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This recipe is a spin on the Okinawan dish of goya champuru, which is a bittergourd stir-fry with pork and pressed tofu. It uses two kinds of bittergourd – the white one and the mini bittergourd – which gives you a jade-like colour combination.

White bittergourd tastes less bitter than the green variety and may be easier on the palate. If you prefer the bittergourd to be tenderer, simply cook it a little longer.


  • 500 g pork collar, thinly sliced and cut into 3 cm by 4 cm pieces
  • 1 tsp cooking sake
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 100 g tau kwa (pressed tofu), cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 4 tbsps cooking oil
  • 180 g white bittergourd, thinly sliced
  • 140 g mini bittergourd, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 ml water
  • 40 g beansprouts
  • 30 g carrot, shredded
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 3 g bonito flakes

Place the pork in a bowl, and add the cooking sake and one tablespoon of light soya sauce. Place in refrigerator to marinate for 20 mins. Remove it from the refrigerator five minutes before cooking.


Heat 2 tbsps of oil and fry the tau kwa over medium-low heat until golden brown.


Place the fried tau kwa on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.


In a clean pan, heat two tablespoons of oil. Fry the garlic for a minute.


Add the white bittergourd. Fry for 45 secs and add the mini bittergourd.


Add pinch of salt and fry for a minute.


Add water and cook until there is no visible liquid.


Add the pork. Fry for 2 mins.


Add the beansprouts and shredded carrot. Fry for 1 min.


Season with a level teaspoon of salt. Add the pepper and sesame oil.


Turn off the heat. Garnish with bonito flakes and serve immediately.

ABOUT THE CHEF: Hedy Khoo is the columnist for The New Paper’s HED CHEF which features Asian cuisine and recipes. You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.

Text and recipe: Hedy Khoo / Photo: The New Paper

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