Vegan Veg - Recipe: Okara
By: Richard Morris
Like last month’s featured plant, quinoa, soya is considered to be a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. This makes it important to a vegan diet.
Immature green soya beans (the Japanese call them edamame) can be eaten fresh or with only minimum preparation. Once dried, although more versatile, soya beans require significantly more preparation due to the presence of trypsin inhibitors, which interfere with digestion. If you are cooking with dried soya beans, you must soak them for at least eight hours, drain them, and then boil in fresh water for an hour before simmering for another three. Only then are they ready to be used.
The making of soya milk isn’t quite so arduous and can open up the door to making one’s own tofu and the more obscure okara (the left-over pulp from making soya milk) and yuba (the skin from boiled soya milk). Okara, though tasteless on its own, can be used to make burgers, falafel, koftes etc. It takes on the flavours surrounding it. Yuba can be used as wrapping material for Dim Sum or similar parcel-like goodies.
Space doesn’t allow for description of the whole tofu making process but here’s how to make the others.
1. The pulp you have left in the muslin is okara. This can be dried by spreading on a baking sheet and placing in a low oven, turning every 20 minutes or so until fully dry. Alternatively it can be used fresh – but it only has a life in the fridge of about three days and must be cooked before consumption.
2. Mixed in a bowl with finely chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper and the spices of your choice, it can be formed into patties and fried to make home-made veggie burgers.
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