The other day I thought it would be fun to click on the new template wizard, or whatever it is called, and now this blog has changed and I can't get things back to the way they were. So please bear with me as I try to make things look a bit better!
As I mentioned in my first post on making soymilk, one of the by-products of milking beans is okara.
Our first few attempts at turning okara into mock meat were bad bad bad. They were mushy and stringy with no good qualities. At that stage I was happy to compost the okara, knowing that it isn't really going to waste, it's just turning into dirt. But Andy was having none of that, and was determined to cook with okara in a way that didn't make me want to eat noodles & toast for dinner.
First, he tried to hide it in things like sauces and stews. This was fairly effective -- the okara thickens things a little bit, and adds almost nothing in the way of flavour or texture.
This is a five-bean pasta sauce -- Andy defrosted a jar of three-bean mix we had cooked up in the pressure cooker, cannelini, borlotti and kidney beans; he added red lentils to the sauce; and the soy bean okara made 5. It was yummy, and a good way to use excesses of soybean pulp.
Likewise, okara is a great addition to vegan cheese sauce because it's nice and thick and takes on other flavours well.
We also realised that our early attempts were flawed because they were too thick, leaving the middle of the okara-seitan doughy and wet. So in an attempt to fix that, we made a pepperoni-flavoured okara-seitan which we pressed into a baking tray so it was really thin, and then baked. This made it crunchy instead of chewy, which was an improvement.
This okaroni has featured in our house on meals such as pizza, crumbled on top of stuffed capsicums...
and sprinkled on the top of a vegetable lasagne.
Andy also had success when making some of Vegan Dad's Thai Chickpea Cakes with some okara in place of some chickpea (he also mixed in some frozen peas for texture, which was really yummy). These were delicious -- soft inside, and we baked them so they weren't greasy.
Finally, we have realised that we can use okara in place of crumbled/blended tofu, or blended beans in recipes. After making a few batches of soy milk one weekend, we made a giant batch of vegan sausages. We followed the recipe for vegan hotdogs that I posted about before, but changed up the spices a little to make them less hot doggy. The other change, obviously, was to use okara instead of tofu, and to pressure cook them so they were done very fast.
Here are some of the sausages being cooked in a mustard-beer glaze. (These were basically the same as this recipe, but with beer instead of stock, which is a very good substitution.)
Some handy okara resources:
The Messy Vegetarian Cook
Real Food Living