Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Never Met A Goya Chanpuru I Didn't Like. Travel Photo

              Here's a photo of my favorite food in all of Okinawa, Japan.  Meet Goya Chanpuru.

Goya, the fruit, looks like a bumpy cucumber and it's some fairly powerful stuff.  Known as Bitter Melon, or Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia) the goya plant is chock full of anticancer, anti-inflamitory, antimalarial, antivirus, compounds, chemicals, and vitamins. It tastes pretty bitter because there are probably more good things packed into that bumpy-looking cucumber than all the stuff on the shelves at your corner drug store.

But, take two disgusting foods like Spam and the-most-bitter-vegetable-or-fruit-I've-ever-experienced-in-my-life, Goya and cook them up with a bunch of sake, soy sauce, eggs and tofu and I love the stuff.

The original recipe would have real pork in it, not that Spam stuff.  But, I must have hit this island when people couldn't afford real pork so, I've acquired the taste for that canned meat.
It just seems to add something to the flavor.  When the wife ain't looking, I slip most of the meat to the dogs.  Hah !  They're animals, too, you know.  They like their Spam goya-flavored and I like my Goya Chanpuru Spam-flavored.  Don't tell the wife.  OK ?

Now, I'm no chef so, I really have no clue how you'd make the stuff.  If I tried, I bet there would be one heck of a mess in the kitchen.  I consume massive quantities. It's the kind of meal, I can eat three times a day and if there's enough leftover, have it again for breakfast tomorrow.

Anyone who travels to Okinawa should not pass up a chance to eat this dish.  In fact,  I think it should be named a UNESCO World Heritage Okinawan Cultural Asset because I never met a Goya Chanpuru I didn't like !

This will be my contribution to Budget Travelers Sandbox for TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY
Stop by and visit; they have some real pretty Korean gals all dressed up and dancing over there.

For anyone so inclined here's a link to a recipe for GOYA CHANPURU you could experiment with.  I really don't think it would taste as good as Mrs. RyukyuMike's but, don't tell her I said that, either.  OK ?


Doc said...

Looks scrumptious but, you ought to try using real meat instead of spam sometime.

RyukyuMike said...

Oh, I have plenty of the true pork when I'm out and about. Just, somebody in my house needs the preservatives!

Muza-chan said...

Interesting recipe, I would love to taste it.

RyukyuMike said...

If you don't make it down this way, there are plentyu of Okinawan communities up north. Osaka, comes to mind immediately but, many other places, if they have Okinawans, Goya Chanpuru is available, somewhere nearby.

Expat in Germany said...

I've never heard of Goya before, it sounds...interesting, but I would try it.

RyukyuMike said...

Expat in Germany,
Someone over your way must have it. Maybe, it's sort of an Asian secret.
Bet that Wiki guy knows!

cherrysberries said...

I'd be a little hesitant but I'd try this as well. Can't say that I've ever tried Spam! So why not? :)

Jim said...

What does the goya look like Mike. Got a photo?
Like the sound of this recipe though.
I'll head over to check the recipe out.

RyukyuMike said...

Hah, if you're anything like the rest of us online, you get spam, everyday.
Well, the real thing is a bit more digestible. Not, much more, though.
Aw, I shouldn't say that. They may want to sponsor me , someday. Let's just say, ahem, ahum, you can spruce it up a bit and make some delicious recipes !

RyukyuMike said...

It looks exactly like a cucumber with warts and bumps all over it. Wikipedia has some great photos of the plant and fruit. I would have posted a link to them for you but, the blasted phone lines that deliver my internet were clogged-up or something today. Now, I'm, hungry.

Unknown said...

Are you sure that's not a picture of what happens when you drink too many Orions? (You seniors get really confused at times...)

Unknown said...

Spam makes me......I won't say it! :)...actually I got this great gift box for Korean Chuseok and it has two cans of spam in it. Give me your address and I'll mail them over!

RyukyuMike said...

Actually, it was around 5AM after a long, long night at the bar when I snapped that photo. Had to do a severe crop to eliminate the mess from the overflow on the kitchen table. But, this senior doesn't get all that confused. Haven't had a wretched night from drinking since, oh, maybe, when I was around half your age.

What'd I'd do if I were you ids invite a bunch of people over sometime for a Spam Sashimi Party.
It's relatively easy to prepare. Bowl of wasabi and a sharp kitchen knife, maybe some rice or potato chips and you're all set!

Sabrina said...

Sounds interesting. Not sure about the spam :)

Cathy Sweeney said...

Doesn't sound too good to me, Mike. But based on your recommendation I might give it a try if I every have the chance -- for medicinal purposes if nothing else.

RyukyuMike said...

Sabrina and Cathy,
That's all right. More for me!

HikeBikeTravel said...

You have an interesting set of taste buds. I'd try it but would want the dogs in the room so I could feed them the spam.
Always wondered who bought that stuff.

RyukyuMike said...

Hah, they're always by my side!