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  • Writer's pictureHiroe Rose

Super food: Goya (bitter melon)

As its name suggests, Goya (bitter melon) REALLY is bitter, and sometimes makes people wonder why on earth we eat it.

On the other hand, Goya (bitter melon) is known as super food in Japan. It grows in hot places, and in Japan, it is in Okinawa (southern tip of Japan with tropical climate). Most known health benefit of Goya is that it consists of polypeptide-P, a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar levels in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, ß-carotene, and vitamin A. It stimulates easy digestion and relieving constipation problems.

However, it's seriously bitter.... (and some of my friends hates this wonderful vegetable...)

So here is a small tips and trick to make it easier to eat this wonderful Goya.

How to prepare Goya (bitter melon)

1) Cut the Goya in half. Using spoon, remove seeds and "white cotton like fiber" around seeds.

2) Slice them into 2-3 mm thick, and place them in a bowl.

3) Mix with about 3 tbs salt and leave for 5 minutes (the water comes out from Goya.) Rinse the salt water off.

4) Boil water in a pan, and cook the rinsed Goya for 1 minutes.

If you are not going to cook Goya right away, you can actually freeze them at this point.

If you are going to cook Goya, here is an easy and not so bitter recipe.

Goya Champuru (Okinawan style stir-fry)


1 Goya - after preparation above.

1 canned tuna in oil

1 Onion - chop into bite size

Salt and pepper to taste.

2 tbs Soy sauce

1 tbs sugar

1 tbs Mirin (optional) - Japanese cooking wine (but with lower alcohol.)

1-2 egg(s)


1) Fry onion, tuna with oil in a frying pan. Add salt and pepper.

2) Add Soy sauce, sugar, and Mirin.

3) Add prepared Goya, and fry until sauce would starts disappearing.

4) Pour egg and salt, and cook them as scrambled egg.

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