Ever wondered what to do with the soybean pulp (okara)? Check out this easy recipe!
Ever since I shared my tofu skins (yuba) and homemade soymilk recipes, many of you have asked what you can do with the pulp. So instead of composting them after you puree the soybeans, let’s make a simple dish out of it!
What is soybean pulp (okara)
Soybean pulp or soy pulp (okara) is the leftover ‘paste’ from the soybean puree. Similar to when you use any nut milk, the pulp is often turned into meal or ‘flour’. Soybean pulp works the same way.
While many may use them in smoothies or composting the pulp, I like to turn it into a dish, a savory dish to be exact. Soybean pulp is high in protein and has a mild flavor which makes a great addition to a meal without changing the texture so much.
How to make soybean pulp (okara) patty
Prepare the filling ingredients. Finely dice the carrot, and chop the green onions. In a large bowl, combine the pulp, vegetables, flour, and seasoning together. Mix to combine.
Gradually add the water to create a wet paste (check the picture below or watch the video).
Then, add the nori strips and mix well. Divide into 8 or 10 equal portions, depending on the number of patties you would like to make.
Shape the patties. Gently press each portion of pulp mix into a disk, about 4-inches wide and 1cm thick. Tip: Moist your palm so it’ll be easier to shape the patties.
Cook the patties. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook in batches if needed, add the patty into the pan, slightly apart. Gently flatten each top with the back of your palm. It’s easier to flatten the patty once they are in the pan without breaking apart.
Cover the pan with a lid and turn down the heat but maintain a gentle sizzle. Pan-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Uncover, slide a spatula under the patty, and flip. If it appears to be undercooked or not brown, cook for another minute or so.
Once you flip to another side, repeat the same cooking method. Note: Keep an eye on the heat as these patties will burn easily. Adjust the heat if it’s too warm and always take a peek to check the doneness before flipping.
Note: Be sure the inside is fully cooked through. For more golden brown layers, pan-fry each side further for another minute or so, uncovered.
While waiting, make the simple sweet Thai chile sauce. When the patties are ready, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and serve warm or room temperature with the prepared sauce.
A few key takeaways
- Keep your soybean pulp as fresh as possible or use it immediately in this recipe right after you make your soymilk or tofu skin. To increase the binding, I like to chop the vegetables into tiny pieces.
- When adding the nori strips, try to spread it out so they don’t clump together.
- Keep a bowl of water near you when mixing the soybean pulp. Depending on how dry your soybean pulp is, you may need to increase the water ratio. The goal is to mix into a slightly wet paste that you can easily form into shape without much residue sticking to your palm.
- Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan during cooking. Cover the pan with a lid to use the steam to cook the patty.
- Use medium-low heat to cook the patties and keep an eye on the heat as the patty will burn easily.
- Can I use other vegetables? Yes, for sure! Options include edamame, cabbage, onion or mashed potatoes. One important note as mentioned above is to make sure to cut these into smaller pieces.
- My patties look undercook, what did I do wrong? Use medium to low heat throughout the cooking process. Cover the pan with lid and use the steam to ‘cook’ the patties.
- Can these be air-fried or baked? Yes, but I would make them thinner and smaller so the patty will be fully cooked through. Whether you choose to bake or air fry, I would oil both sides of the patties and bake (350F) or air fry (325F) until golden brown. Similar to pan fry, keep an eye on the heat as they can easily burnt.
This soybean pulp (okara) patty is
- A perfect no waste dish
- Easily customizable
- Delicious snack or meal by itself
- Works great for meal prep
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Soybean pulp (okara) patty
- 1 lb (~453g) soybean pulp
- 1 small carrot finely diced
- 2 stalks green onion finely chopped
- ¾ cup (94g) all-purpose flour or use gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 nori sheet cut into strips
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon mushrooms seasoning
- dash of pepper
- ½ cup of water plus more if needed
- cooking oil
- toasted sesame seeds as garnish
- Sweet Thai chile sauce
- a handful of chopped cilantro
- a squeeze of lime juice
- Make the patties. Combine the soybean pulp, carrot, chopped green onion, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and the seasoning in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your hand until well combined.
- Gradually add the water to create a slightly wet paste. Then, add nori strips and mix until incorporated. Divide into 8 to 10 equal portions.
- Shape the patties. Gently press each portion into a disk, about 4-inch wide and 1-cm thick.
- Cook the patties. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook in batches if needed, gently slide the patties into the pan, slightly apart. Flatten each patty slightly with the back of your palm.
- Cover the pan with a lid and turn down the heat but maintain a light sizzle. Pan-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Uncover, slide a spatula under the patty, and flip. If the patty is undercooked, cook for another minute. Once flipped, cover and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Tip: For a more golden brown outer layer, pan-fry each side for another minute or so, uncovered.
- While the patties are cooking, make the sauce. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of sweet Thai chile sauce, chopped cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl until well combined.
- When the patties are ready, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, and serve warm or at room temperature with the prepared sauce.
- Please check the section above for more cooking tips under ‘a few key takeaways’
I love these onion patties and always wanted to make them. So glad to find a new recipe for okara outside of cookies too. These were so good! This will probably become a staple in our apartment now.
