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Okara AKA unohana or kirazu, "honorable pulp", is the high fiber remnant of tofu or soymilk making. Containing plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber and a modest amount of high quality protein, it is highly perishable, so it is best to use it within a day or so, or cook and freeze immediately for storage. Japanese researchers have determined that okara is the only known vegetable source of bivalent iron easily assimilated by the human gut.
There are three basic types of soy fiber: okara, soy bran and soy isolate fiber. All of these products are high-quality, inexpensive sources of dietary fiber. Soy bran is made from hulls (the outer covering of the soybean), which is removed during initial processing. The hulls contain a fibrous material which can be extracted and then refined for use as a food ingredient. Soy isolate fiber, also known as structured protein fiber (SPF), is soy protein isolate in a fibrous form.
(Food constituent per edible portion of 100 grams)
Your recipe should steam or bake/ toast raw okara for 25 to 45 minutes and cool before using, to make the proteins more digestible and remove undesirable enzymes. It is also traditionally prepared by frying with some oil until thoroughly cooked, at least 20 minutes. Steamed, sauteed with vegetables and then simmered in a broth to serve over rice is the most popular and traditional Japanese recipe for preparing okara
Okara can be used to give body to soups, croquettes and casseroles and can also be cooked with vegetables. Okara can be mixed into pasta sauce or bread or soy burgers, it can also be seeded with tempeh starter and turned into tempeh. Okara is also made into meat substitutes, tempeh and polenta. Straight okara patties, meatballs, or sausages have a tender texture and don't hold up when cooked in sauces. Cook them separately and sauce at the last minute.
Okara has a very neutral flavor. Toasted a medium brown, it is similar to ground coconut and can be used as a baking ingredient or added as fiber to granola and cookies. You can substitute okara for eggs (1 egg = 1 tablespoon of raw/ wet okara + 2 tablespoons of water) to add moisture to baked products. Another option is to cook the raw okara by combining a half-cup water per cup of okara on the stovetop in a pan, and cooking over medium heat, stirring, until it's about the consistency of thick cream of wheat. This is the method for preparing the okara soy polenta (recipe below).
Toasted Flavored Okara
Crunchy Soy Oat Clusters
Okara Oat Muffins from a Mix
Wheat Okara Bread for Bread Machines
Potato Okara Pancakes
Mary's Okara Unchicken Nuggets
Okara-no-nimono: Traditional simmered okara soup
Okarani: Traditional sauteed okara
Okara Veggie Patties
Tia Elena's Okara Tamale Pie
Okara Eggless Bran Cookies
Impossible Okara Pie (makes its own crust)
How to Make Okara Tempeh
How to Make Dry Soy Protein Powder from Okara
To toast okara, which dries it out and makes a dry "fluffy okara", spread the fresh okara thinly on an ungreased but nonstick cookie sheet; bake in oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-70 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry. It will still be slightly moist and sticky when you remove it from the oven, but will dry and crumble as it cools. For general use, it should be taken out when white. For a nut or coconut substitute, light golden (almonds) to medium (coconut) browned. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze.
2 cups fresh warm okara
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, or mixed (I like part barley flour)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Mix the dry ingredients and spices together. Mix the liquids and okara together. Combine all ingredients, and spread in a large greased or oiled baking pan, thickness should be about 1/2 inch. Cook for 50-75 minutes, stirring occasionally after the first 30 minutes to break up the clusters, until golden. Cool, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to two weeks, or freeze until needed.
1 cup oatmeal
The okara adds texture and moisture to the mix.
For a large breadmaker- measure out
Mix flour and salt and set aside.
In a bowl mix water, sweetener, milk, egg, pour into bread machine.
Gently spoon in the flour mix. Cut up the fat and put on top, put the yeast on the layer. Spoon on the okara layer. Use the medium crust setting if you have one, not dark crust.
2 cups grated potato, squeezed dry (about 3 to 5 small potatoes)
4 large eggs, beaten OR egg substitute
1 cup steamed, cooled Okara
Sm. handful chopped parsley, cilantro, celery leaves or green onions or one grated carrot
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 good-size garlic clove minced (Optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal or Polenta
1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast, Kal or Redstar VSF flake preferred (optional)
1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper HOT! or paprika(more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon celery salt or celery seed
Use only baking potatoes or all purpose, such as russet, Burbank, Yukon Gold- not red-skinned. If you want lacy latkes with crispy edges,shred potatoes coarsely. For denser latkes with smooth edges, use the fine side of the grater.
Wet, juicy potatoes make for soggy, greasy pancakes that fall apart in the pan because wet items will not brown well in oil. The potatoes need to be dry and the oil needs to be good and hot, so that the exterior of the latke will quickly sear to a crispy finish, preventing it soaking up too much grease.
