Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Goya Farmer

Every year I get a little bit better at growing these bitter melons in my garden. They are extremely healthy and taste great is you prepare them correctly. The secret is to use a spoon to scrape as much of the white fibrous material from the center before using it in you recipes. The plant is called by different names depending on what country your in but we like to call it Goya the Japanese name for bitter melon. 

Recently my friend Tom Pressley posted that he has been learning to make Champuru and posted a picture of his most recent dish. It looked more like Okazu to me as it was mostly bean sprouts and tofu. Okinawan champuru contains Goya so Tom's must be a variation of the real stuff. Here is a picture of what real champuru should look like. 

This year my crop was delayed because the first batch of seeds we planted didn't sprout for some reason. We have been pulling the seeds for the next years crops right from the fruit we are using. Maybe we picked some that weren't mature enough who knows? We did have more though but the bad seeds put us about three weeks behind. The plants did do well and the weather cooperated pretty much so we have been eating Goya.
Goya Lemon & Apple Juice Cocktail 
 Goya Pinwheels

  • To make them fill goya rings with Ground chuck that has portabello mushrooms minced into it.
  • Bread them by dipping in egg and coating with panko
  • Deep fry them up in a wok
  • When browned well remove them from the pan and let the excess oil drain into a paper towel
  • When they are dry cut them in half and serve.
Even the kids will eat these because they're fried

Here is a video that I threw together showing the growth this season.