Monday, February 14, 2011

How to make Soybean Milk

A lady making fresh soybean curd at a restaurant in Shanghai.  Served with a variety of different condiments.

Hello everybody,
This week, I am going to show you how to make soybean milk at home.  In many Asian countries, soybean milk is commonly served at breakfast and paired with dough fritters.  It can also be enjoyed like a beverage. It is full of flavonoids and is vegan friendly. Commercially produced soybean milk has lost a lot of its unique characteristics and complex flavor.  It is sort of like drinking canned coffee instead of brewing a fresh mug or eating canned spam and thinking that it is real meat.  There is no need to suffer through bad soybean milk, especially after you see how easily it can be made by YOU at home, using very basic equipment. 

The flavor of freshly made soybean milk is earthy, rich, beany and nutty.  I've written down here very specific instructions to ensure that your soybean experience is a successful one:

2 cups dried soybeans (preferably organic, washed and soaked overnight)
1/2 cup sugar
Water (Proportions will be given below)

Put soybeans in a large bowl.  Completely cover the beans with water and soak overnight.

The next morning you will find that the soybeans have expanded to three times their original volume.  The original 2 cups of dried soybeans now have a volume of 6 cups.

Put 2 cups of soybeans in a blender.  Add 2 cups of filtered water.  Blend until the soybeans have been fully incorporated into the liquid, until further pulses do not cause the solid bits to get finer.  This should take about 20 seconds, depending on the power of your blender.

Carefully transfer the contents from the blender into a filtering cloth such as a muslin cloth or a special cotton bag like the one I've used here. Allow the filtered liquid to drain into a large, tall stockpot.  Do this slowly and in batches.  Let the liquid drain out, and squeeze out the excess liquid from the cotton bag.  You will feel like you are milking a cow. 
Hold the blender carafe over the cotton bag.  Pour enough blended liquid to fill half a bag (About 1 cup).

Let the soymilk drain out of the bag.

Gently squeeze the bag on the bottom
Once most of the liquids have been squeezed out, give it a final squeeze
Repeat the above process 2 more times until all the soybeans have been used up.  You will end up with a pot of soybean milk and a separate pot of soy pulp (also called Okara).  You can save the Okara for other purposes such as adding into milk shakes since it is a good source of protein.  But, for purpose of making soy milk, we will discard the Okara.

Next, add two more cups of filtered water to the pot and heat up the soybean milk.  This is where the real work is, and you have to keep an eye on your cooking.  A film can form quickly on the milk. It can also over-boil easily if you do not use a tall stock pot or monitor it carefully. 
Soybean at original level at the start of the boiling process

The film can cause the boiling soy milk to overflow quickly.  Be sure to monitor the level of heat and stir quickly to dissipate the bubbles.
Since it only takes about 20 minutes to boil the milk, I strongly suggest that you stand near the stove and watch it like a hawk.

Boil until the mixture no longer rises as much.  This takes about 30 minutes.  It is important that the soybean milk has been heated thoroughly in order to deactivate all the enzymes. This will prevent it from interfering with normal digestion. 

Add sugar or honey to taste, or drink it unsweetened.

Serve warm or chilled.

Soy milk is full of fresh nutrients. Your body will thank you for it!

Thank you for reading, everybody, and have a great week ahead!



The cotton bag I used is available here:


  1. this is great... i've seen relatives make soybean milk when i was younger but didn't really pay attention so now i know i can make it myself! i've been wanting to make my own tofu pudding too so maybe i can make it entirely from scratch... thank you for sharing! =)

  2. Hello there! This is so easy to make at home and it is so good for you, especially when fresh. You can just feel the goodness getting absorbed by the cells! :) Hope you try making it! :)


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