Go go-ya ! an Okinawan super food

That’s the beast. Goya. Say go-ya. It’s the infamous bitter cucumber. I didn’t like it much the first time… That really depends how it’s prepared. Now it’s one of my favorites.

What is great about it ? Well, it has all the antioxidants of dark greens, watery texture and hydrating property of cucumbers, fiber and also thanks to bitterness it’s great to eat in hot weather.

A few years ago, that was not common in Osaka. That’s known as an Okinawan vegetable. But people got hooked to it, and more was proposed on markets, then they tried to grow it even in “continental” Japan. So we get it cheaply in season, available all year. The hot season is ending now… but I still get it a couple of times.

Red seeds indicate extreme maturation in sunlight. They are good, just eat them at once.

There are white ones too, with similar taste.

You simply need to discard seeds and scrub the white part.

Often sliced that way.

Preparation tips :

1. eat it raw, or only slightly cooked before it loses vivid colors : salads, steamed, stir-fry, etc
2. you can reduce bitterness by scrubbing well, slicing finely and salting then letting 20 minutes and rinsing

What to do with it ?

kefta spag’
tofu chigae
pasta avocanaise

colorslaw
panda salad

As a drink :
Shiri-shiri with goya
Another goya shiri shiri

dashi’t pickles
Go~ya champloo~ and Okinawan soba
white bean goya
chakin egg sushi and natsu chirashi
white goya in pesto rice

Ryori, a Japanese classic menu… (compilation by cooking techniques)

Quick list of Japanese “classics” to help you navigate on this site. That’s not complete at all. I tried to make it representative. I often make them with a twist, but I tell you in the post.

Short memo about the Japanese meal

-all dishes are brought at the same time, ideally served in individual dishes, one plate per item.
-there is rice + soup + three items. Or more.

The items, called okazu tend to be side-dish sized. On the menu in restaurants, traditional style was to present the okazu by cooking technique.

ONE :

GOHAN, rice
rice cuisine list ***** sushi list

and ONE :

吸い物,SUIMONO
A soup to drink !

DASHI (basic stock tutorial)
vegan dashi tuto
misoshiru (miso soup, in many posts)
shijimi miso soup
clear soup
O-zoni New Year soup
sake kasu Winter white soup

And THREE, FOUR, FIVE… many :

OKAZU LIST

お造り o-tsukuri
Normally, that’s a term for seafood sashimi, raw seafood. I don’t *cook* it of course.

scallop sashimi
calamari sashimi noodles
hamo no aburi (flamed sashimi)
hiya yakko (chilled tofu cubes)
konnyaku faux-sashimi

和え物,aemono
Cold dish with sauce.

shira-ae veggies
goma-ae kogomi (sesame fiddle heads)
snappy beans and shrimps in kimizu-ae (yolk sauce)

蒸し物, mushimono
Steamed.
egg tofu
dobin mushi (steamed soup)
okowa kabocha (steamed pumpkin with rice)
steamed scallop

御浸し, o-hitashi
Blanched.
mustard green o-hitashi
green leaf maki
reishabu (poached meat)

揚げ物 agemono
Fried dishes.

tempura (tutorial)
kakiage (mixed tempura)
karaage fish
agedofu, fried tofu DIY
kaki-furai (fried oysters)

焼き物, yakimono
Grilled dishes.

shioyaki (salt grilled fish)
kabayaki conger eel
yakiniku, beef BBQ
yakitori (chicken skewers)
teriyaki chicken(the “real” thing, recipe)
teriyaki fish
miso yaki chicken
miso yaki fish
dengaku (skewers)

鉄板焼き,teppanyaki
Grilled on the hot plate.
Beef liver teppanyaki
okonomiyaki (compilation)
ika-yaki (calamari)

煮物, nimono
Simmered.

pumpkin kabocha no nitsuke
kakuni (pork)
beef shigure
buri daikon (fish and radish)

炒め物 itamemono
Stir-fried.

champuru (Okinawan scramble)
kinpira

漬物, tsukemono
pickles
wasabi leaf tsukemono
daikon radish leave tsukemono
dashi’t, Obanazawa pickle
pink lotus root tsukemono

酢の物, sunomono
Quick vinegar pickles. Salads with lots of vinegar.

potato sarada
daikon ume sarada
kabocha sarada