Hechima 'Sponge Gourd' Champuru (serves 4~5 people)
Goya champuru is the famous dish that everyone knows, but little do people know about hechima champuru! If you do not like bitter goya, hechima is a great substitute. Hechima is full of water, as you can tell in the picture, so this version doesn't require the addition of any water. If you want to shock your Okinawan friend, serve this to them. They won't believe how well you know Okinawan food culture.
- Peeler (or knife to peel)
- Hechima 'Sponge Gourd' - 1 Gourd
- Spam - 1/2~1 Can (depending on how much you love spam)
- Sliced Pork Meat - 50g~ (optional)
- Island Tofu (Shima-dofu) - 1 Whole
- Salad/Vegetable Oil
- Bonito Dashi (Katsuo-dashi) - 2 Teaspoons or to desired taste
- White Miso (Red Miso works, too) - 1 Tablespoon or to desired taste
- Sugar - To Taste
- Eggs - 1-2 Eggs
These instructions are very flexible, because champuru means 'something mixed' and allows you to freely mix whatever you want! Feel free to take away or add more of the above ingredients to cater to your taste buds. *Careful, hechima releases water which you can balance by draining the water or allowing other ingredients to soak it up.
1. Lightly peel the hechima and cut into 1 cm thick slices or preferred thickness. Cut the spam and pork into bite size chunks.
2. Oil the pan and put in the hechima, spam, pork, and add tofu (break apart tofu with your hands and there is no need to press the water out). Mix regularly and don't add water since hechima releases much of it already.
3. Heat for about 8 minutes or until the hechima becomes limp and squishy.
4. Add bonito dashi and miso paste. If your miso doesn't have sugar in it, feel free to add some sugar if preferred. *At this stage, you can even add a bit of soy sauce, mirin, and/or cooking alcohol to amp up the taste, but be careful of the extra liquid.
5. Scramble the eggs and add to the pan. Eggs will absorb water so will leave a good texture. Finished!
Feel free to drain any leftover liquid and add bonito flakes on top, like in this picture!