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Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir Fry) on a grey plate top down view

Goya champuru (Okinawan bitter melon stir fry)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions


How to make simple and refreshing Okinawan bitter melon stir fry (goya champuru) with firm tofu, thinly sliced pork belly and goya topped with bonito flakes. (Serves 2)


  • 1/2 goya (approx 150g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 150g pork belly thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 200g firm tofu
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 5g katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  1. First, cut the goya in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Cut the goya into 5mm slices and place them in a bowl.
  3. Add the salt and sugar to the bowl and massage them into the surface of the goya. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, take the firm tofu and wrap it with kitchen paper. Place it on a microwavable plate and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes at 600W to remove excess liquid. (No need for plastic wrap.) Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  5. In the meantime, wash the goya with fresh water and drain.
  6. Once the tofu is cool enough to touch, cut it into bitesize cubes and heat a frying pan on medium.
  7. Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of sesame oil. Add the tofu and brown on each side. Once it's brown and crispy, remove it from the pan and set aside for later.
  8. Using the same pan, add the sliced pork belly and fry until the surface is sealed on both sides. 
  9. Add the goya to the pan and stir fry with the pork for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the tofu back into the pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together and add half of the soy sauce.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Pour it into the pan and allow it to cook until half done (do not mix at this point).
  12. Once it's half cooked, add the other half of the soy sauce and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat.
  13. Plate up and sprinkle katsuobushi over the top.
  14. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Stir fry
  • Method: Stir fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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