How To Make Goya Champuru At Home (Okinawa Recipe)-Japanese Taste

How To Make Goya Champuru At Home (Okinawa Recipe)

by Megumi Moriya

Main Goya Bittermelon Pork Tofu Egg High Protein Low Carb Healthy One Pot Meal Okinawa Stir-fry Summer

There are unique regional cuisines called “Kyodoryori” in Japan. “Goya Champuru” which we will introduce you to today is one of them.

First, what is “Goya Champuru”? Goya Chanpuru is a signature dish of Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island. The main ingredient of Goya Champuru is “Goya”, which is a cucurbitaceous vegetable grown in hot places. It is also a staple vegetable of Okinawa. Here’s a picture of goya.


You can find goya in abundance in Japanese supermarkets during summertime. The taste of goya is quite unique. In English, it is called “bittermelon” or “bitter gourd” and the name just shows the taste! You may be surprised by the bitterness of goya when you try it for the first time.

Now that you understand what Goya is, then what is “Champuru”? Champuru, which means “something mixed”, is a stir-fried dish made with seasonal vegetables and Shima-dofu (Island Tofu). Seasoned with salt, pepper, and soy sauce, the simple seasonings bring out the flavors of the ingredients used in champuru.

Although there are various kinds of champuru in Okinawa, the most popular kind of champuru is goya champuru. Originally goya champuru is an Okinawan dish, but now it is known as a seasonal summer dish throughout Japan.

As mentioned above, shima-dofu is used to make an authentic goya champuru. Shima-dofu is a firm-typed, big, dense block of tofu. It is native to Okinawa. The ingredients are the same as ordinary tofu, but the process of making it is different. Shima-dofu is made by crushing soybeans soaked in water. It is squeezed and separated into soy milk and raw Okara (soy pulp). Then, bittern is added to the soy milk. After simmering, the soy mixture is placed into a mold and drained thoroughly. This makes the texture of Shima-dofu unique.

Shima-dofu is the best choice to make Goya Chanpuru, but it is not common outside of Okinawa. Usually, shima-dofu is substituted for Momen-dofu (firm tofu) which is easy to get at supermarkets or even convenience stores. As momen-dofu is also firm, it is suitable for stir-fried dishes, we will use momen-dofu, or medium-firm tofu instead in this recipe.

Let us know in the comments below if you make our Goya Champuru recipe. We would love to hear from you!


Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Total servings: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 Goya (bittermelon)
  • 1/2 pack (200g) Medium-firm Tofu (Momen Dofu)
  • 150g Sliced Pork Belly
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Dashi Powder (Hondashi)
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • Dried Bonito Flakes (for topping)
  • Cooking Oil, as needed

Expert's Tip

How To Make Goya Champuru At Home (Okinawa Recipe)

Katsuobushi is an essential ingredient for making Japanese dishes. You can use it for making dashi and as a topping, dressing, filling for onigiri, and more! This particular katsuobushi is convenient for using as a topping or in dressings because it is packed in small individualized bags and the flakes are small. 


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Preparing the Tofu

Wrap the tofu with paper towels like in the pictures. 

Place a heavy object on top of it to drain the water inside the tofu. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Note: The process of draining the tofu in advance will prevent the Goya Champuru from tasting watery.

*If you don’t have enough time to drain the tofu, you can microwave it for 1-2 minutes to draw out the moisture.

3) Preparing the Goya (bitter melon)

Remove the goya stem and cut it in half lengthwise. You will see many seeds inside. Scoop them out with a spoon. Also, scrape off the fluffy inner section that contains seeds.

4) Cooking the Eggs

Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Mix them well. 

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add in a bit of oil. Add the beaten egg and stir gently until the egg is no longer runny. 

Transfer the cooked egg to a bowl and set aside.

5) Slicing the Pork Belly

Cut the sliced pork belly into smaller, easy-to-eat pieces. Season them lightly with salt and black pepper.

6) Stir-frying the Ingredients

Using the same frying pan as you cooked the eggs in, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add the sliced pork belly and the tofu. Stir-fry until they become slightly golden-blown. Then turn them over.

Add in the goya and stir-fry quickly over high heat for 2 minutes. After the goya is coated with oil and turns bright green, add the seasoning and evenly distribute it into the goya champuru. Add in the cooked egg stir gently to loosen it with a spatula or large spoon.

7) Adding Toppings and Serving

Transfer the Goya Champuru to a plate and top it with dried katsuobushi (bonito flakes) to taste. Serve with a bowl of steamed rice if you’d like.

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