Saturday, August 6, 2011

First Post from Japan: Goya Champuru

Konnichiwa! Hubby and I have been in Japan for 6 days now, 3 of which we have had to spend inside, sequestered to our hotel room riding out Typhoon Muifa! What a welcome to Japan! We are awaiting base housing which has been delayed due to the typhoon, so I haven't been able to do much cooking yet. Thankfully our good friends took us shopping and invited us into their home (and kitchen) where I helped make goya chapuru. Shopping in an authentic Japanese market was an adventure in itself! Of course everything is in Japanese, so we relied on packaging and our friends pointing things out to understand what most items were. 
After we found the items we needed, we checked out and headed home to start cooking. That night we made homemade sushi, miso soup, and goya champuru. I decided to share the goya champuru with you first, since it's not very different from scrambled eggs! Goya is a bitter melon and is a staple in the diet of Okinawans. 
Champuru is an Okinawan term that means "mixture". After doing a little a research, I discovered there are many variations to goya champuru. Some call for garlic and onions, some use tofu, and all are probably very similar tasting. The similarity in all of the recipes are the incorporation of goya, eggs, soy sauce, and salt and pepper. 
I am going to share with you the recipe that we created. Although I realize most of you will not be able to find goya, if you have an Asian market near you it is possible!
As for my blog, I would love your input on where to go from here. Are you interested in seeing more Japanese recipes even if that means you may not have access to the ingredients?  Would you like to see a blending of both American and Japanese cuisines? Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 
Goya Champuru
Printable Version
1 large goya
2 tablespoons cooking oil
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 eggs
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper 

Wash goya carefully, do not peel. Slice lengthwise and discard seeds and inside with a spoon.
Slice very thinly. Heat oil in a wok or saute pan and add goya, cooking until soft.
In a separate bowl, crack and whisk eggs. 
Add into the wok along with the crumbled bacon. 
Pour in the soy sauce. Scramble everything together, making sure not to overcook
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 


  1. Nice Work! I tried tempura goya last week...weird little vegetable. Was your's still bitter after frying? Not sure how well this vegetable would go over in America?? Glad to hear you made it through the storm.

  2. Since I'm a new follower of your blog, I would love to see Ashley's TRUE Cooking Adventures as the title of your site suggests! :) Mix in lots of local Japanese cuisine and I will learn something new and feel more cultured. :)

  3. What an adventure you're on! Love the photos from the market - especially the Hello Kitty packaging. ;)

  4. I would not have had a clue what to do with the goya! I love seeing how people cook in different countries. Good luck with all of the new foods to learn to cook. It sounds like a ton of fun. (and a lot of hard work too!)



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