I love the marinated tofu skin (Yuba) from Hodo Soy Beanery. It’s super yummy, but hard to get on the Peninsula and it’s also pricey. So I got this crazy idea – I would try to make it myself! Since it was a multistep process with lots of things to see, I’m going to break my usual post formatting style and show you a lot of photos before I get to the recipe. Enjoy!
First I had to find dried soybeans. I was surprised to find that Whole Foods didn’t have them, even in the bulk bins. Maybe people who shop at Whole Foods are too rich and important to spend time making homemade soymilk or yuba? I finally found some in the bulk bins at neighborhood perma-farmer’s-market type place, Sigona’s. Here’s what they look like:
I was surprised that after soaking, they actually looked like regular beans (like small cannellini beans) instead of these BB-like things.
After soaking, pureeing, and straining out the solids, here’s the soymilk preparing to yubize:
After some time, the skin starts forming. Each skin is very very thin and getting it out of the pot is a bit of a challenge. Each skin also represents very little of the total mass of the milk, so you end up repeating the action something like 30 times.
And here’s the tofu skin I collected after way too many hours of work:
Here’s the okara (soybean solids) I collected and dried from the initial straining process:
The final verdict: while I enjoyed seeing how the process worked, and the result was quite tasty (both plain and in a mushroom stir fry), I really don’t think I’ll be doing it again. While buying the yuba skin at the store is expensive, in terms of how much time it saves, it’s probably worth it! Check below for yuba and okara recipes if you still want to give it a try.
- 1 1/2 cups whole dried soybeans
- 7 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 cups hot water
- Wash soy beans and soak in plenty of water for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Boil 7 1/2 C water in a large non-stick pot. Let the water come to a boil then turn down heat to simmer.
- Divide drained beans in 2 equal portions. Using a blender, blend one portion of beans with 2 C hot water until very smooth and pour this into the non-stick pot containing 7 1/2 C boiling water. Repeat with remaining beans and 2 C hot water.
- Place a colander over a large bowl (I usually have two bowls ready for this to pour the extra soy milk if the first one gets too full). Colander should be lined with cheese cloth (may have to double line if thin) or preferably cotton straining bag.
- Carefully ladle the hot mixture into the cheesecloth. Be careful, it’s very hot. Wear rubber gloves. [I think they mean heavy dishwashing gloves – I can’t imagine regular rubber gloves protect you from the heat enough]. Once all the mixture is ladled in, twist cheese cloth closed and with a canning jar extract soy milk by pressing down. Make sure the cheese cloth is always closed to prevent grated soy beans or okara from falling into soy milk. Pick up the twisted cheese cloth and continue to knead it to extract the milk. Now you have soy milk in the bowl and okara left in the cheese cloth. Use okara for other uses.
- Pour the soy milk into a wide non-stick pot and heat the soy milk to 175°F or 79.5 C slowly. Once you reach the temperature, it takes about 7 minutes for yuba to form. Don’t rush it. [PS. Use low heat on the burner]
- Trim film away from the pot using a small knife and with your fingertips lift up one edge of yuba and insert a long chopstick underneath to lift up. Drain over the pot for a few seconds. Repeat until soy milk is all used up. What’s left in the pot is red film known as amayuba. Scrape this off too with spatula.
- Roll each yuba into rolls.
- Variation: Half formed yuba takes 4 to 5 minutes steaming before the yuba has had the chance to attach to the sides of pot instead of 7 minutes steaming . Using your fingertips or chopstick lift the yuba (very delicate) and serve immediately.
–Recipe courtesy Rishinomori at food.com.
How To Dry Okara
- Preheat your oven to around 100 C (210 F). The exact temperature isn’t important; you just want a low heat.
- Place a mesh colander over a large bowl and line the colander with thin muslin. If you’re not worried about saving the soy milk you squeeze out then you can eliminate the use of the bowl (but it’s good to save for cooking).
- Place your okara in the muslin, bundling the fabric up around the pulp. Squeeze as hard as is humanly possible in order to extract as much liquid is possible.
- Turn the now somewhat dried pulp out into an oven pan and spread as thinly and evenly as you can. Place in the oven, mixing every 15-20 minutes until the okara has dried out. This could take an hour or 4 hours depending on how much okara is on your baking sheet.
- Once it’s dry, remove the okara from the oven and allow to cool. Place the crumbs in a blender or food processor to break up and store in an air tight container.
Here are some ideas for how to use the okara (veggie patties, etc). I chose to make a soup with it, which I’ll describe in a later post.
–Okara recipes courtesy Messy Vegetarian Cook.