Delicious Links + the secret to Japanese longevity!

by Chef Pandita on June 13, 2011

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Happy Monday my friends! Delicious links is back with new food blogs and  recipes to share and love :)

Every Sunday I go to the Chinese Farmer’s Market to get moyashi [bean sprouts], chinese broccoli, garlic chives, nira [asian flat leaf chives] and there’s always something new every week. Yesterday they even had pets for sale: hamsters, bunnies and turtles. This time I got beautiful dragon fruit and this:

Are you familiar with this fruit? Have you tried it/cooked with it?

I am going to leave you with today’s Delicious Links and then I’ll share some info on this fruit plus a recipe :)

Here we go!!!

Staying positive when times are bad” a must read by my dear friend Roberta. She also shares a no-cook tomato sauce, so fresh and delicious!

Stephanie made beautiful Crêpes with Crispy Potatoes, Greens and Crème Fraîche inspired in a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe.

Holy Cuteness! Jenn made Hello Kitty Mac’n’Cheese Waffles *_* I NEED a HK waffle maker in my life <3

Check out Stephanie’s Crispy Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed With Goat Cheese And Chives. Such a beautiful dish!

Go enter Beth’s fabulous GIVEAWAY! You could win one of two copies of The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti. Good Luck 😀

“This was one of the tastiest cakes I’ve ever baked” says Susan about her Zucchini Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Glaze.

Meet Michelle from Sweet and Simple! She has a small baking business and is as sweet as her beautiful confections. Check out her recipe for Poached Dried Apricots in Star Anise Simple Syrup [love star anise!]

No ice cream machine? No problem! make this Strawberry Granita from Heather’s blog. You just need 4 ingredients [one of them is WATER] and a freezer. Perfect summer treat!

You can’t miss Annapet’s Mocharons. This is the first time I see macarons that are not made with almond flour, perfect for those with tree-nut allergies!

Cara made Cookie Dough Cupcakes [gluten free and sugar free]. Can you believe she used hummus to make them? Go check ’em out!

You know how much I love my bubbly: drinking it, baking with it. Check out Hannah’s Lemon Champagne Bars. She had me at champagne!

Now back to today’s ingredient….

I’ve been eating nigauri since I was a kid. Its also known as goya in Japanese and in English is called bitter melon/bitter gourd. My mom would make us eat stir-fried nigauri with eggs. I never liked it that much until I found out about its health properties. Bitter gourd is a significant ingredient in Okinawan cuisine, and is increasingly used in mainland Japan. It is popularly credited with Okinawan life expectancies being higher than the already long Japanese ones.

I found this cute cooking video for Goya Chanpuru (Okinawan Stir Fry with Bitter Melon):

My mom used to make it with just onions and eggs. I veganized her dish and had it for lunch:

Mom’s Nigauri


  • 2 nigauri
  • salt
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Cut nigauri in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds and white flesh with a spoon.
  2. Cut in thin slices and add some salt to remove some of the bitterness. Let rest 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse and drain well.
  4. Dissolve miso paste in mirin and water. If you dont have mirin, use 3 tbsp water + 1 tsp sugar.
  5. Sautee onion in 1 tablespoon canola oil until its soft. Then add nigauri and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add miso mixture and cook for 5 more minutes.
Are you familiar with nigauri? How do you eat it?
Thanks for reading :) *pandahugs*

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

yummychunklet June 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Great links and recipe!


Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Yay, I missed Monday’s delicious links. Gee, no pressure or anything.:)


The Daily Palette June 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I love bitter melon, Yuri! Filipino eat the tender leaves/tendrils as well. Steamed or stir-fried. I’ll try your recipe next time. Oh, and thanks for the mention. I’m blushing from all the attention =).


Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

wow, i’ve never heard of nigauri before. i bet i can find it here in the asian supermarkets. there are so many here! i miss farmers markets. i’m going to try looking for some decent ones in the area, but NJ does not compare to Michigan when it comes to farming!

btw, do you eat the dragon fruit on its own? what does it taste like?!


maureenatorgasmicchef June 14, 2011 at 8:54 am

oh dear.. I think you lost me at “bitter gourd”. The photos look scrummy so maybe I’ll have to rethink my aversion to bitter.

These food blog links will keep me entertained all day tomorrow! You’ve been a busy panda!

Now, a blog post on dragon fruit please. When you have time.. no rush. :)


DessertForTwo June 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

I love when you do links to fun stuff :)

Happy Tuesday!


FleurDeLicious June 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Thanks for the linking my lemon bars recipe! Love your blog, such beautiful colorful photos!


lori June 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

Great post!


Ker-Yng June 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

The Chinese fry bitter gourd fried with eggs too! Bitter gourd was my least favourite veg when I was a child but I’ve grown to like it. :) I’ll cook your version for my kids one day!


Nancy Gardiner June 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Amazing story: today at my local beach I was chatting w/an older lifeguard, he was the beach captain when I was a kid so I have known him 30+ summers! A gentleman in his 70’s, he had lost weight since last summer, and looked fit and better than ever. George! I asked What are you doing, man, you look wonderful! He told me that he has been drinking green tea and eating bitter melon. Totally off his previous cholesterol and arthritis meds. He wonders why EVERYONE doesn’t know about bitter melon. Was amazed that I knew what he was talking about. . .Thanks to Chef Pandita!


Michelle Jaffee September 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Oh geez, Sweet Panda, I was so new to Twitter when you posted this, but how could I have missed the lovely mention of my blog? I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support (then and now). You are a good Panda, for sure! Hugs


Eleanor Hoh February 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Where do you find time to do all this? Cute video. Interesting dish, Yuri.


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