Okara: what it is and how to prepare it

Ingredient of vegetable origin, it is widely used in oriental cuisine and very popular in the vegan cuisine because it is rich in interesting nutrients. Let’s find out what exactly okara is.

Okara, what is it?

Okara, this ingredient with such a strange name either you know it or you can’t figure out what it is. Could it be an exotic fruit? No, okara is nothing more than the pulp deriving from the home preparation of vegetable milk. Since this can be prepared at home using the most varied ingredients, consequently there are also okaras several varietiesdepending on the basic ingredient used to self-produce the vegetable milk.

No waste

In the self-production of vegetable milk, a container with a large filter is used into which the basic ingredient is poured (soy, oats, almonds but also cashews, hazelnuts, spelt, rice, sunflower seeds, etc.) and water, then blend everything and finally squeeze the contents of the filter to extract the liquid part. The okara is there floury pulp which remains inside the filter. It would seem like waste but woe to throw it away: with a whitish color and a fairly neutral flavour, it is used to enrich numerous both sweet and savory recipes.

Many recipes with okara

Okara can be used fresh as egg substitute because it is an excellent binder, therefore it can be added to the mixture of sweet cakes or vegetable meatballs, veg-burgers, bread, pizza, sweet or savory fillings. It can also be added to the basic homemade muesli recipe to make it even more crunchy. Alternatively it can be dried in the oven at 100-120ยบ taking care that it does not burn as it is floury in consistency and can be used directly on first courses instead of Parmesan or on desserts instead of chopped almonds or pistachios.

How to store okara

Once the vegetable drink has been prepared, if we don’t have the time or desire to get back to work immediately to make some recipes with the waste in the filter, we can put it back in the freezer in small bags or rigid containers or we keep it dried in glass jars. If left in the refrigerator, after two or three days it will start to ferment and take on a vaguely cheese-like flavor! Okara is really a very versatile and precious ingredient, because it allows you to give free rein to the imagination in the kitchen and to avoid useless waste.

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