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)

・2 hechima

・1/2 block shima-doufu

・1/4 can of pork spam

・2 tbs miso

・1 tbs sugar


  1. Wash and peel hechima, chop it into 1cm cubes.
  2. Chop tofu and spam into similar size cubes.
  3. Fry the spam cubes, and when cooked, turn the heat low and add hechima.
  4. Skim the foam from the surface and mix gently. Add tofu when hechima becomes soft.
  5. 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.

02:05 22 May , 2024