I am so into beans these days. Black beans, green beans, red beans, and now onto soy beans. That was the very first thing that came to my mind when the new blender arrived: I have to make soy milk right away, to satisfy my craving for fresh, man-made soy milk that I could only find back in Vietnam. I love soy milk but I don’t really like those commercial ones that sell in any supermarkets, their taste is a bit ‘off’ in my opinion. Nevertheless, I do buy them from time to time.
It always amazes me how soy beans could turn into such tasty drink, I mean, I couldn’t imagine how you would ‘milk’ beans until I saw it with my own eyes, after years of drinking soy milk without knowing how it comes about (I couldn’t care less about cooking at the time) and how easy it is to make at home. So, ever since my cousin discovered the art of milking soy beans & how cheap soy beans are, we always have hot, fresh milk every morning. We even have a soy milk maker too, to save some time in the morning, just put the soaked beans in it and 40 minutes later, there you have your milk. Again, homemade fresh milk is a bit different from the fresh ones that is often sold in the markets, and different from the commercial ones in bottles too. More precisely, in Vietnam, the fresh soy milk sold is also home-made, but added pandan leaves for this lightly minty colour and a somewhat different taste (I haven’t yet to figure out, otherwise I would be selling those already -.-)
Anyway, back to the present, in the UK where I have just started my soy bean journey without the magical milk maker, I have to do everything from scratch and encountered several failures before I (kind of) got it. Here are some notes along the way:
- When you process the beans, it will smell a bit grassy and a bit plastic like, but don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your beans, they are supposed to smell like that. As you go on boiling the milk, it will slowly change the fragance into something much nicer, more subtle, a ‘soy milk’ smell I suppose. (I even thought my blender was broken and burned or something, hence the grassy funny smell >”<)
- Soy milk contains lots of healthy components that are surely good for your body, I’m not gonna repeat myself as I keep stating the benefits of anything I cook & eat. Hence one cup per day is recommended. However, uncooked soy milk is surprisingly harmful as it contains 2 kinds of toxic substances that could lead to poisoning. People are often mistaken that once the milk is boiled, it’s done. No, it’s not! You have to cook for at least 20 minutes, I would recommend 30. During that period, it will keep boiling several times.
- Use warm water when you process the beans.
- While you boil the milk, at certain point, it will foam up very quickly and make a mess of your kitchen top. Keep a close eye on the pot and if it does overflow, quickly remove from the stove, stir a few times, lower the heat then put it back on.
- Soy milk is easily burnt, so you have to stir every minutes or so, skim off any foam if necessary. If it sticks to the bottom of the pot, use a wooden spoon to scrub it off and keep stirring.
- Pour in more water if it’s reduced too fast. On my 1st attempt, when my milk is finished, I was left with only one cup, silly me >”<
And some more notices that I found on the internet, and I forgot the reasons why:
- Do not put brown sugar in soy milk. It will destroy the nutrients contained, so use white granulated sugar
- Do not add eggs in soy milk. (Who would add egg in milk anyway? I never heard of that)
- Do not put soy milk in vacuum bottle
- Do not drink soy milk with an empty stomach
- Do not eat or drink citrus before and after drinking soy milk
Homemade soy milk
- 100 g soy beans
- 1 l water
- Some sugar
- Rinse the beans carefully until there is no more foam. Soak them in lots of water overnight. After a whole night drinking water, they will grow this big
- Rub the beans to remove the skin, it should come off fairly easy. It’s a very tedious job though. Rinse them again and put them in a blender with some water just enough to cover the surface, pour in some more if it gets a bit too dry to process
- Process the beans until it becomes a thick, smooth paste
- Now put a clean cloth/cheese cloth on top of a strainer, then pour the liquid through that straining system into a small bowl underneath
- Squeeze out the liquid from the cloth, give it several good twist until the beans have dried out
- Dilute the rest of the water with the dried soy pulp, and again, squeeze it the second time to extract more milk
- You will get dried soy pulp, or okara, looking like this
From what I read, okara contains very high amount of nutrients. The Japanese use this to make a dish called unohana, which I haven’t yet tried out and tested the recipe. It is recommend to keep these soy pulp, either in the form of fresh or dry one. And since it takes on the taste of anything that it’s cooked with, you can basically use it for anything. But I haven’t found anything tasty yet, and I made lots of soy milk, so I just threw them away, too lazy to dry then store something which I haven’t found a use yet.
- So you got the raw soy milk. All that’s left is to boil it first, then bring the heat lower and leave the milk to simmer until it’s cooked (As I said, 30 minutes is a safe bet)
Soy milk could be drink hot or cold, with sugar or a bit of salt and it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I always like it warm so I microwave it when drink
And I had instant noodle as my ready-in-10-minutes dinner, still very yummy, no? ^^