Health benefits of Okara

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Okara Quick Facts
Name: Okara
Taste Neutral
Calories 93 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Copper (27.11%)
Selenium (23.45%)
Manganese (21.43%)
Iron (19.88%)
Tryptophan (13.86%)
Okara is the ground up fibrous part of bean. It consists of insoluble parts of soybean which is remained after pureed soybeans are filtered in producing soy milk and tofu. Generally it is white or yellowish in color. It is rich in nutrients which contain non-soluble and soluble fiber, calcium, protein and other minerals. Due to high content of fiber, it is more nutritious in comparison to tofu and soy milk. It is used in traditional cuisines of Korea, Japan and China. Okara is packed with calcium, potassium, niacin and calcium. Most of the soybean isoflavones remains in Okara as well as Vitamin B and fat soluble nutritional factors including linoleic acid, soy lecithin, phytosterols, linolenic acid, vitamin D and tocopherol. Some antinutritional factors are present in Okara such as saponins, trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin that could not be digested easily. Okara fermentation is supportive to digestion and nutrient absorption and also improves nutritional value. It wipes out beans odor, increase amount of edible fiber, fatty acids, sugars, free amino acids, vitamin B2, Vitamin B12 and flavoprotein. Okara is a dietary supplement for preventing diabetes, hyperlipidemia and obesity. It contains high content of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and is highly perishable so it should be used or cook and freeze it.

Open-faced okara and tuna salad sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 200 g can of tuna packed in water
  • 1/2 cup soft Okara
  • 4-5 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon style mustard
  • Few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of sweet paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. green onion (Finely chopped)
  • 6 slices of toast
  • Lettuce leaves

Directions:

Mix soft okara, mustard, drained and mashed up tuna, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and 1 tbso. of green onion till it becomes smooth. Place the leaves of lettuce on the toast, a pile tablespoon of tuna-okara mixture on top. Sprinkle each with remaining green onion and little paprika.

Unohana – Sauteed Okara with Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 150 g fresh okara
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 a medium onion
  • 50 g konyaku
  • 1/2 a small carrot
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. mirin
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. dashi powder
  • 300 ml of water used to soak dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Green shallots
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms for about 3 to 4 hours or place it in a bowl with water and microwave for 30 seconds.
  2. Chop mushrooms, carrot, onion, shallots and konyaku finely.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook onion till it becomes translucent.
  4. Add chopped vegetables besides shallots. Cook with the onion.
  5. Add Okara and cook till it becomes crumbly.
  6. Add water used to soak mushrooms and all soy sauce, sugar, etc.
  7. Keep stirring everything together over low heat until the liquid evaporates.
  8. Add shallots. Cook slightly and then turn off the heat.

Okara Salad

Ingredients:       

  • 100 g okara
  • 3 cm piece carrot
  • 8 cm piece cucumber
  • 2 tbsp. boiled corn
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Onion dressing
  • 2 slices ham
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

  1. Slice thinly cucumber, sprinkle salt on it and leave it for 5 minutes. Wash it with water. Drain well.
  2. Cut carrot into bite sized pieces and boil lightly.
  3. Cut ham into squares.
  4. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.

Okara Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (Minced)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-inch piece stick cinnamon
  • Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe tomato (Chopped)
  • 1 green chili pepper (Chopped)
  • Boiling water
  • Blanched and cooked Okara

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, heat oil and fry curry leaves, garlic, onion, chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, salt, turmeric and green chili pepper.
  2. Stir well by add the chopped tomato.
  3. Then add Okara and mix well.
  4. Stir in water. Let mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes. If needed add more water to obtain the desired consistency.
  5. Serve curry hot with rice, pasta, bread or any cooked grain.

Okara-Miso Soup

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup carrot (Sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon Japanese seven spice chili powder
  • 1 piece onion (Halved, chopped)
  • 1 cup Okara
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup Parsnips (Sliced into thin strips)
  • 3 cups soy milk or water

Directions:

  1. Set a pot in a medium heat. Pour sesame oil and allow it to heat up.
  2. Sauté onions then add carrots and parsnips. Cook it for two minutes.
  3. Pour in soy milk or water and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and make the vegetables simmer.
  5. Add Okara. Place in miso and dissolve completely in soup.
  6. Simmer it for about two or more minutes.
  7. Sprinkle it with Japanese seven-spice chili powder.

How to Eat         

  • When consumed on its own it is flavorless.
  • It could be used in porridges and stews such as Korean biji-jjigae.
  • It is added to baked goods such as cookies, breads and muffins.
  • It is used in unohana, a side dish in Japan which comprises of okara cooked with sliced carrots, mirin, soy sauce, shiitake mushrooms and burdock root.
  • It is used for making tempeh.
  • In Eastern China, Okara is consumed in Shandong cuisine by steaming wet mixture of Okara which have been formed into blocks.
  • It is also used as an ingredient in vegetarian burger patties.
  • It is used to provide body to croquettes, soups and casseroles.
  • Okara could be combined into bread, pasta sauce or soy burgers.
  • It is used as a substitute for eggs to provide moisture to baked products.

 References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okara_(food)

http://justhungry.com/2006/04/milking_the_soy.html

https://www.chopstickchronicles.com/unohana-sauteed-okara-vegetables/

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/87559129.2011.595023

https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/279961-okara-salad

http://www.ellenskitchen.com/clearlight/okara/okara.html

https://hubpages.com/health/Okara-Japanese-Food-for-Healthy-Diet-and-Weight-Loss

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