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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: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 portions 1x


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.
    Goya (Okinawan bitter melon) cut lengthways with seeds removed
  2. Cut the goya in 5mm slices.
    Goya (Okinawan bitter melon) cut into 5mm slices
  3. Place the goya slices in a bowl and add salt and sugar. Massage them into the surface of the goya and set aside for later.
    Goya (Okinawan bitter melon) in a bowl rubbed with salt and sugar
  4. Next, take the firm tofu and wrap it in kitchen paper and place it on a microwavable plate. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes at 600W to remove excess liquid. (No need for plastic wrap.)
    Firm tofu wrapped in kitchen paper
  5. Cut the tofu into bitesize cubes.
    Firm tofu cut into rectangles
  6. Heat a frying pan on medium and once hot, add the sesame oil. Brown the tofu on each side. Once it's brown and crispy, remove it from the pan and set aside for later.
    Browned firm tofu in a frying pan
  7. In the same pan, add the sliced pork belly and fry until the surface is sealed. 
    Thinly sliced pork belly cooking in a frying pan
  8. Fill the bowl of goya with cold water and swish it around, then drain the water away.
    Goya (Okinawan bitter melon) washed in a bowl of cold water
  9. Add it to the pan with the pork belly. Stir fry together for 2-3 minutes.
    Thinly sliced pork belly and goya (Okinawan bitter melon) cooking in a frying pan
  10. Add the tofu back into the pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
    Thinly sliced pork belly, goya (Okinawan bitter melon) and firm tofu cooking in a frying pan
  11. Mix together and add half of the soy sauce.
    Stir frying goya champuru in a frying pan
  12. Mix and then pour the whisked egg around the pan. Allow the egg to cook until half done without mixing.
    Cooked goya champuru in a frying pan
  13. Once it's half cooked, add the other half of the soy sauce and mix.
  14. Dish up and sprinkle katsuobushi over the top.
    Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir Fry) on a grey plate
  15. Enjoy!
    Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir Fry)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Stir fry
  • Method: Stir fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: Goya champuru, goya champuru recipe, how to make goya champuru, what is goya, what is Okinawan bitter melon, what is bitter melon, goya recipe, bitter melon recipe, goya champuru okinawa, Okinawan bitter melon stir fry,

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