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