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Okara

Windy Apr 27, 2013 07:54 PM

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?

A quick search turned up this recipe. http://katnsatoshiinjapan.blogspot.co...
and this old thread:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3643...

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.)

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  1. BigSal RE: Windy Apr 28, 2013 04:02 AM

    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.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BigSal
      Windy RE: BigSal Apr 28, 2013 10:37 AM

      Thanks! I noticed the recipes often use it in combination with pork. I'm not a vegetarian, but I was wondering why.

      I'll report back.

    2. The Professor RE: Windy Apr 28, 2013 02:23 PM

      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).

      3 Replies
      1. re: The Professor
        Windy RE: The Professor Apr 28, 2013 06:17 PM

        I was wondering about how healthy it was. I'll see what it needs to stick together. It's always fun to play with new foods.

        1. re: The Professor
          TeRReT RE: The Professor Apr 29, 2013 01:44 AM

          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)

          1. re: TeRReT
            Windy RE: TeRReT Apr 29, 2013 10:11 AM

            The nutritional link I posted below looks pretty healthy. It's not especially different from tofu in that regard.

        2. ipsedixit RE: Windy Apr 28, 2013 07:32 PM

          Mix it into congee or oatmeal.

          I once dated someone who made pancakes with okara mixed into the batter.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Windy RE: ipsedixit Apr 28, 2013 08:09 PM

            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.

            http://www.nutritionvalue.org/Okara_n...

            This is the problem with buying a food to cook that you've never eaten before. Thanks for all your replies.

            1. re: Windy
              ipsedixit RE: Windy Apr 28, 2013 08:32 PM

              We use it as a mix-in to add protein and some soluble fiber to congee.

              It's a bit pasty on its own.

          2. g
            greymalkin RE: Windy Apr 29, 2013 01:08 AM

            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:
            http://www.soyapower.com/recipes.html...
            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:
            http://okaraproject.blogspot.com/

            My favorite use is in flourless peanut butter chocolate cookies (heavily adapted from:
            http://okaraproject.blogspot.com/2010...

            )

            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

            Directions:

            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.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greymalkin
              Windy RE: greymalkin Apr 29, 2013 10:12 AM

              Peanut Butter-Chocolate Okara cookies! Thanks for the links. I have everything but the babyfood and peanut flour.

              1. re: Windy
                g
                greymalkin RE: Windy Apr 30, 2013 11:43 PM

                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.
                http://okaraproject.blogspot.com/2010...

            2. Scrofula RE: Windy Apr 29, 2013 04:06 AM

              I haven't tried okara, but it looks like it might work in upma:
              http://youtu.be/t8_8Qg32TSg

              1 Reply
              1. re: Scrofula
                Windy RE: Scrofula Apr 29, 2013 10:12 AM

                I'd never heard of upma till now either. Thank you.

              2. h
                honu2 RE: Windy Apr 29, 2013 04:16 PM

                My favorite is Okara Oatmeal Cookies.

                Preheat oven to 350.
                Combine in large bowl
                1/4 c. vegetable oil
                1/2 c. honey
                1/4 c. lightly packed brown sugar
                1/2 tsp. vanilla
                Stir in
                1 c. okara
                1/2 c. whole wheat flour
                1 1/2 c. rolled oats
                1/2 tsp. baking soda.
                Mixture will be dry. Use hands to fold in:
                1/2 c. dried fruit (I've used cranberries and apricots)
                1/4 c. sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
                Moisten dough with, a little at a time,
                1/4 c. milk
                Dough should be crumbly but hold together when formed into a ball. Roll into balls of dough 2 inches across. Place on greased cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/2 inch thickness.
                Bake 12 to 15 min until light brown.

                For use as a travel snack or breakfast, I individually wrap each cookie (after being cooled) in saran wrap and then freeze.

                1 Reply
                1. re: honu2
                  g
                  greymalkin RE: honu2 Apr 30, 2013 11:44 PM

                  These sound delicious! I will definitely give these a try. I can see them being a fantastic breakfast bar. Thanks for sharing!

                2. Windy RE: Windy May 1, 2013 11:52 AM

                  Today's experiment: my cat was begging as I was adding okara to a stirfry, so I gave her a spoonful plain. She loved it.

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