Sunday, November 30, 2008


Best Blog Tips

Back in May, I developed a recipe for a vegan "parmesan" utilizing dried okara-- the residue or pulp leftover from making soymilk or tofu. It was not bad, but I have been wanting to improve on it. I love Galaxy vegan soy parmesan, but it is only available in Canada online at one venue that I know of and is kind of pricey, considering how much I like to use it! That's my motivation for coming up with something I really like.

So I started playing with the recipe the other day, adding ingredients I thought would improve both flavor and texture. I like to add miso to my vegan cheeses for a fermented flavor, but you can't add much to a vegan parmesan made out of a light powdery substance, such as dehydrated okara, because it will make it soggy. So, I decided to dehydrate some miso for this recipe, in order to add more flavor. Miso powder does exist, but I have never been able to find it in my area. It was easy to make in an inexpensive home food dehydrator, and the directions are in the recipe.

So, here is the improved version, and I hope you'll like it! It contains more calories, due to the almonds and sesame seeds, but I think the calories are worth it! The recipe also uses up the okara from 2 batches of soymilk-maker okara, squeezed as dry as possible in a cloth (this is important!). The recipe makes 4 cups, which makes your effort worthwhile, too!

Printable Recipe

Yield: 4 cups
Updated Sept. 10, 2010

This is a great way to use up okara, the residue from making soymilk. This really looks like grated cheese and tastes "cheesey" (the dried miso powder adds a fermented flavor). It shakes out easily, too. This makes quite alot , but keeps well in the refrigerator.

2 2/3 cups dried okara (about 4 cups fresh, squeezed dry in a cloth--this is the amount from 2 batches of soy milk using my new, richer soy milk recipe)
(see Cooking Tips below for how to dry okara)
1 1/3 cups blanched, slivered almonds OR 1 1/2 cups raw cashews (raw or lightly toasted)
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2/3 cup raw sesame seeds
3 tablespoons miso powder (see Cooking Tips below)
1 tablespoon garlic granules or powder
1/2 tablespoon salt

Process all of the ingredients in a dry food processor until it looks about the consistency of parmesan. You don't want a powder-- you want a little texture. You can use a DRY blender, but you'll have to watch the texture closely.

Place some in a covered container or shaker, and the rest in a ziplock bag, and keep refrigerated. (Make sure that the container is tightly closed so that no moisture gets in while in the refrigerator.)

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons)
: 79.0 calories; 48% calories from fat; 4.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 182.5mg sodium; 182.3mg potassium; 6.6g carbohydrates; 2.1g fiber; 0.4g sugar; 4.5g net carbs; 4.6g protein; 1.5 points.

If you have a large amount of okara, you can use a food dehydrator (use fruit-leather liners, or make a liner with cooking parchment), or spread it on cookie sheets and set it in the oven at its lowest temperature, with the oven door cracked open a little to let out moisture, until dry, stirring now and then.

To dry a small amount in a microwave oven:

Get a microwave-safe plate, or use the carousel in your microwave. Line it with two sheets of paper toweling (this will absorb the moisture), and top that with a piece of cooking parchment cut to fit (this will keep the okara from sticking as it dries). Spread the okara evenly on that, breaking up clumps as much as possible. Leave a space in the center empty (it burns easily in the center of the plate).

Microwave at half power (#5) in 5 minutes increments, stirring after each one, until dried. I took away the paper toweling after the first 5 minutes because it was quite wet, and replaced it with new paper toweling.

Let it cool thoroughly before using or storing (in zip-lock bags).


This company makes freeze-dried miso powder. You may be able to find miso powder in a Japanese or Asian grocery store-- I'll have a look next time I have a chance. I wasn't going off-island when I made this recipe, so I made some myself.

(400g or 14 oz. of miso make about 2 cups of powdered miso.)

You might as well make a whole bunch of miso powder at one go-- it keeps well if very dry and airtight.

I used a cheap little home food dehydrator with 2 trays. You could probably use the oven or microwave methods, as well. Check the dried okara notes above for directions. You'll have to dry the miso in small "dabs".

This is the whole 400 g carton of miso on one tray.

When the miso is shrunken and partially dried, break it up a bit more. I broke it up in the Vita-Mix until it was almost powdery-- more granulated, really-- and ten spread it back on the drying tray. Continue drying until you feel no moisture.

When it is dried and cooled off, grind it in a DRY Vita-Mix or other heavy-duty blender, or in small amounts in a DRY electric coffee/spice mill until powdery. If there are any hard resistant bits which refused to be pulverized, you can sift them off. Store in a tight jar or zip-lock bag.




Dori said...

Hi Bryanna! Yeah for theokara parmesan. I tried to do this once a long time ago and it was not popular with my famiy. I am looking forward to getting some powdered miso and trying this again.

Alisa said...

That looks great! You really are the mother of vegan invention!

melissa said...

Looks excellent!

How would I go about getting the final version of your angel food cake recipe from way back in your archives? If it made it in a newsletter and you can let me know which, I'll buy it or something? I really want a recipe that has tested and it seems like that will be hard to come by!

Brenda W. said...

Finally got around to making this (sometimes it takes me a while!!), but GOSH is this stuff fabulous!!

Bryanna, you're a genius!

I did the drying bit in the oven without any problems at all. Pictures here.

Mireia Alos Palop said...

Thanks a lot for this recipe, it is gorgeous!Today was my first time doing soy milk and reusing the okara in this lovely recipe,

Claudia said...

I'm really confused because I just made a batch of 'rural' soymilk in my new SoyQuick machine, and after drying the okara in my dehydrator, and buzzing it to a powder in my vitamix, I've only got a 1/2 cup of okara powder, but your recipe says to use 2 2/3 cup. How do you get so much okara from only making 2 batches of soymilk?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I measure the okara before putting in the food processor.

Alex said...

What sort of miso do you use for the parm? Light, dark?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Alex, you can use any kind of miso. The darker it is, the stronger the taste.

Denise said...

This is such a great recipe... I always have some in my fridge. Thank you!

The Artful Conjurer said...

Hi there! I love this idea and want to try it but I'm unclear on whether I should be using dehydrated okara or just squeezed dry. I was under the impression fresh okara goes bad very fast, so I wanted to clarify before trying this. I dehydrated some okara last night for this recipe but then noticed in the recipe text it just mentions squeezed dry but above it mentions dehydrated. Thanks for any clarification!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

To The Artful Conjurer:
Yes, the recipe uses dried okara. The recipe says:
"2 2/3 cups dried okara (about 4 cups fresh, squeezed dry in a cloth--this is the amount from 2 batches of soy milk using my new, richer soy milk recipe)
(see Cooking Tips below for how to dry okara)"
There are directions for drying the okara and miso below the actual recipe. All the best, Bryanna