1 cup dried soy bean, washed, rinsed well and soaked in cool water at least 3 hours until soft or over night. Then washed and drained again
4 -8 cups water, depending on thick or thin soy milk
A few panda leaves (frozen or fresh), optional
You will need a blender or a grinder to grind soy bean. In Vietnam, we can soak the bean and have it stone ground at a local store. Use a fine cloth (cotton or cotton blend with polyester) a clean, old pillowcase may be used, lining large strainer over a 5-6 quarts pot. You should put the pot in the sink or near the sink for easy cleaning up.
- Put soy bean to the blender in two batches with water amount of your choice ( 4 cups for rich , 6 cups for medium, and 8 cups for regular soy milk) Saving 1/2 to 1 cup water from this amount for later use in the grinding process. Grinding the bean as fine as you can for a few minutes. Pour ground soy mixture into the strainer. Use your hand, massage and squeeze out as much soy milk as possible. Rinse the blender with the remaining water. Then pour it into the dried ground bean mixture, try to squeeze out remaining soy milk one more time. You may want to return the dried ground soy back to the blender, add more water and grind one more time. Repeat the process like above. There is a method that cook the ground soy bean mixture before squeezing the soy milk out. I haven’t trying it yet, so do not know the different of milk quality.
- Transfer soy milk to a microwave proof bowl, add panda leaves if use,bring it to a boil in microwave about 6-7 minutes. Then pour it back to the pot, cover with a lid, simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. You may skip microwave step and cook the milk right on the stove. However, you have to stir constantly to prevent burning at the bottom and watch the milk close. The heat need to turn down immediately when the bubbles start to raise above the milk. If not you will have a mess to cleaning up .Flavor milk or sweeten it if you want to. Then remove from heat, remove panda leaves, let it cool down. Serve it warm, or cold. Freshly cooked soy milk will have more nutty flavor than refrigerated one. It can stay fresh in the fridge for three days.
With a few dollars a liter of soy milk, most of us do not need to make soy milk at home to save money. I haven’t made it for a long time. If you have a little bit of time and not too tired from work This will be sure giving you a great feeling of achievement. Soy milk is a popular drink around Asia. You can use it to make smoothie.
*Note: rick soy milk has a thick texture and better for making silken tofu.
In an old Vietnam cookbook, 1 cup of dried soybean can make more than 16 cups of soy milk so pick your battle thin it to your liking.