We love good vegetarian and vegan dishes, so today we're going to introduce you to one of them. Okara is a well-known and inexpensive food in countries like Japan, China, and South Korea, and is popular wherever tofu is available. It itself has a very subtle taste of soybeans, but can be used very well in cooking.
How is Okara used?
Tofu is made by squeezing cooked and ground soybeans. Okara is the residue, called soy pulp, produced during tofu production. In Japanese, this residue is also called "Unohana" as it describes a popular Japanese stew. It consists of various vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed and of course soy pulp. The vegetables are stir-fried in sesame oil on medium heat, and the dried shiitake mushrooms are soaked in water beforehand. Light soy sauce is then added, and if you like, some dashi broth. With a big shot of mirin and a small shot of sake you can deglaze the dish further. Now a good portion of Okara is cooked in. Everything is now cooked on a low heat while the soy pulp absorbs a lot of moisture. After a few minutes and the final refinement with salt and toppings of your choice, the dish is ready and can be served with a cool sake.
The vegan superfood
Since the soy porridge is high in protein, the vegan dish no longer lacks a rich side dish. Okara has a with high calcium and protein content and is rich in fiber. Unfortunately, okara is far too often discarded in the production of tofu. It would be much more sustainable to bring the soy pulp back to the table more often and use it in delicious dishes.
Okara in varied dishes
Especially for fried dishes, the soy "waste" is excellent and thus ends up in the belly instead of in the garbage can. All you need is some flour, breadcrumbs, seeds, oil and salt. If necessary, you can stir a finely chopped onion into the dough, add a little water if necessary and put it in the pan! Okara can also be used for pasta and pastries or as an ingredient in stews. Since okara is gluten-free and can also be used as an egg substitute, it can be used in any number of ways. We love this versatility in the kitchen!
MYCONBINI tip: Since freshly produced Okara has only a short shelf life, we recommend the dried Sasara Okara soybean paste made from 100% soy.