After making Vegetarian Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Tofu and Eggs), it was obvious that I needed to make a proper version with pork belly. Oh did I like this version so much better! The unctuousness of the pork belly was absorbed by the tofu and perfectly complemented the bitter melon.
I cheated and simply added sliced pork belly to my vegetarian goya champuru leftovers, but I think my method of pan-frying the meat first to get a slight char also made it more flavorful. Feel free to substitute bacon for the pork belly if you wish.
Goya Champuru (Okinawan Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Pork Belly, Tofu, and Eggs)
For about 4 servings as a side dish, you’ll need:
1 bitter melon, halved length-wise, scrapped clean, and thinly sliced
1/4 lb pork belly or 3 slices bacon, thinly sliced
16 oz medium tofu
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp soy sauce
2 eggs beaten
Fill a 2-quart pot halfway with water and set it to boil. Press 14-oz block of tofu between two paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
Meanwhile, halve a bitter melon lengthwise.
Scrape and discard the insides. I used a serrated grapefruit spoon for ease.
Thinly slice the bitter melon.
If you’d like make bitter melon less bitter, when the pot of water has boiled, add the bitter melon slices and parboil for about 3 minutes.
Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. The bitter melon should still be bright green. You want to parboil just enough to take off the edge of bitterness, but leave the vegetable tender-crisp.
Slice the tofu into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces of about 1/2-inch thick. Set aside.
Slice scallions into 2-inch pieces and halve or quarter them lengthwise if you wish. Set aside.
Crush 2 cloves garlic. Set aside.
Slice the pork belly into thin bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Beat 2 eggs into a bowl. In a pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and make a quick scrambled egg omelet. Remove the eggs from the pan and set aside.
Then add the pork belly slices in a thin layer, flipping over so they get browned. Set aside when done.
Drizzle a bit more oil and add the crushed garlic.
When the garlic begins to soften, add the sliced tofu. Flip and let the tofu get a little golden.
Then add the bitter melon, scallions, and 2 tsps soy sauce. Stir to mix.
Then add the eggs back in, breaking them into bite-sized pieces.
Stir to mix.
Then add the pork belly and mix again.
Plate and serve with rice if you wish.
Other bitter melon recipes:
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Chinese Bitter Melon Stir-Fry with Ground Pork and Black Bean Sauce
Dib Iab Ntim Nqaij Hau Ua Kua (Hmong Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup with Ground Pork, Cilantro, and Scallions)
O/Kho Qua Xao Trung (Vietnamese Stir-Fried Bitter Melon with Eggs)
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