I have to admit, it’s getting harder to think of recipes to try for my monthly recipe, despite owning so many Japanese cookery books. This month I took inspiration from the tropical Okinawan islands, and decided to come up with my own version of ‘chanpuru‘. I spent a while reading different recipes on various different websites, and in the end decided to make my own recipe based on a combination of them all.
Chanpuru (チャンプルー) is an Okinawan stir-fry dish, usually consisting of tofu, meat, vegetables, egg, and often goya (bitter melon). The meat used in typical chanpuru is often spam or pork. The word ‘chanpuru’ means ‘something mixed’, and from what I can gather it’s quite common to have your own type of chanpuru, much like okonomiyaki (a sort of pancake dish which you can add various different ingredients to, depending on what you like).
I decided to make my chanpuru vegetarian, and focus on tofu and vegetables. I read on one website that miso can be used, but it wasn’t clear whether to use white or red miso. Being a Nagoya girl, I decided to use red miso, so I guess you could say my ‘something mixed’ is the mixing of Okinawa with Nagoya! My chanpuru turned out to have a bit more liquid than I think it was meant to have, and I’m not sure if an Okinawan would recognise it as chanpuru, but it was absolutely delicious!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 300 – 400g extra firm tofu
- 1 courgette, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 head cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, grated
- 8 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped green onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 175 ml mirin
- 175g miso paste
- 100 ml soy sauce
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 eggs
- Vegetable oil
Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towel. Squeeze the extra water from the tofu and wrap it in dry paper towel. Let it sit for 5 minutes to drain the extra water, then cut or break into bite-sized pieces.
Combine the garlic and ginger in a bowl. Whisk the mirin, miso paste, soy sauce and sugar together with the garlic and ginger.
Heat some 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Cook the eggs until scrambled, and cook the tofu until browned on all sides. Transfer both to a plate.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in another pan and stir-fry the vegetables for 10-12 minutes.
Add the eggs, tofu, and sauce mixture and stir to coat.
Cook until heated through.
Serve, and garnish with green onion.
I bought the tofu I used in this recipe from Okinawa Day which was in London last weekend. I asked the Japanese lady on the stall which tofu would be best for chanpuru and she recommended this one – it was delicious. More about Okinawa Day coming up soon!
I’ll be back in July with a new recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch! All the recipes I try on this blog have some connection to Japan and, because I don’t eat meat, they need to be vegetarian or pescetarian. I’m particularly interested in helping to promote Japanese recipe books, so do let me know if you have one I might like!