Thursday, June 20, 2013

Magical okara loaf

My initial success with home made tofu had me keen to continue making the odd batch on an occasional basis. I'm not sure why it took seven months to dig out the bag of soy beans from the pantry but I've been back in the swing of tofu making lately and have produced a couple of delicious batches this month.

After making tofu or soy milk you are left with a large quantity of okara (soy bean pulp) which can be used in burgers, loaves, cakes, biscuits and as a thickener in stews. I've also come across some other interesting recipes I would like to attempt one day like okara gnocchi and a Japanese stir-fry called Unohana. I was in the mood to try out a veggie loaf and turned to the Magical Loaf Studio on the Vegan Lunch Box blog for a bit of fun.

I've checked out the Magical Loaf Studio previously and loved the concept yet I hadn't put it to test before. The criteria for generating a loaf recipe is to select a protein, carbohydrate, nuts or seeds, liquid, binder, seasonings, oil and as many vegetables and herbs as you desire. The beauty of it is that your loaf can be tailored to suit any leftover cooked grains you have on hand, vegetables that need using up and items you have in the pantry.

The ingredients listed in each section of the tool are limited so I made a few substitutions where I saw fit. Okara wasn't listed as a protein so I selected soy beans to get an idea of the quantity required. After looking over my generated recipe I changed it up a little by using chickpea flour as my binder (which wasn't an option in the tool), a larger quantity of nutritional yeast and also added in some smoked paprika.

The loaf took around 15 minutes to construct and while it was baking there was plenty of time to organise other vegetable side dishes and gravy. It browned nicely on top and even though I rebelled against the instructions to allow some cooling time before slicing it up, it had a firm enough texture which held together wonderfully. I had also lined my dish with baking paper to ensure it would lift out easily. We were all impressed with the taste of the loaf so I can see myself using future batches of okara this way again.

Magical okara loaf (Adapted from the Magical Loaf Studio on Vegan Lunch Box)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots (200g), peeled and grated
2 cups wet okara
1 cup cooked rice
½ cup almond meal
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons vegan worcestershire sauce
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 20 x 20 cm square baking dish with baking paper or spray with olive oil spray.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic and carrot over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until softened. Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl along with the contents of the frying pan and stir together thoroughly.

Press the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is firm and browned on top. Turn the loaf out onto a chopping board, remove the baking paper (if used) and slice. Serve with gravy and other vegetables.


  1. goodness when we made tofu back in my student house days we had to look up the book of tofu for ideas about what to do with okara - I imagine the internet has lots of good ideas - and I think your loaf is a great contribution to these ideas - sounds delicious

    1. Thanks Johanna. I'm sure there are a heaps more okara recipes around these days thanks to blogs. Although this loaf wasn't the most creative idea going around it was what I felt like making at the time and I was pleased with how it turned out.

  2. I love making an okara loaf! They stay amazingly moist hey :-)
    I'm def going to give this one a try in place of my regular loaf i make sometime :-) Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Sandy. Oh yes, the loaf was really nice and moist inside but still held together well which was great. Hope you enjoy this if you give it a try. I'll have to check out your blog for more okara inspiration too!

  3. oooo, homemade tofu - that's like 10th dan black belt vegan or something! I'm impressed! What does okara taste like? It looks kind of like a tofu scramble. Is it the same kind of texture?

    1. Thanks Joey. Homemade tofu isn't quite 10th dan black belt vegan (loved and laughed at this BTW), the process takes a while but it isn't too tricky really. Hey if you are making vegan cheeses there's no reason why you can't have a go at making tofu.

  4. I love the idea of customising a loaf based on what you feel like and have to hand. And I am still impressed with you making tofu :-)

    1. Thanks Kari. The Magical Loaf Studio is a great concept, you should give it a try someday. The only downside of making tofu is that it's gone in a flash which isn't impressive after the work involved.