Thursday 24 July 2008


A friend gave me this the other day...

It is goya, a vegetable famous in the southern islands of Okinawa, I have never cooked it before, so I got a sauce from the supermarket and followed the directions. This is what it looks like inside.

So, first you wash and slice (turned out my slices were a bit thick) then sprinkle with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Wash off the salt.

Then fry some tofu until brown, then fry up some pork and the goya add the sauce and tofu the stir in two beaten eggs. You end up with this...

I would like to say it was delicious BUT that would be lying, the goya was bloody awful, really bitter, to the point where you think, why on earth would anyone want to eat this! The rest of it was OK. Needless to say, I won't be rushing out to buy more.


  1. very interesting. thanks for sharing.

  2. It looks like a type of bitter gourd to me.
    The trick is to slice it paper thin, rub with salt then wash it away before you cook it, that will get rid of the bitter taste.
    It's very "cooling" to have this in the summer and pretty nice. :-)

  3. It's bitter gourd. I am from East India and we eat it quite frequently there. It is very bitter and I don;t enjoy it as well. thought here are some communities in India who cook it up to really taste good. I thinkt he secret is to slice it thin, sprinkle with salt and drain and squeese some of the salted liquid out. That takes care of the bitterness. Then we saute it in garlic, onion and tomatoes ( lots of it in comparison to the gourd) and add some tumeric, salt or line to taste, chilli pdr to taste and also some jaggery - that helps some : )

  4. Yeah but what a cool looking vegetable. I could totally see using it for a painting/printmaking tool.

  5. I really enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing the activities you do with your son. From the picture, it looks like bitter gourd to me. Supposed to have good medicinal properties.

  6. Hi JO!
    Me and my family members love this vegetable! It's like a mini version of the bittergourd we had in Singapore!
    It's suppose to be "cool"! But many of our friends said since life is so "bitter" they would pass on having "bitter" gourd!
    Usually my mom would cut a small hole to dig out the seeds - can try planting in your gardens ;)!, and prepare meat paste for stuffing into the bittergourd, fried it and stew it :)!
    Taste delicious! But i guess it's an acquired taste!
    You are really brave it give it a try! Least you tried and know how it taste like!

  7. A few years ago a lot of people in the US tried eating these when it was reported in the news that the Okinawans have one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

  8. goya..oishiii!!!
    but bitter yeah but if you think of the 'good part' of it...i think it won't taste that bad..haha

  9. My reaction as well to OKRA! Why would anybody eat this slimy stuff?? Thanks for sharing!

  10. Bitter gourds are an acquired taste for sure! But they do taste good two ways - when stuffed, especially with grated raw mango based filling, and when fried directly and then sprinkled with spices. Adding salt initially does decrease the bitterness, but doesn't completely remove it. Adding some sourness when cooking helps. Unfortunately, without giving the complete recipe, I can't quite explain :)


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