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
- Okara-iritamago no okaka mazegohan / steamed rice with scrambled soybean pulp, egg and bonito flakes
- Karashi renkon /deep-fried lotus root with mustard-flavored miso
- Okara no taruto kurasuto / tart crust with soybean pulp
- Sakekasu okara pan / sake lees soy rolls
- Okara maccha keeki / soy matcha cake
- Okara to kinoko-iri kabocha no korokke / pumpkin croquettes with soybean pulp and mushrooms
- Ika-iri unohana / saute-simmered soybean pulp with calamari
- Buta no kakuni / stewed pork
- Tatsai to ninjin no okarani / ta cai, carrot and soybean pulp simmered in broth
- Okara-iri tamagoyaki / omelet with soybean pulp and green onion
- Okara kinchaku-ni / soybean pulp in thin deep-fried tofu packets
- Unohana / soybean pulp with vegetables
(Last updated: February 12, 2017)