Hechima, known as sponge cucumber or luffa in English and naabera in Okinawa, is grown as a vegetable in Okinawa and southeast Asia, whereas in mainland Japan it’s grown to make scrubbing brushes and face lotions.
Hechima has high water content and therefore it’s usually stir-fried and then boiled in a liquid sauce. No water is needed for cooking or boiling.
(for two people)
・1/2 block shima-doufu
・1/4 can of pork spam
・2 tbs miso
・1 tbs sugar
- Wash and peel hechima, chop it into 1cm cubes.
- Chop tofu and spam into similar size cubes.
- Fry the spam cubes, and when cooked, turn the heat low and add hechima.
- Skim the foam from the surface and mix gently. Add tofu when hechima becomes soft.
- Dissolve miso and sugar and mix all ingredients.
In the picture, naaberanbushii is covered with egg. You can top a bowl of plain rice or for ex. oyakodon, a bowl of rice with chicken, egg, and vegetables, with naabeeranbushii including the broth.