Chanpuru, meaning “something mixed,” is also spelt and pronounced as “Champloo”. It is an Okinawan stir fried dish that is made by mixing vegetables, tofu and meat or fish. Every recipe of this dish has its own importance and each one of them is influenced by not only the local people, but also by other cultures.
Origin of Chanpuru recipes
Chanpuru is believed to have been derived from the Indonesian word called “campur”, which means mixture. The main factor of the Okinawa culture is its mix of elements and that is how the term Chanpuru evolved. In fact during the Ryukyu era, Okinawas took in the cultures of Japan, China, Korea and Southeast Asia and there after Chanpuru recipes became popular.
Preparation of Chanpuru
Chanpuru is prepared by first stir frying Tofu (which is the most common ingredient of this recipe) to golden brown. Then the vegetables of choice are added, along with meat that is half cooked and they are stir fried further. Salt and pepper are then added to flavor the Chanpuru.
Varieties of Chanpuru recipes
Chanpuru has many variations to suit varied palettes. Some popular recipes of this dish are –
- Tofu Chanpuru – This is one of the most well known Chanpuru recipes, which consists of Tofu that is stir fried with vegetables and Spam, thinly sliced pork belly (or canned tuna) and bacon. Though the tofu that is used for this dish is firm, it is preferably crumbled into the frying pan rather than cutting it into cubes.
- Goya Chanpuru – The main ingredient in this version is goya (local name for bitter melon). Other ingredients are similar to that of Tofu Chanpuru, which are vegetables, tofu or Spam, bacon, sliced pork belly or canned tuna. Goya is known to help fight off the heat of summer.
- Fu Chanpuru – This particular dish consists of stir frying a flatbread known as ‘Fu’ along with vegetables and meat of choice such as bacon, pork belly or canned tuna. The flatbread is made of wheat bran, water and eggs.
- Somen Chanpuru – This Chanpuru recipe consists of very thin noodles that look like angel hair pasta being stir fried lightly in meat (bacon, pork belly or canned tuna) and green onions. This delicious dish has an exotic look.
Chanpuru recipes Trivia
Chanpuru, which means mixed, also refers to the Okinawan culture, as it is a mixture of the traditional Ryukyu, Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian and North American culinary styles.