake. Mix and stir-fry while lightly breaking up the tofu.
4. Pour in the beaten egg. When it's soft-set, mix it in. Add the dashi stock granules and drizzle in the soy sauce. Sprinkle on bonito flakes and it's done.
5. In Okinawa, they have a type of tofu called shima-dofu (island tofu) which is perfect for stir fries. It's hard to obtain outside Okinawa, so use firm tofu.
6. My husband's parents make this a lot with Spam rather than pork. I used coarsely chopped pork offcuts this time, but I also recommend using pork belly slices.
7. I don't like the unique bitterness of bitter melon too much so I parboil it in Step 1, but if you like the bitterness, you can omit that step!

Story Behind this Recipe

My husband always says my cooking is delicious, but goya chanpuruu is the one exception. When we were newlyweds, he kept on saying, "It's not supposed to be like that!" The 2nd year we were married, he said, "It's better than last year!" Last year he said, "You're getting better every year!" And this year he finally says, "It's seriously good!" Yay!