Nigauri literally means bitter melon or bitter gourd, or it's called goya, in the dialect of the islands of Okinawa in Japan. It is a tropical vegetable, widespread in much of Southeast Asia and in Okinawa, especially in the period of June-August. It is green, hard and its shape resembles that of a zucchini or cucumber with many protuberances.
The taste is bitter and is rich in vitamin C and mineral salts. The vitamin C contained in bitter gourd is four times that of lemon and cabbage. Helps recover from fatigue and improves iron absorption.
Varieties of bitter melon range from 20cm to 80cm. In Japan, the bitter gourd grown in South Kyushu has an elongated shape and the one grown in Okinawa has a thick, less bitter skin. It is a commonly distributed variety in Japan, and its fruit length is about 25 cm.
Widely known as an ingredient in Okinawan cuisine, it is now well established as an everyday ingredient throughout Japan and is applied to dishes such as stir-fried foods, salads, fried foods, and foods that are spicy or add egg.
Basically, freshly picked fruits are eaten as soon as possible, but when you want to keep a whole fruit, place it in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days.
Unlike tomatoes, for example, where "ripeness" is welcome, bitter gourd is best eaten when immature.
When it is fully ripe, the green color of the bitter gourd turns yellow, the seeds sprout and the bitterness becomes even stronger.
About 95% of the ingredients in bitter gourd are water.
It contains almost no proteins and fats, so it is a low energy food.
Energy: 17kcal per 100 grams.