Monday, January 24, 2005

IMBB11 - Soy Milk

This is a follow up to my IMBB11 - Mr Bean Breakfast post. I thought it would be good to post about how I went about making my own soy milk at home from scratch. This is just a series of photos snapped during the soy milk making process. Not much typing involved in this post, I guess. I will, again, let the photos do the talking.

...alright...I admit I am lazy to type.....*blush*

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 23 Jan 2005
Soy milk is a great alternative to animal's milk. I have always enjoyed soy milk as a kid. My favourite soy milk would be pandan (screwpine or pandanus leaves) flavoured soy milk which comes in a light green colour. But then at some point, I started to dislike soy milk and my breakfast passion began to shift towards the Western-style: cereals with milk or toast with milk.

As I grew older, I found myself missing traditional home food more and more. I have even started to enjoy hot savoury soy milk which I despised a few years back when I was at the rebellious age.

This recipe is for making Asian-style soy milk which is most diluted and watery than the soy milk found in the milk section at the supermarket.

♥ Asian-style Basic Soy Milk Recipes
1c soya beans
6c water
water, extra for soaking
sugar, to taste

Basic ratio of soya milk is
soya bean : water = 1 : 6

Soy Beans
♥ Soya Beans
I used organic soy beans (A$4 per kg). Give it a quick rinse in water.

Soaking The Beans
♥ Soak in water
Soak soya beans in water overnight. Here's a rough guide to how long you should soak the beans: about 8 hours in a hot weather (summer) and roughly 20hours in winter. When the weather is hot, you might find the need to soak your beans overnight in the fridge or else with the high temperature, the beans would sprout easily.

This is just a rough guide. Just soak until the beans are double its original size.

After soaking for 12 hours
♥ After about 12 hours
I soaked mine in room temperature for round about 12 hours given the cool weather we were having. Once the beans have double in size, drain the liquids off.

Original size and blown-up size
♥ Before and After!
Here you see the beans swelling up (right) to more than double the original size (left).

Beans in Blender
♥ Blending in a blender
Place beans in blender together with 4 cups of water. Blend or puree until you get a smooth watery mixture.

Now, there are two different methods of making soy milk from here.
Method #1
Pasterising the milk
♥ Boiling soy milk
Bring the remaining 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan (non-stick would be good). You must be wondering why I did not blend all 6 cups of water together with the beans in the blender and instead bringing to boil 2 cups in a saucepan. This extra step actually helps prevent the ground soy in the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burn. So to speak, you still have to sti the mixture occasionally to ensure it is not sticking to the bottom.

Pour in ground soy mixture into the boiling water and stir gently. Using small-medium heat, bring the soy milk to an almost boiling point. Making sure you stir every now and then. Cook and stir for about 5 - 8 minutes. When almost done, add sugar to taste. Or if you prefer unsweeten soy milk, leave this step. You can always sweeten your unsweetened soy milk later.

Remove from stove and let cool. Once cool, place a large piece of muslin cloth (or tea towel) over a strainer. Drain the soy milk mixture.

* Add a knot of pandan leaves at this step, and you get pandan flavoured soy milk!
**I found a lot of foam forming on my soy milk mixture. I just skim them off. You might also find a thin film forming on the surface of your soy milk. Do not discard this. Simply leave it out and let dry on a plate for 10min and you get yuba (fresh soybean sheet)! It's delicious with soysauce.

Squeezing up the last drop
Okara - leftover ground soy
This is what you get after straining the soy milk mixture: okara.

okara - remnants of soymilk
♥ Dry Okara
What you want is a dry ground soy to use in cooking. So now a strong pair of hands come in handy. You need to squeeze and squeeze the ground soy wrapped in muslin cloth until all excess liquid is rid. (The excess liquid is of course soy milk!)

Raw Soy Milk
♥ Pinkcocoa's Homemade Soy Milk
taaaa-daaaaaa~ Here's my version of soy milk.

Method #2
There is also another method which probably looks easier although the steps are similar, except that it takes less time.

After blending, place a piece muslin cloth over a strainer. Strain the raw soy milk mixture. What you get is raw soy milk. All you have to do now is to bring the soy milk to boil and you can enjoy instant hot soy milk!

I personally prefer soy milk using method #1. I found the soy milk to be thicker, richer and very flavourful. Soy milk using method #2, on the other hand, gives a store quality soy milk ie. a little bit more diluted and less flavourful.

There are so many things you can do with unsweetened soya milk. One of my favourite is the hot savoury soy milk (xian dou jiang - savoury soy milk) from Taiwan. Hot unsweetened soy milk is seasoned with salt and sesame oil then onto it a generous sprinkle of chopped spring onions and deep fried nion shallots. On standing, you will find the soy milk started to form curd. So it tasted a little like having a hot savoury soup with tofu.

I am still wanting to get my hand on a soy milk hot pot but I guess I will wait until the cooler weather arrives. ;-)