Thursday, April 24, 2008

Surprising Soya - Uncommon yet delicious Soya Recipes

Soybeans can be broadly classified as "vegetable" (garden) or field (oil) types. Vegetable types cook more easily, have a mild nutty flavor, better texture, are larger in size, higher in protein, and lower in oil than field types. Tofu and soymilk producers prefer the higher protein cultivars bred from vegetable soybeans originally brought to the United States in the late 1930s. The "garden" cultivars are generally not suitable for mechanical combine harvesting because they have a tendency for the pods to shatter on reaching maturity.

Among the legumes, the soybean, also classed as an oilseed, is pre-eminent for its high (38–45%) protein content as well as its high (20%) oil content.

Immature soybeans may be boiled whole in their green pod and served with salt, under the Japanese name edamame (枝豆,) Soybeans prepared this way are a popular local snack in Hawaii, and are becoming increasingly popular in the continental United States. Because of the proclaimed health benefits of soy, edamame has been featured as an ideal snack alternative in fitness and healthy living magazines such as Real Simple. Edamame is sold in the frozen vegetable section at some larger grocery stores, and as ready-to-eat snackfood in many Asian delis.

In China, Japan, and Korea the bean and products made from the bean are a popular part of the diet. The Chinese invented tofu (豆腐), and also made use of several varieties of soybean paste as seasonings. Japanese foods made from soya include: miso (味噌), natto (納豆), and edamame (枝豆). In Korean cuisine, soybean sprouts, called kongnamul (hangul:콩나물) are also used in a variety of dishes such as doenjang, cheonggukjang and ganjang.

Although Soya is more commonly used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes, I have listed some surprising dishes from other nations such as Indian, Greek, Malay and others. Hope you enjoy this uncommon yet yummy recipes!

Tofu Seekh Kababs


1 lb pack of Tofu Ground (the regular grocery store variety)
10 Serano Peppers (or 5 hot green chillies)
1 large Onion another for garnish
3-4 cloves Garlic (medium sized)
All purpose flour
Salt to taste
Garam Masala powder
2 Tsp Oil
1 bay leaf
1 red chilli for tempering
1/4 cup of water
Coriander leaves for recipe and garnish


Grind Onion,Garlic,Ginger and Coriander leaves to fine paste.
heat oil add red chilli to the oil ,add a bay leaf,add paste immediately add salt and garam masala powder.

Saute for 2-3 mins till oil and paste are separated from the edge of the pan.

Mix flour and water to a pouring consistency.

Add above paste to tofu mixture in pan.

Leave it on medium heat for about 3-4 mins.( The mixture should not be dry totally)

Put the mixture on Skewers (wrap around each skewer)

Grill over Charcoal /in the oven and YUM!!!!......

Serve with lemon and onion slices.

Green Tofu Soup


Kale or Spinach - 1 cup
Pinto Beans (soaked or canned) -- 1/2cup (if pinto beans is not available use rajma or white channa)
Onion - 1 cup (cut into pieces)
Tofu - 1 packet (extra firm)
Garlic - 1 clove
Ginger - 1 tsp.
Green Chilli or Jalepeno - 2
Oil & Cumin seeds for seasoning.
Salt to taste


Cut extra tofu into medium cubical piece.

Heat oil in a pan & season cumin seeds. Add onion, garlic & ginger & saute for a while. When onion becomes transparent add kale, chilly & pinto beans to it & saute for a while. Let it cool for a while.

Grind them till it becomes a semi smooth paste. Pour the paste into the pan & add water to it.

Now add the tofu pieces & allows it to boil. Removes it from the heat when the soup starts to thicken.

Serve hot.

Tofu Treat


Extra Firm Tofu - 1 pack
Gram Flour (Besan) - 150 gms
Garlic - 3 cloves
Chilli Powder - To taste
ChatMasala - To taste
Oil - For Frying


Cut extra firm tofu into squares.

Crush garlic and mix with tofu then add salt and chilly powder. Let it marinate for half an hour.

Make batter of gram flour(besan) with water and add salt and chilly powder(like batter for pakora). Dip tofu pieces in it deep fry in oil. Sprinkle some chat masala on it.

Serve hot with Green Chutney or Tomato Ketchup.



Hard Tofu 225 gms. small cubed,
Basmati Rice 1 cup (cooked earlier)
Onion medium 1 chopped small
Tomatoes medium 2 chopped small
Garam Masala 1 tea. spoon
Salt to taste
Garlic 3 podes crushed
Ginger 1 inch piece crushed
Green Chillies 1 crushed
Whole Cloves 4
Cinnamon Stick 1 inch
Black Pepper corn 5/6
Bay leaves 1/2
Cumin seeds tea spoon
Turmeric powder optional
Ghee/Butter 2 tbl. spoon


In frying pan heat ghee/butter. Add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, black pepper and cumin seeds until done.

Then add onion and saute until golden brown. Add tomatoes and saute until gee comes out. Add garam masala, garlic, ginger, chillies and bhunao for 2/3 minutes. Add tofu cubes and bhunao for 4/5 minutes, stir continuously. Add cooked rice and mix well.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve with Onion-Tomatoes Raita or plain Yogert.

