Okinawan Cuisine: A Major Role in Japanese Food Culture
Due to its geographical features and historical background, Okinawa has many dialects and food culture that are unique to the prefecture. As an entry into Okinawa cuisine, we will take a look at a stir-fry dish called "Chanpuru".
A related dish that is more common is the Goya Chanpuru, a dish made with bitter melon or "goya" in the Okinawa dialect.
Although Okinawan cuisine often uses unique ingredients and cooking methods, it now has aficionados all over Japan, with many Okinawan restaurants established throughout the country.
A Champuru Prepared with Kale
Usually goya takes the limelight in a champuru dish, but this recipe replaces goya with kale, which is also full of nutrients.
Chanpuru is an Okinawan dialect word meaning "mix all together", and true to form, today's recipe is prepared by quickly stir-frying several ingredients. Goya, as the name suggests, is characterized by its bitter taste. Kale is also a vegetable with a unique aroma and its own bitterness. Kale is slowly being recognized as the King of Vegetables for its richness in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and other nutrients that daily foods often lack. Kale also contains melatonin, an ingredient that leads to natural sleep.
The stir-fried vegetables take on a appetizing fragrance with sesame oil, then finished with with kombu and soy sauce.
As the name of the dish implies, all you have to do is "mix all together" in a single frying pan!
The following recipe calls for eggplant and dried tofu, but tomatoes, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and other vegetables also go well with the dish. Feel free to test and try with your favorite vegetables.
- 1.4 oz Kale
- 3.5 oz Eggplant
- 6.2 oz Tofu
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- 0.5 tsp Kelp powder
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- a pinch Salt
- a pinch Pepper
Remove any tough stem from the kale. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
Cut eggplant and tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, add eggplant and tofu, and fry until eggplant is cooked.
Add kale and saute briefly, then add ingredients (A) and saute together.
- If you don't like the bitter taste of kale, add pork, egg, bonito flakes or other flavorful ingredients to make it easier to eat.
- Vegetables such as tomatoes, bean sprouts, and mushrooms are also good substitutes.
- Curly kale has less fiber and is more suitable for stir-frying. For collard kale, cut it into strips against the fiber for a better texture.