Step-By-Step Recipe: Soya Milk / Soy Milk (豆奶 , 豆花水 , 豆浆)

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After what seemed like an eternity of hiatus on this space, we’re back! We apologize for the lack of updates these couple of weeks – The start of another school term always sends us into a mad flurry with (last minute) work and rushed assignments. Not to mention how many microwave meals I’d been having… My mother wouldn’t be proud.

Anyway, we were nursing a really strong craving for Soya Milk a while ago. Okay, maybe just me. I was dreaming of drinking fragrant, piping hot soya milk for breakfast – It’s something I’d come to take for granted while I was growing up in Singapore. I always preferred fancier drinks with the likes of Starbucks frappes or KOI bubble tea despite the fact that they probably also cost 5 times as much. Ever since I came to the UK, I came to miss nothing but soya milk (beverages wise). Which comes as a surprise to me as well – I’d never missed drinking Bubble Tea but here I am constantly thinking of the poor man’s soya milk! It doesn’t help that the soya milk we find in the UK can be rather overpriced or another thing altogether (I’d tried several brands of soya milk and the taste is just different).

But when there is a will, there is a way – Make your own soya milk then! I’d always thought it was difficult to make soya milk from scratch because I’m thinking of how our grandmothers used to mill the soya beans out of stone grinders as the hours stretched away… Nowadays with modern inventions like soya milk machines, food processors, or even blenders, a lot of the tedious work can be taken out of the equation for a simple and hassle-free soya milk making experience. It is really much simpler than we all thought! :)

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Ingredients for Soya Milk (Makes 8-10 cups)

Soya Milk
500g dried soya beans
2000ml water approximately*
Sugar, to taste – Traditionally it calls for Rock Sugar but feel free to substitute if you cannot find this
Salt, a dash – Just to balance the flavours
Pandan Leaves – Optional, but adds a lovely fragrance

Special Equipment
Coffee Sock / Muslin Cloth
Large Sieve
Large Stock / Cooking Pot
Large Wooden Spoon

*This recipe was modified from Lai Kuan’s original recipe at http://food-4tots.com/2009/08/09/homemade-soybean-milk/. We prefer a thicker beverage so we have reduced the water to beans ratio. This is up to your preferences, so feel free to alter it to your liking!

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Step-By-Step: Soya Milk

Step 1: Soak dried beans overnight till they soften

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You may shorten the duration of the soaking if you are using fresh beans. Soaking these beans also performs another function – It also helps you to remove the skins more easily later as they’d already detached from the bodies of the beans (sounds very anatomical haha).

Step 2: Remove the skins of the beans

If you read Lai Kuan’s recipe, you’d have realized that she advised us to remove the skins lest there is a waxy taste to the soya milk. I fully agree – You don’t want the waxy taste of the skins to lessen the rich creaminess of the soya milk!

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Do also throw out the raw beans which will look green or come with a green tinge. Again, it’s all about having a cleaner, better taste!

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Here we’re doing the “scrub your beans in your palms” method. But really, anything goes! Have fun at this step, we had to make sure bean by bean to make sure they all had their skins removed. Really trains your patience!

Step 3: Blend the soya beans and water till they’re all mashed up

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Feel free to do this step with a food processor or smoothie maker. If your blender is too small for everything to go in at once (like ours), just make it in smaller batches!

Step 4: Squeeze the beans dry with coffee sock or muslin

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Coffee socks should be easy to find in Singapore or Asia in general, but being in the UK we had to use the muslin which works just as well. It just doesn’t look as cool!

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Pointer: Whatever the filter medium is, do make sure that there are no huge holes in the filter, and that the holes are fine enough to prevent the bean residue from flowing in. If you’re using it for the first time, do soak it in freshly boiled water and a few drops of white vinegar. This helps to clean it and kill any bacteria!

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This is hardwork if you hadn’t got strong arms like #chubkaichun. Though actually, those are my arms.

Step 5: Filter uncooked soya milk with sieve

Filter three times to make sure you don’t have any residue in your milk. If you have another clean coffee sock or muslin cloth, do use that as the holes should be smaller than the sieve’s!

Step 6: Bring milk to a boil, then cook at low heat

Pour milk into large cooking pot. We are using a pan here because we don’t have stock pots and because we were cooking it in small batches.

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Bring soya milk to a gentle boil while stirring constantly to avoid burning the milk, then immediately turn to low heat to maintain the warmth. Add sugar to taste and a dash of salt to balance out the flavours, filter once more to remove any hidden sediment, and you’re done! Voila! Simple, isn’t it?

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If you’re thinking of having the savoury version, add salt to taste! Enjoy the fruits of your labour! :)

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Why not enjoy the soya milk with spongy-crispy Min Jiang Kueh stuffed full with sugary bits and peanuts…

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Or a plate of melt in the mouth Chwee Kueh topped with savoury-sweet Chai Poh and sambal chilli?

Stay tuned for these upcoming recipes on TummyTroll!

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Note: I really enjoyed using Lai Kuan’s recipe because her steps are so simple and there were so many useful tips she had written about. She humbly claims to be a beginner at making soya milk but her knowledge of the soya milk making process and skills indicates otherwise. Thank you Lai Kuan for teaching all of us how to make soya milk in our homes! :) For more of Lai Kuan’s recipes please visit http://food-4tots.com/

P.S. If you’re wondering what we did with the bean dregs…

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I made chocolate cookies replacing a portion of the plain flour with the dregs, and #chubkaichun made vegetarian ngoh hiang.

Edit on 18th February 2013:
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Don’t throw away the dregs just yet – Transform them into something edible and even delicious! :)

Posted by #phangchewfat

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