Monday, May 9, 2011


Best Blog Tips  Vegan burgers made with okara

I haven't had much time for experimental or fun cooking lately-- too busy editing my book-- or for much blogging either, for that matter.  The last couple of days I've had fun doing some experimenting.

I've been trying to use the okara (soy pulp) from making homemade soymilk more frequently (I make 2 batches in my soy milk maker every 4-5 days).  After all, it contains high-quality fiber (both soluble and non-soluble), as well as protein, calcium and other nutrients (nutrition facts for okara).

I do make my own parmesan substitute, and I recently devised a yummy, crispy vegan okara waffle recipe.  I also developed a delicious vegan okara brownie recipe, but I can't eat those too often!  I make my Okara Miso Pate sometimes, to eat as a snack with rye crisp crackers. But, I've been wanting to use it more often in recipes than just composting it, so I've been experimenting a little.

 Okara "Parmesan"

 Okara Waffles

 Okara Brownies

 Okara-Miso Pate

This last weekend I used okara in a couple of useful and a delicious recipes and I have a few more I want to try, but I'll just post the two that I'm happy with-- a vegan burger and a vegan "ricotta".  I hope that all you home soymilk and tofu-making folks will try them out.

I altered my TVP/TSP vegan burger recipe, which had tofu in it as well, to use okara instead of the tofu.  It worked perfectly-- and that saves a bit of money, too. This recipe makes 8 medium-large burgers. Steaming cooks the gluten and keeps the burgers moist, but also firms them up nicely when cooled, so they can be browned, grilled or added to recipes later. You can multiply this recipe and freeze it. Crumble the cooked mixture into casseroles, etc.. (It's better to use commercial vegetarian "hamburger crumbles" in sauces.) Or use the patties/burgers instead of cutlets, Salisbury steaks, minute steaks, etc.. 

I won't post the actual recipe here, but here is the printable burger recipe and some photos

(PS: check out homemade burger bun recipes here):

 Before steaming

 Before steaming

 Ready to steam in a Chinese bamboo steamer

 Steaming in a Chinese bamboo steamer

 Steamed burgers

Browning a burger

Finished burger:

And here's the second recipe, the Okara-Cashew "Ricotta"--

Printable Recipe

for alternatives to nuts.

Makes about  2 2/3 cups
This is an excellent vegan ricotta for all purposes!

2 cups unsqueezed okara
3/4 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cover the cashews with boiling water and let sit for about 15 minutes.  Drain them well. Process them in a dry food processor until almost a paste.  Loosen with a spatula.  Add remaining ingredients and process at high speed until as smooth as possible (will never get completely smooth)—this may take 5 minutes or more.  Stop and scrape the sides every few minutes.  Pack into a container, cover and refrigerate.

Alternatively, process everything together in a high-powered blender such as a Vita-Mix or Blend-Tec until almost smooth.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving—1/3 cup): 98.4 calories; 55% calories from fat; 6.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 121.8mg sodium; 154.8mg potassium; 8.2g carbohydrates; 0.4g fiber; 1.4g sugar; 7.8g net carbs; 3.3g protein; 2.4 points.



julie hasson said...

Those 2 recipes look delicious Bryanna! How brilliant! Now I'm going to have to make some soymilk; )

Matthew said...

What brilliant ideas to use leftover pulp that is normally only thrown away! Love reading your blogs and can't wait for World Vegan Feast!

I also wanted to ask a question regarding TVP, as I saw you mention it... I'm not sure if this is a worldwide thing, but TVP in Australia seems to have quite a strong, unpleasant smell. Do you know of a technique or a step one must take to get rid of this overpowering smell/taste and turn it neutral at all?



Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Matthew, I've never had that problem, but I read this on a forum: "The TVP we get here in India has a....well a TVP smell, which is neutralized by the addition of lime juice at the end of cooking."

There were a few other comments here and there that mentioned a smell and said it was neutralized when cooked or when seasoning was added.

KathyG said...

I think my boys will really like the burger recipe. Do you think it would work as a roast? (Overbusy and slightly lazy cook here - hehehe)

Also, I finally got around to trying out your okara Parmesan the other day. All I can say is, I don't know what took me so long! I never liked the 'real' stuff, but this is really good. Gave myself a belly ache sampling bits as I was packaging it - oops.

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

These burgers look aaamazing! And I have that exact same steamer. I'd never thought of steaming burgers (I'd just made the transition from frying to baking) so thank you for showing how it's done the best way! You've made me so hungry with this post, ha!

Anonymous said...

You said you are busy editing your book. Is this yet another book? I know that World Vegan Feast is coming out in August but you must have finished editing that one a while ago. What is this new one about?


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

It IS World Vegan Feast that I've been editing-- I'll get get the proofs back soon.

KathyG said...

I tried the okara ricotta last week. This is EXCELLENT. My memory of ricotta is a bit faded but it was one of my favourite foods as a child. My Dad had a goat dairy for a while and ricotta was the only way I would ingest the milk.

Anyway, no-one else in my family is a fan, and it was a bit of a big batch for me to use on my own (although I will have to make some spinach and ricotta recipes with it soon) so, have you tried to freeze it?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I haven't tried freezing it yet, KathyG-- I'll give it a try with just a small amount and let you know!