2 Ways To Make Soy Milk At Home


Narinder Singh
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Making soy milk at home requires only two ingredients – soy beans and water. Super easy, right? The usual method of making soy milk requires soaking of the beans in plain water for at least 8 hours. The softened beans are then put into a blender along with fresh water and are pulverized. The resultant mix is strained through a cheese cloth to separate the milk from the pulp. That is it.

Related: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Soy Milk

There is a second method too, for the times when you need soy milk in a hurry or when you forget to soak the beans. And that is, to boil the raw beans to soften them. That sounds easy but is not the best way to make soy milk. Now let us read a bit more about these two methods.

The “Hull” Difference

In the usual method, when you soak and soften the beans, you get the chance to remove the skins (hull) from the beans before pulverizing them. It’s a chance alright but actually doing it is not easy. No matter how hard you try, you are not able to remove the skin from each and every bean.

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Still, because you remove the skins from most of the beans, the quality of the milk and the okara (by-product of soy milk) gets better. Though it is difficult to say how much of a difference this makes. When I think about the commercial producers of soy milk, I wonder whether they bother about removing the skins from the beans.

The Quality Of The Soy Milk

In the usual method, when you soak the beans for 8-12 hours, the beans become soft from the inside. When the softened beans are crushed in a blender and squeezed through a cheese cloth, you get thicker milk and less okara. That is a good thing.

If your reason to make soy milk was to ultimately make tofu, this soaking method will yield more quantity of tofu.

Why Boiling The Beans Method Is Inferior

When using the boiling method instead of soaking, the beans do not become as soft as you want them to be. And when the boiled beans are run through a blender, you either get a watery mix or a purée-like semi liquid. It is nearly impossible to squeeze this purée to extract milk. Therefore, boiled beans give you watery milk and more okara.

My Recommendation

Always soak soy beans for at least 8 hours, 12 hours is even better. Do not use the boiling method unless you have an emergency.

Making Soy Milk At Home

Soaking Method

  1. Take one cup of dry soybeans and wash them with plain water a few times.
  2. Soak the beans in 4 cups of water for 8-12 hours.
  3. Drain the water from the soaked beans and rub them together a few times. This will loosen and remove the skins. Separate as many skins as you can.

Boiling Method

  1. Take one cup of dry soybeans and wash them with plain water a few times.
  2. Transfer the washed beans to a pan, add four cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. You need to boil the beans for 3 minutes. Count the minutes after the water comes to a full boil.
  4. Take the pan down from the stove, but do not drain the hot water. Let the beans sit in the hot water for at least one hour.

Common Steps

  1. Drain the soaked or boiled beans and transfer to a blender and add fresh water.
  2. The amount of water needed to make soy milk is 5 times the quantity of dry beans that you used. For one cup of dry beans, use five cups of water.
  3. Now blend the beans but do not over-blend. You do not want to turn the beans in to a purée. It will be very difficult to squeeze the milk out of a purée.
  4. Once the beans are pulverized, transfer the slurry to a thick bottomed pan and boil it for 15 minutes. Keep stirring the slurry while boiling to prevent it from sticking it to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Once the slurry cools down, squeeze the milk out from the mix by using a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Your soy milk is ready.

Related: 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Making Soy Milk

You have Okara Too

The semi-dry pulp that is left in the cheese cloth is called okara. It is not only edible but also nutritious and can be used in other recipes.

You can use the soy milk as a drink by adding sugar or another flavoring. Or it can be used to make tofu.

Watch A Video

This video will make it easy for you to make soy milk at Home: How To Make Soy Milk At Home

Happy cooking.

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  1. Have you considered that the reason you aren’t getting great results with the boiling method is that you’re not boiling them long enough? I know that you probably went for that time to simulate the scenario where someone would turn to boiling for they couldn’t soak for a lack of time but soy beans are kinda infamous for needing to boiled for an even longer amount of time compared to other beans to get soft like a few hours, still less then soaking mind you but still they need time nonetheless

    • Hi Edith. Many thanks for your comment.

      My doubt about boiling soybeans longer was that I would end up cooking the beans, instead of just softening them up. Of course, we can experiment, but how would the milk extracted from cooked beans be? Soaked beans are still raw, and the milk extracted from them is like natural milk.

      I know soybeans are boiled for a long time when the idea is to make tempeh, but has it been tried for extracting milk? Please share your experience.

        • Boiling the pulp is necessary to make the milk and the okara fit for consumption. But, as I said, my doubt is, if the whole beans are boiled for longer than 3 minutes, we may not be able to extract any milk. I never tried it.


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