Okara is a popular Japanese ingredient, and you may not be familiar with it!
However, if you make soya milk at home, you will have seen it before because the soya bean pulp left over after making soya milk or tofu is okara.
Okara is a healthy and nutritious ingredient that often gets discarded because, in most instances, especially outside of Japan, Korea, and China, not everyone knows what to do with it.
What is Okara?
Okara is a by-product of making soy milk or tofu. Dried soybean are softened by soaking in water for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight and then rinsed.
These soft-soaked soybeans are blended in a food processor with clean water into a pulp.
It is then filtered through a cloth to separate the solids from the liquid, giving you raw soy milk (this needs cooking before consuming) and fresh soy pulp, also known as okara.
Omnivores, flexitarians, vegans, vegetarians, and a whole list of other diets can enjoy soybean pulp because it is plant-based, healthy, and nutritious.
Okara is a good source of plant protein, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Where To Get Okara
If you have a Japanese or Korean grocery store, check there because they may sell it frozen or dried.
We can not buy okara where we live, so when we make soy milk, we either use it fresh, dry it, or freeze the wet pulp for use later.
Can You Eat Okara Raw?
Raw uncooked soybean pulp must be cooked before consumption because uncooked soy protein is poisonous.
If you make our recipe for soy milk, the soybean pulp is raw and uncooked.
You can add this to recipes that need cooking, like muffins, cakes, or pancakes, and it will be safe to consume because it ends up cooked.
However, if you want to make a cold okara salad, it should be cooked before making the recipe.
If using okara as an ingredient for yeast bread, it must be cooked because the enzymes in raw okara inhibits yeast.
Please refer to our article on What To Do With Soybean Pulp for how to cook okara and other useful information..
How Long Can Okara Last In The Fridge?
Store fresh okara in the fridge in an airtight container, where it will keep for about 2-3 days.
Freezing will keep fresh and partially dry soybean pulp for longer. To freeze, place the soy pulp into small ziplock bags with the air squeezed out and freeze for up to six months.
Soya bean pulp can also be dried, and dried soybean pulp can be stored in a sealed container in a cool dark area like your pantry or the fridge.
What Can I Make With Okara/Soy Bean Pulp?
Okara is such a versatile ingredient and can be an ingredient in many recipes, including vegan and non-vegan recipes:
You can use okara to make sweet recipes like:
- Pancakes like this vanilla okara pancake recipe
- Quick bread like this okara banana bread
- Cakes like this okara pound cake
- Muffins like these blueberry okara muffins
Or to make savory recipes like:
- Okara meatballs
- Okara burgers
- Okara crab cakes
- Okara stir fry
- Okara veggie burgers and so much more.
Fresh Okara Recipes
Big, soft, and tender, these bakery-style chocolate chip okara muffins have a crunchy sugary top. Serve these for breakfast or as a filling snack.
Okara Banana Bread
This okara banana bread is loaded with sweet ripe bananas and has a crunchy sweet topping. It is one of our favorite ways to use up the leftover okara (soybean pulp) and overripe bananas. This one-bowl recipe is easy to make without a mixer and freezes very well making it a great meal-prepping recipe.
Enjoy this easy-to-make moist and buttery vanilla okara pound cake, and serve it plain or topped with whipped cream and fruit for a tasty dessert. Or use it as a base for delicious desserts like trifles, French toast, bread pudding, or shortcakes.
Lemon poppy seed okara muffins are a delicious breakfast or afternoon treat. Bursting with tangy lemon flavor and crunchy poppy seeds, these are very easy to make.
This gluten free okara chocolate is rich, fudgy, and very easy to make. It is a simple cake that you can make the next time you have fresh soy bean pulp.
These soft and fluffy blueberry okara muffins are packed with fresh blueberries and have a delicious cinnamon crumble topping. Serve these for breakfast or as a filling snack.
Chocolate chip okara pancakes are the best homemade pancakes ever! Made with a few simple ingredients, these are soft, light, and fluffy.
Banana okara pancakes are the best homemade pancakes ever! Made with a few simple ingredients, these are soft, light, and fluffy.
Vanilla okara pancakes are the best homemade pancakes ever! Made with a few simple ingredients, these are soft, light, and fluffy.
These spring onion okara pancakes are delicious and easy to make and a wonderful way to use leftover okara (soybean pulp). Loaded with flavor these okara pancakes are healthy and filling.
If you love a moist and flavorsome cake, make this gluten-free dairy-free orange cake. It is not only gluten-free and dairy-free it is also nut-free, making it the perfect cake that everyone can enjoy.
- Choose your favorite recipe from the list above.
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Follow the recipe directions and cook up something delicious with okara soy bean pulp.