I picked up some fresh okara at a Japanese market, after a quick search on my phone confirming it was a tofu by-product. Now I have a pound of it, for the grand investment of 99 cents.
What should I do with it?
Recommendations from people who've cooked with it very welcome. Thanks!
(I also picked up delicious fresh organic tofu and soy milk from the same company.)
Unohana- basically an okara stir-fry (also known as okara). You can make it with the ingredients of your choice. Some ideas are shiitake, carrots, green onions, gobo (burdock root) chicken and/or konnyaku. Typical seasonings include soy, sake, mirin and/or dashi.
Another idea is buta no kakuni (a braised pork belly). Here the okara is used to help tenderize the meat and remove excess fat. The okara is eventually washed off, so it is not the best way to highlight the taste of the okara, but it sure is delicious.
I've had it formed into a patty and it was absolutely delicious served like burger...Great flavor and great texture.
It's certainly not the healthiest food in the world (being made from unfermented soy), but delicious nonetheless. I still enjoy it from time to time (all things in moderation, you know).
re: The Professor
Can you expand on it not being healthy?
It is typically regarded as relatively healthy where I live. While fermented soy might be more healthy then unfermented, I wouldn't go as far as to say its not healthy.
It has a decent amount of fiber, some protein, and various other minerals and vitamins.
Its is used a lot for making tofu burgers, or as a filler in meat burgers, mixed with satueed vegetables, added in bread, etc, and this is the first I've seen it labeled as anything but healthy. (I recognize not the healthiest doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy)
Dumb (and I hope, not rude) question: why mix it in versus just eating rice or oatmeal? Because it's cheap or to add texture? Or is it the next magic diet food/quinoa? :)
I made it tonight with a stir-fry and a little salmon, as BigSal recommended. It has even less taste than tofu. It is kind of fluffy. And apparently has a decent amount of protein.
This is the problem with buying a food to cook that you've never eaten before. Thanks for all your replies.
Okara can be quite fun to cook with! Like The Professor, I make little mini-burgers/nuggets out of it. I use these directions and use garlic powder, smoked paprika and dried oregano for the spices:)
They taste nothing at all like chicken but they are a pretty good little savory nugget once you get the seasoning to your liking
You might enjoy browsing the recipes on this okara-centric site:
My favorite use is in flourless peanut butter chocolate cookies (heavily adapted from:)
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Okara cookies
3/4 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup okara
2.5 oz of prune babyfood (one container’s worth)
1/4 cup water or soymilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup peanut flour
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the peanut flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Whisk the peanut flour and cocoa powder together to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring well to combine.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheet. Press flat.
Bake for 10-12 minutes
Let cookies cool for 1 minute on baking sheet then remove to cooling rack. Makes ~ 2 dozen cookies
NOTE: cookies will not puff much or spread so they can be packed somewhat tightly on a cookie sheet but they are pretty moist and soft so give yourself some maneuvering room or it will be hard to remove them from the parchment paper/silpat.
I used to get the peanut flour from Trader Joe's before they stopped carrying it, now I have to get it online and don't make these as often. I used the babyfood as an oil replacement, you could just use the original recipe link which uses regular oil and adds some regular flour so you don't have to find a large amount of peanut flour.
I haven't tried it, but the same site has a recipe using flour and oil that looks like it would be pretty good too.