Thank you for this recipe — and mentioning mushroom seasoning which I had not heard of. I googled it and I can make some myself because I have dried shitake mushrooms. I can also soak some mushrooms and chop them fine, include them and use the soaking liquid instead of water. I have a soy milk maker and there is always the challenge of not wasting the okara. So far I have made stir-fried okara, okara halva [Indian], whole wheat bread, bran muffins. I also made my dogs some peanut butter dog biscuits that used some.
I tried this with the okara leftover from extracting the milk from pumpkin seeds (which, tbh, I’m not sure if it would still be called ‘okara’, but let’s just go with it lol). I used chicken bouillon, and was out of green onions- I was a little worried it would be bland and unpleasant to eat- but it was really good! For being made from remnants, it was everything I enjoy about similar bean-patty things, like falafel. This made the whole process of milk and tofu-making feel really worthwhile and complete. Thanks!
Thank you for the recipe. I have tried incorporating okara in so many savory dishes but this one was the best!
It does need loads and loads of oil though. But it’s yummy!
So delicious. I subbed jalapeño for nori, and that gave it a little kick. I grated the carrot, and added as egg as I was a little worried about it sticking together. Forgot about the mushroom seasoning, but will try that next time. My new favorite okara recipe- thanks!
Oh my goodness, these were delicious and so easy! I had everything on hand except for the mushroom seasoning, so put a small spoonful of fermented fungus sauce. Also didn’t have the Thai chile sauce, but they were so tasty I didn’t miss it. Will make tofu and soy milk again just to have the okara to make these! Thanks so much! 🙏
Hi, this recipe sounds really delicious, and I’m looking forward to making it one day soon! I just had a question; does the soy pulp need to be raw or boiled? I’ve seen different recipes for soy milk and some say to strain before boiling while others say to strain after. Which would be the best method if I want to use the soy pulp: raw or cooked?
These are outstandingly delicious and so quick/easy to make – I cannot believe I’ve been composting my okara for so long, these make that seem like a crime!!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe, they will be in my regular rotation ☺️
Hello. I love your recipes, but I live in Portugal and it’s hard to get some ingredients here. Can you tell me the ingredients of the mushroom seasoning ?
This was so good thank you! I made tofu for the first time and wanted to use the pulp. These are so yummy and definitely doesn’t taste like a left overs recipe. I used chickpea flour and they turned out great.
These were so good, my children loved them.
One quick question- what do you do with the soy bean skins? Do you just leave them in the pulp and cook them up? After feeding them to the family I had a panic that soy bean skins shouldn’t be eaten really. Any advice on this? Thank you.
Outstanding recipe! Easy to make, versatile to use vegetables already in the fridge and totally delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Thanks a lot, Juliana. So happy to hear you loved this recipe.
I use this recipe to make spring roll fillings instead, with more more vegetables, so there’s less gritty texture. it works out wonderfully.
since this recipe is also pretty much a basic okonomiyaki recipe, I use whatever was left over form making spring rolls and added some pickle ginger and an egg to make okonomiyaki pancakes and froze it.
This is the first recipe using okara that actually tastes good! Thank you so much, you finally gave me a way to use the soy pulp that piles up in my fridge 🙂
Yay, Marina, I’m so glad this worked out great for you. It’s one of the best no waste recipe that I love too. 🙂
Used this recipe and the baking guide left by Silver above because I was thinking sesame oil too and they came out great! I’ve tried to make okara patties before but hadn’t used a binder like flour/corn starch and they’re sooo much better like this!
These were very delicious and easy to make! Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Thank you!
I absolutely love it! The only twist I made was using the chicken salt, instead of plain salt. Super yummy! Thanks for the recipe!
This was delicious, i put too much water in and almost messed up the recipe. Cooked in the air fryer and brushed with avocado oil and cooked a bit longer. They firmed up and were crispy on the outside and moist and perfect on the inside. Awesome recipe and how i’ll use my fresh okara from now on. Thanks again peace
We made these today. My spouse loved them and commented so several times <3 Thank you!
This recipe is amazing! I had no experience before or even knew what okara was, but this was great tasting food. We LOVED IT!!. 5 stars for sure⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Can you freeze these?
I don’t have mushroom seasoning unfortunately, does anyone have any ideas for substitute? Thank you!
Hello Wan, you can use vegetable bouillon or Yondu (a leek seasoning). Let me know if you need anything else.
I made this recipe after making you’re soy milk recipe and it was delicious! Loved the taste of these patties, so crispy and flavourful. I slightly brushed the patties with some toasted sesame oil and baked them at 425 for 12 minutes on each side. I will be adding grated sweet potato and zucchini next time, thanks for sharing this recipe! 🙂
Yay! soo awesome. I love your baked version. Good idea on the sweet potato and zucchini too. I’ll miss my zucchini when the weather gets colder. 🙂
I just made his recipe using almond pulp! It was dynamite! 💥
I love these and I’ve made them several times now. I can never seem to make them thin enough to completely cook on the stove, so I finish them off in the air fryer until they’re completely cooked through. It might as well be intentional at this point though because it gives them some extra crispy deliciousness.
These are delicious! I just made them and I will definitely be making them again. I’m always looking for recipes to use up my okara. Thank you!