All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Okara soybean pulp

An inexpensive byproduct from making tonyu soy milk or tofu. Okara is crumbly, with a moisture content of 70-80%. Commercially available okara has become drier (75% moisture) as the soy milk extraction process has become more efficient, and some say this is the reason for a decline in okara's popularity as culinary ingredient in Japan. Okara made in the conventional way or at home has more moisture and better flavor even though it is still crumbly.

Okara dishes cooked with vegetables and other ingredients are long-time favorite deli items in Japan. Okara is also often mixed in meat dishes and baked items, mainly to lower calories and cholesterol.

Okara is known for its high fiber content (9.7-11.5 g/100 g okara), which is mostly non-soluble (9.4-11.1 g). Okara's fiber doubles in volume in the stomach, sending a signal to your brain that you are getting full. These are the reasons for the relatively recent introduction of okara-konnyaku, a dieting health product that combines okara and virtually zero-calorie yam cake with high fiber content.

Other notable nutrients include calcium (81 mg); isoflavone (15 mg), a chemical compound with similar functions as estrogen that eases menopausal disorders and helps prevent osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancers; lecithin, an unsaturated fatty acid that dissolves cholesterol, improves blood circulation (thus preventing arterial hardening) and helps the brain process information (prevention of forgetfulness); and soybean saponin, a glycoside with a powerful anti-oxidation effect, which prevents deposition and oxidation of fat.

See, it's too good to throw away -- yet 650,000-700,000 tons of okara are discarded as industrial waste in Japan every year.

Okara (conventional method): 89 kcal/100 g; 81.1% water, 4.8% protein, 3.6% fat, 9.7% carbohydrate, 0.8% ash
Okara (new method): 111 kcal/100 g; 75.5% water, 6.1% protein, 3.6% fat, 13.8% carbohydrate, 1.0% ash

Recipes with okara

(Last updated: February 12, 2017)

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