Sunday, September 11, 2011

What is a Goya? (2)

Goya grows in the shade of its own vines. It is a prolific vegetable and a mainstay of Okinawa cooking.

What is a Goya?

Sometimes called bitter gourd, goya is Okinawa's signature vegetable. You sometimes find it in salads, but mostly it is cooked in a frying pan to be added to stir-fry dishes. The most famous of those is surely goya champuru, which is a hodgepodge of scrambled egg, Spam, and goya.

To prepare the goya, wash it but don't even attempt to peel it. Instead, split it lengthwise and scrape out the inner white pulp. Next, slice it into thin half moons, as if you were slicing celery for salad. Finally, take a handful of salt and rub it into the goya slices and wait for about 15 minutes. Then, rinse the slices to get rid of the salt and a lot of the bitter taste of the goya. Now you are ready to cook with goya.