Join Chef Keoni in his home kitchen as he demonstrates how to make two classic Okinawan dishes, Rafute (braised Okinawan pork belly) and Goya Champuru (bitter melon with tofu and eggs).
Ingredients and Instructions:
Rafute (Braised Okinawan Pork Belly)
- 1 -1/2 lbs. of boneless, skin-on pork belly, approximately 1 inch thick
- Salt, as needed
- 2 -1⁄2 cups dashi or chicken stock
- 1⁄2 cup awamori or other sochu, or sake
- 1⁄2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. shoyu
- In a wide heavy gauge pot, place the pork belly, a tablespoon of salt and enough cold water to cover the pork by 1 inch. Bring the water to a full boil, skimming and cooking for 1 minute. Discard the liquid, rinse the pork .
- Place the pork back in the pot, after cleaning, and add in the stock, awamori, brown sugar, ginger and shoyu. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Continue to cook until the pork is very tender and the fat is gelatinous.
- Raise the heat to medium and continue to cook, continually braising the pork until the sauce thickens, glazes the pork and is glossy.
Goya Champuru (Bittermelon with tofu and eggs)
- 2 small bitter melons
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 7 oz. extra-firm tofu
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄3 cup dashi or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. shoyu
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄4 cup bonito flakes
- Cut each bitter melon in half lengthwise and, using a spoon, scrape out and discard the seeds and white pith. Slice the bitter melons crosswise into 1⁄4-inch-thick half-moons and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the salt, toss until evenly combined, and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Squeeze the bitter melon to release as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a colander and rinse vigorously under cold running water. Squeeze again to drain any liquid, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Dry the tofu with paper towels, trying to remove as much liquid as possible, then, using your hands, crumble the tofu into 1-inch pieces into a large bowl.
- In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over high. Add the bitter melon and cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes, allowing the melon to caramelize. Add the tofu along with the dashi and shoyu and cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring to break up the curds, until the eggs are just cooked. Remove the skillet from the heat and place onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with bonito flakes and serve.
Note: To add more richness to the dish, you may add in 1/4 lb sliced pork belly with the bitter melon step.