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.
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