Cooking With Goya

This weekend I cooked with goya(bitter melon) for the first time, and it turned out awesome! I first tried goya in Okinawa as a component in a chop suey-like dish, and made it with the help of a friend. After you try this dish, you might grow to love the bumpy-cucumber-like hunk of bitterness.
Goya Champura
1 goya, cored and sliced thin into half-rings
1 onion, cut into (half) rings
a few cloves of garlic, minced
one half a loaf of SPAM, chopped into thin slices
one block of firm tofu, cubed
four eggs, scrambled
one teaspoon of sesame oil
one teaspoon of olive oil
two heaping tablespoons of miso paste
one tablespoon of toubanjan (red chili paste)
Fry the goya, onions, and SPAM in the oil on high heat, until the onions become translucent and then add the garlic along with the miso and toubanjan and cook for a few more minutes. Add in the tofu and the eggs with some salt and pepper and cook until the eggs are done.
This dish shows off the versatility of spam, in its ability to tame a food as bitter as goya. Like it or hate it, but above all, respect the SPAM.
Due to the high sodium content of SPAM, I suggest going light on the salt. If you want to get seriously Okinawan, then you should eat this with a slowly stewed pig’s foot (this is so f*cking delicious that all negative connotations of pig’s feet will disappear once you eat it), grilled lobster and steak, a small, deep-fried red snapper without its filets (basically the head, bones, and tail), and some awamori, aged 20 years (100% kusu, of course!).
For more info on goya, and another goya champura recipe, check this page. Mmmmm… Goya Beer…

One thought on “Cooking With Goya”

  1. I was scrunching up my face at the thought of bitter melon since I’ve only had really awful, nasty dishes. Spam is the saviour, once again, of a completely weird veggie which looks exactly like it tastes…..and turns out to be good for you, in the “it tastes so bad it must be good for you” way! congratulations!

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