Okara



Have you ever wondered where all the soy pulp ends that is left over when producing soy milk, Tofu and the likes? No? Don't worry, most people don't, I guess. This surely is due to the fact that most of this highly nutritious stuff is used to feed up animals, especially pigs as far as I know. But actually there is no reason why humans shouldn't eat this healthy soy mash, too. And by the way: vegetarians have to hear so many "jokes" like "you eat away the food for the birds/cows etc.." - so why not doing it! I love Müsli, lettuce and yes, also Okara (that is how the soy pulp is called in Japan). Here and in Korea and China people always ate it and they are right: it "is low in fat, high in fiber, and also contains protein, calcium, iron, and riboflavin." (says Wikipedia). And it can be the basis for a tasty dish! It does not have a very rich flavour by itself, rather mild and a bit bland, but you this gives way for so many possibilities.
Here in Japan you often find Okara flavoured with Mirin, carrots, Konnyaku and some spring onions, as a snack that is thought to taste good with beer. You can find it freshly packed like this in the supermarket or you can get it in Izakayas also. I don't like beer, however that doesn't keep me from loving all those savoury snacks that are served with it.
Sometimes they also have Okara in its plain form in the Tofu corner of the refrigerator section in supermarkets. Although the ready-to-eat-versions are convenient, I think they are often too sweet and so it usually tastes much better if you can get the plain stuff and spice it up yourself. You can do that the traditional way with the condiments I mentioned above and eat it cold.
Or you can use it for example to bake vegan cakes (i've never tried to make that, but I heard it works out very fine, see a picture here). Or you can make very tasty vegetarian patties. I mixed an egg with the Okara, some shredded carrots, salt, pepper and garlic and a little flour, formed patties and fried them. Utterly delicous! Especially with my favourite hotsauce that was sent to me all the way from Barbados as a present recently :)



*thanks again!
I just love the flavour of Scotch Bonnett Peppers and mustard and of course it is spicy hot like hell and gives me an immediate hick-up, but that is part of the fun!

1 comment:

Megumi said...

Hi I wonder if you are back in Berlin after new years 2008 (03 Janu - 10 Janu).
I am planning to visit there and publish a small booklet bio vegetarische. I need to take photos and interviewing shop owner if possible. I am looking for friends who could be arround.
Please contact me if you are available.