If you make your own soymilk, you know what okara is–it’s the soy pulp that’s left after all the “milk” is strained out. And if you’ve been throwing it out, you need to stop that right now because it’s very valuable stuff: It has almost as much protein as tofu but has 32 times as much fiber. It’s much closer to being a whole, unprocessed food than tofu and soymilk because it contains most of the original soybean.
Okara can be used in many ways; you can add it to baked goods, use it as an egg substitute, add it to soups and stews, or mix it into veggie burgers. Ever since I started making soymilk, I’ve experimented a lot with okara, but the following is my all-time favorite okara recipe. In fact, it’s so good that I would actually consider making soymilk just to get the okara to make “crab” cakes. They’re spicy, creamy, and crunchy all at the same time, and they taste so much like crab that it’s scary!
Okara “Crab” Cakes
See the note at the end of the recipe for using tofu instead of okara.
- 2 slices whole wheat bread, broken into large pieces
- 1/2 cup minced celery (use a food processor to chop all vegetables quickly)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, minced
- 1/2 green pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 cups okara (about what you get from making one batch of soymilk in a soymilk machine)
- 1/2 cup oatmeal (the quick kind, not instant)
- 1-2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp. nori or dulse flakes (may use other flaked sea vegetable)
- In a food processor or blender, whirl bread pieces into fine crumbs. Place on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until dried and toasty. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a non-stick skillet, cook celery, onion, carrot, pepper and parsley until softened, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine okara, sautéed vegetable mixture, oatmeal, and seasonings. Mix well and set aside to “rest” for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Using about 1/4 cup for each cake, form mixture into about 15-20 patties about 2 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. Coat each side of the patty with bread crumbs and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over and return to the oven to bake until second side is toasty and browned, about 15-20 minutes.
- These are delicious served with spicy cocktail sauce or vegan tartar sauce; they also make an excellent sandwich on French bread.
If you don’t have okara, you can use tofu instead but you may need to add more or less oatmeal. Drain and mash the tofu well and add oatmeal until the mixture will hold together when you try to make it into patties.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 195 Calories (kcal); 5 g Total Fat; (22% calories from fat); 8 g Protein; 35 g Carbohydrate; 0 mg Cholesterol; 154 mg Sodium; 15 g Fiber.
For more info on okara, check out Ellen’s Kitchen.
EmNovember 12, 2015 at 1:21 pm
These were FANTASTIC!!!! I just made my first batch of soymilk and made these. wit the okara. Also made buns- home made so that was great too. I might serve Glam Chowder with them next time. I did add cayenne and 1/2 tsp. of wakame powder in addition to the dulse.
MaryOctober 16, 2016 at 11:46 am
Can this product be used to make this dish?
Susan VoisinOctober 16, 2016 at 2:24 pm
I haven’t ever used it but it looks like it would work if you rehydrated it.
EmMay 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm
I make soymilk on stove without a soymilk maker and I learned that with this process you need to cook the okara before using it in most recipes. There is quite a bit of info out there.
These are great and the extra step for me is well worth it.. I have yet to find a soymilk maker I like…
I use dulse but also wakame powder which I got from Miyoko Schinner’s Homemade Vegan Pantry book.
elizAugust 24, 2018 at 11:06 am
Are you still making soymilk? Do you have any new uses for okara? I like the taste of plain okara with a bit of salt, but usually add most of it to my dogs food.
I’m going to try adding a bit of oats to my next batch of soymilk.
Susan VoisinAugust 24, 2018 at 2:28 pm
Unfortunately, I haven’t made soy milk in a while. I really miss the okara!
Sue RMarch 8, 2020 at 6:31 pm
Just made my first batch of tofu and was looking for a way to use the okara. This recipe is wonderful! The only change I made was to add about 1/4 cup of vegan mayo to help bind the patties. Worked like a charm! Thanks so much for sharing!
Carol BradstreetApril 12, 2020 at 4:10 pm
I just made these today. EXCELLENT! They’re a bit messy to make, but the taste is wonderful. I used panko bread crumbs rather than making my own.
MaryMay 4, 2020 at 6:25 pm
sorry but i didn´t understand. When u say “oatmeal” u mean the prepared oatmeal? like, a half of cup of oat brain and 1/2 cup of water?
Susan VoisinMay 4, 2020 at 8:04 pm
No, I mean rolled oats, also known as old fashioned oats.
EJLJanuary 14, 2022 at 7:49 pm
Looking for clarification on the oats that you use. In the recipe you said quick oats, but in response to Mary’s question above, you said old fashioned oats. I’m confused!. Quick oats are different than old fashioned oats. Thanks!
1. Old-Fashioned Oats are made from whole grains of oats that are steamed, flattened with a roller, and then flaked. They have the most texture.
2. Quick-Cooking Oats are made from oats that are cooked, dried, cut, then rolled thin (thinner than old-fashioned oats) for faster cooking.
3. Instant Oats are made from oats are that are cooked and dried before being cut and rolled very thin. Instant oats are the fastest cooking oats of all
Susan VoisinJanuary 14, 2022 at 8:03 pm
At the time I wrote this, Quaker’s Quick oats were closer to today’s old fashioned in cooking time (about 5 minutes.) Either will work in this recipe, but old fashioned with give a little more texture.
Bridget HarceyMay 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm
We love these!
MimsDecember 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm
I made these and added half can of jackfruit that I drained and chopped. I also added more allspice, some smoked salt and did 12 minutes per side in the airfryer.. I also added arame seaweed. I thought they were delicous! Served with a kale and roasted red pepper salad. This receipe is a keeper as I make soy milk every week .
MOLLYMarch 6, 2021 at 8:39 pm
When I make soy milk I grind up soy beans and strain before cooking. Does anyone have a good suggestion of a way to cook the okara before using it in this recipe?
ElenaJune 12, 2021 at 6:18 pm
How dry should the okara be? They turned out quite dry and didn’t brown 🤔
Susan VoisinJune 12, 2021 at 9:55 pm
The okara needs to have enough moisture to hold together well. I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out well.
John KimOctober 24, 2021 at 12:00 am
Great recipe, but when do you add the nori/dulse flakes?
Susan VoisinOctober 24, 2021 at 3:29 pm
I used it as a seasoning, so it’s added with the other seasonings.
Ruth RiveraNovember 25, 2021 at 8:43 pm
About how much breadcrumbs does one get from 2 pieces of bread? I have lots of homemade toasted breadcrumbs so I don’t want to make more of them.