Have you hear of Bitter Melon before?! I had not, and when I discovered it at the local market today, my excitement was contagious. A fellow teacher who was at the market with me told me that bitter melon is called “goya” in Japan, and that she’d translate a traditional Japanese recipe for me to prepare it with.
The recipe, called Goya Chanpuru, originated on the island of Okinawa, and is called “chanpuru” or sometimes “champloo” because it is a mixture of vegetables, reflecting the mixing of cultures on Okinawa Island. Traditionally, there would be pork and egg in this dish, but I substituted eggplant and found it to be sufficiently delicious.
The final touch is Dancing Bonito – thinly sliced dried fish that “dances” when you put it on top of the hot stir fry…pretty neat. And tasty too!