I grew up on soya bean milk. A week doesn’t pass without a serving from the hawker centre. After feeling deprived for months, I finally decided to try and make some at home. It isn’t as difficult as some make it sound. In fact, I take less than an hour to grind, squeeze, cook and clean up.
Leading from my high(er) protein diet, soya bean milk is now used as an in-between meal ‘snack’. I’m not a vegan but I believe substituting soya based products for some meat is always a good idea because soya is fat free.
This is the recipe for 1.2 litres of soya bean milk, which is what I would finish within a week. It doesn’t keep longer than that so don’t make more unless other family members enjoy it too (The Mister makes a face.) It also doesn’t freeze well. I’ve thawed a bottle before. It separated but came together again after some vigorous stirring. Nonetheless, the texture is not that smooth.
1 cup (organic) soya beans
9 cups water
1 pandan (screwpine) leaf, optional
6-8 tablespoons raw sugar, to taste
- Soak the beans in water the night before. The beans will expand significantly and become brighter in colour. The one cup of beans becomes three cups by then.
- Blend one cup of beans with one cup of water. If you have a bigger blender, you could blend all at one go.
- Pour the mixture into a muslin bag and squeeze the milk into a large pot.
- Tie the pandan leaf into a knot and place it in the milk. The pandan leaf imparts a subtle sweet smell and masks the ‘beany’ flavour. It doesn’t otherwise change the flavour of the milk.
- Add the remaining 6 cups of water and bring to boil on medium heat. The amount of water can be adjusted to how thick you like the milk to be. The 1:3 ratio gives the thickness I prefer. Now, here, patience will save you time and an unnecessary mess. Do not be tempted to use higher heat. The milk boils and foams like a science lab volcano when the boiling point is reached abruptly.
- Remove foam as the milk heats so that you can tell whether you need to lower the heat. Stir from time to time to prevent a layer from forming at the bottom of the pot.
- Allow milk to boil gently for 15 minutes.
- Sieve milk.
- Add sugar to taste.
What to do with the leftover bean pulp? Ask google! There are plenty of recipes online, incorporating them into cookies, vegatable patties, etc. I’m thinking of using it to make the filling for a lasagna. I’ll report in the next recipe post!