Template:Infobox East Asian Okara or soy pulp is a white or yellowish pulp consisting of insoluble parts of the soybean which remain in the filter sack when pureed soybeans are filtered in the production of soy milk. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Japan, Korea, and China, and since the 20th century has also been used in the vegetarian cuisines of Western nations.
Okara is low in fat, high in fiber, and also contains protein, calcium, iron, and riboflavin. It contains 76 to 80% moisture, 20 to 24% solids and 3.5 to 4.0% protein. On a dry weight basis okara contains 24% protein, 8 to 15% fats,and 12 to 14.5% crude fiber. It contains 17% of the protein from the original soybeans.
While relatively flavourless when eaten on its own, it can be used in stews such as the Korean biji-jjigae (비지찌개),photo or in porridges, or as a taste neutral addition to bread and pastry doughs. In Japan it is used in a side dish called unohana (卯の花),photo which consists of okara cooked with soy sauce, mirin, sliced carrots, burdock root and shiitake mushrooms. Okara can also be fermented with the fungus Rhizopus oligosporus to make okara tempeh (called tempe gembus in Indonesian). In Korea, okara is called kongbiji (콩비지).
Okara is also eaten in the Shandong cuisine of eastern China by steaming a wet mixture of okara that has been formed into blocks of zha doufu (渣豆腐; literally "tofu from (soy) sediment/residue"), also known asxiao doufu or cai doufu,(小豆腐/菜豆腐; literally "little tofu" or "vegetable tofu"). Often the dish is made directly from ground soybeans without first turning it into okara. The texture of this dish vaguely resembles polenta.
However, as a significant byproduct of soy milk and tofu manufacturing, okara is commonly used as animal feed since its production usually exceeds demands for human consumption. For this reason, it is not uncommon for tofu and soymilk factories to be located close to animal farms in many Asian countries. In western countries, okara is used almost exclusively for the production of pig and cattle feed, although it does appear as an ingredient for vegetarian burger patties.
Okara is also the raw material for a "novel" textile fiber. SOYSILK (r) is the registered Trademark of SWTC INC (www.soysilk.com) who first introduced it to the textile community.
- Shurtleff, William, and Akiko Aoyagi (1979). Tofu & Soymilk Production. Volume 2: The Book of Tofu.
- The Okara Cookbook
- History of Soybean Fiber Products. Also contains information on okara's names in different times and languages.
- Ellen's Kitchen: okara tempeh
- Mother Earth News article on tempeh, including okara tempeh
- "Soy silk":