The goya represents summer in Japan in many ways. This bitter gourd is a staple of Okinawa cuisine with a tropical image, its bitterness is celebrated as one of the healthiest foods around. If you can stand the bitterness then it is excellent for the skin, a beauty aide for women!
The ever popular ‘green curtain’, which is a vine plant grown on netting over windows to keep out the heat, often consists of goya plants. The leaves grow thick and can keep direct sunlight out considerably saving on cooling costs!
Goya growers and super markets throw out the over-ripe goya when it yellows, I suppose because it stops being the well-loved summer vegetable we all know.
But wait! If you let it ripen, it turns into a bright yellow sweet fruit! WOW! Where did that bitterness go?
Guess what? I happen to be growing some goya, so I waited for it to turn yellow.
On the vine, it took ten days for this goya to start turning yellow, after three more days the color brightened. A store-bought, green, goya will also ripen when you bring it indoors. Before long it starts looking like a bright tropical sweet fruit.
Split open the fruit-like goya and the seeds inside are like ruby-red jewels! Taste the ripened into jellie consistency within and its as sweet as if you were eating a melon! If you chilled this just imagine how wonderful it would be! Is your mouth watering yet?
The now yellow goya portion is good to eat too and through ripening has lost much of its bitterness. It has also ripened to a softer consistency than when it was green. You won’t get the crispness of the less ripe green so that it wouldn’t fit so well in the stir fry ‘goya champuru’ which goya is so famous for. But never fear, there are different ways that you can put this new form of goya to use!
Like slice it thinly for a salad.
The best way ever to use this new form of goya is to create a smoothie with it! Put it in the blender with milk and honey, sugar can be used too. Wouldn’t this be the perfect dieting drink!
Blend it into pancake batter for great consistency goya pancakes! The lack of bitterness gives it so many uses!
The next time you see yellow goya being thrown away you may want to get it for yourself! Throwing it away is too much of a waste!
[ Read in Japanese ]