First, wrap those grated potatoes in a cloth and wring out the excess water. When you cannot get any more liquid out, open up the cheesecloth, stir the mixture around a little, and then squeeze it some more. Throw in a large bowl with the Okara.
Whip 4 eggs slightly, add the seasonings and spices to the eggs. Add eggs to the rest of the ingredients.
Knead ingredients well (it's firm but squishy). Dump out bowl onto counter and pat out into a circle about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges - like a pizza. In a good frying pan add enough oil to liberally cover the bottom of pan, 1/2 inch. Heat on high until oil is hot (350-375), carefully add pizza-pieces, and then cover and turn heat to med. Turn slices every couple of minutes until both sides are just past golden brown. You can also drop by spoonfuls for thinner round cakes.
Serve hot with a pat of butter or soy margarine, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Okara from one batch of soymilk (about 3 1/2 cups)
Mix okara, tomato paste and spices in a large bowl. Add oatmeal one cup at a time, by the last cup you will need to mix with your hands. Mix well. Shape into thin strips (3 inches long and 3/4 inch thick). Dip strips in soy milk and then roll in flour.
You can cook them two ways: Bake them in 350-degree oven for 30 - 45 minutes, turning at least once. Or heat a little oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook in skillet about 20 minutes, flipping once until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with ketchup and honey mustard, 1000 island dressing, or whatever.
See a picture at Sacred Awareness.
1 cup minced vegetables, such as onion, carrot, rutabaga, celery root, and turnip
In a large frying pan, sauté vegetables with any stock or soy sauce about 8-10 minutes until tender. Add spices and okara, mix well, and sauté 2-4 minutes more. If the mixture is too moist, either cook further until it thickens, or stir in a little flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you can shape the mix into patties.
Make the patties. Using crushed cereal for breading gives a crispier, crunchier coating.
Cook in a non-stick frying pan until cooked through, or place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Turn once for better crunch all around.
Served on a roll with traditional fixings, they make a good sandwich, or you can use them as dinner patties. They can be frozen after cooking and regrilled, but are a little fragile after thawing.
1 pound okara (tofu lees)
2 1/2 cups dashi soup stock
4 dried hoshi-shiitake mushrooms
1/2 carrot, thin strips
1/4 leek OR
whites of 1 bunch of green onions
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use reduced sodium natural)
2 tablespoons sugar OR
1 tablespoon fructose
1 tablespoon sake or rice wine vinegar
Like many traditional Japanese recipes, this is high in sodium.
Very similar to the recipe above, also traditional, served as a dish instead of a soup.
1 cup steamed okara
Wash vegetables and cut into
convenient shapes less than 1/4 inch thick. Heat sesame oil in frying
pan. Saute ingredients over high heat; add okara and saute further.
1 cup tomato juice
Bring tomato juice to a rapid boil in a 3-quart or larger saucepan. You can use the juice from canned tomatoes packed in juice, but you only want 1 cup.
1 cup fine cornmeal OR 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potato or cassave
Combine all the ingredients well.
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 large chopped onion
2 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds hambuger style meat substitute
OR 1 1/2 cups dry TVP rehydrated
OR 1 1/2 pounds extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed, shredded and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon or more Tabasco
6 large tomatoes, chopped (2 pounds)
1 1/4 cups corn meal
2 cups okara
2 cups soymilk
24 ounces canned creamed corn
OR 3 cups cooked corn
3/4 cup currants, OR diced green chiles OR chopped black olives
oil to brush top of casserole
about 1 cup salsa for garnish
about 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish (Dairy or soy)
Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for five minutes, then add the meat substitute or TVP and brown it. Next add the chili powder, tomatoes, and Tabasco, cover the pan, and cook fifteen minutes.
2 tablespoons oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the curry leaves or bay leaf, onion, garlic, cinnamon, chili powder, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and green chili pepper.
1/4 cup Whole bran cereal
1/4 cup Wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 cup Moist okara, loosely packed
2 tablespoons honey OR molasses
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
2-4 tablespoons yogurt, buttermilk or dairy sour cream
1/3 cup raisins, chips or cut up dried fruit
Combine flour, bran, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in medium-size bowl. Work in the okara with fork.
Just wanted you to know about a discovery we've made on how to use okara. If you dry okara in a dehydrator and then blend it at high in a sturdy blender speed after it's completely dry, it makes soy protein powder. Since soy protein powder costs about $15 a pound, it's a great way to use okara and save money if you like to use protein powder in smoothies. Also, okara powder is easy to store in the cupboard because it's dry. We just keep the powder in the spice cabinet.
We also use the okara powder as an egg substitute when baking cakes... two to three tablespoons of okara powder per recipe is what I use when baking and it works like a charm.