Claypot Soya Bean Paneer


3 soft Beancurds, cut into six rectangular pieces each.
2 cloves Garlic,minced
1/2 cup boneless Chicken
Half Carrot (shredded)
2 young Corn(sliced thinl)
2-3 stalks Spring Onions (cut into 2cm lengths)
1 Red Chilli (sliced thinly)

Sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
a few drops Sesame Oil
1 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tbsp sweet Plum Sauce (optional)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp thick Soya Sauce

1 tsp Cornflour mix with 2 tbsp water
Oil for deep frying


Heat a wok or kadhai, leave it for a few minutes until it's hot, add in enough oil to fry the bean curd. Put the bean curd once the oil is hot.Fry in low fire. Once the beancurd is slightly brown in all side, dish out.

Combine the sauce ingredients except the cornflour mixture together and stir well.

In a claypot , heat 2 tbsp of oil and saute the minced garlic, once the the smell arise, add in chicken pieces and stir, add in carrot, young corn and the sauce. Stir well.

Leave it to simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Add in salt, sugar and the cornflour mixture finally. You can pour the sauce over the beancurd or mix the beancurd into the sauce. Close the lid.

Garnish with spring onions and sliced chilli before serving.

This dish is best eaten when it is still hot.

Cream pie with tofu

100 g cookie crumbs (for example Graham crackers)
60 g white sugar (for the crust)
4 tablespoon vegan margarine
450 g tofu
175 ml water
150 g rice flour
500 g white sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla flavour
salt to taste

Servings: 6

Recipe directions
To make the cream pie crust, mix the cookie crumbs, margarine and sugar in a bowl with a spoon. Transfer this mixture into a 20 cm pie pan and form the pie crust.

To make the cream pie filling, blend the tofu in a food processor until smooth. Add the water and rice flour in a saucepan ad cook on medium heat until boiling while stirring continuously. Continue to boil on low heat for 1 minute. Add this mixture to the tofu and blend again. Add the remaining sugar, lemon juice, vanilla flavour and blend again until smooth. Add salt to taste. Put this cream filling on the pie crust.

Refrigerate the Cream Pie for 1 hour before serving.

Greek salad
Total servings: 4

4 Tbs wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp basil, dried
1 tsp tarragon, dried
1 tsp oregano, dried
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 cup green or black olives
2 Tbs olive oil
250 g firm tofu, cut in small cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, chopped

To make dressing combine first 6 ingredients and blend. Pour dressing over the tofu and refrigerate 1 hour.
In a small salad bowl combine the tofu and dressing with the other ingredients. Toss lightly.

Serve Greek salad chilled.

Tofu and carrot cake
Total servings: 5

200 g soft tofu
250 g wheat flour
200 g apple sauce
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 Tbs vanilla sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
250 g brown sugar
500 g carrots

Mix the soft tofu, wheat flour, apple sauce, sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla sugar and cinnamon to obtain a soft mixture.

Shred the carrots very fine a a food processor and add to mixture. Pour into pan and bake in oven for 50 minutes at 180°C (350°F).
Serve the Tofu and Carrot Cake when it's cooled down.

Tofu risotto

250 g soft tofu
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic glove, minced
250 g shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
2 cups rice
50 ml dry white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper

Servings: 4

Recipe directions
Add onion, garlic, olive oil in a pan and cook until golden. Add mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes.

In another pan add in rice, wine and vegetable stock and simmer until all water has been absorbed and rice is tender but still firm.

Add mushroom mixture, basil and pureed tofu. Mix well, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hawaiian stir-fried tempeh
Total servings: 5

500 g tempeh
1 large onion, chopped
1 can pineapple pieces
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 green or red pepper, cut in rings
1 large carrot, sliced
1 small cans of peas
1 small cauliflower, broken in small pieces
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs corn starch

Cut the tempeh in small cubes and fry in the oil until brown. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic and continue frying until the onion are soft.

Stir-fry the fresh vegetables. Add the drained peas and the pineapple juice. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the pineapple pieces, soy sauce and the starch dissolved in a bit of water. Bring to boil and heat a few seconds until tickened.

Serve the hawaiian stir-fried tempeh with rice.

Tempeh salad with peanut dressing
Total servings: 4

Mixed vegetable soup
250 g sliced tempeh
3 large potatoes
2 large onions
3 large carrots
2 Tbs oil
1 glove garlic
3 ribs of selery
1 small cabbage

Servings: 6

Recipe directions
Put peeled potatoes and sliced carrots into pan and add 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 min.

In another pan, cook the chopped onions and garlic until tender, then add the cabbage and celery and cook for 15 min. Mix the contents of the 2 pans together, add can tomatoes, 5 cups of water and the cubed tempeh and simmer for 25 min.

Bring to taste with salt, pepper, thyme. Serve the mixed vegetable soup hot.

6 Tbs Peanut butter
2 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice
100 ml water
1/4 tsp chilli powder
250 g tempeh, cut in 1 cm cubes
150 g carrots, cut in strips
1 green pepper, cut in small pieces
200 g soya sprouts
4 Tbs oil
4 lettuce leaves
1 small marrow, cut in strips

To make the dressing mix the first 5 ingredients.

Bake the tempeh in the oil until golden brown. Drain and let cool down.

Blanch the carrot, marrow , soya sprouts and green pepper in a bit of water for 3 min. Drain and cool down.

On a plate put the lettuce leave and put the tempeh and vegetables in the middle. Cover with the dressing.

Serve the tempeh salad with peanut dressing immediately.


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Me said...

There is another dish (or snack) from northern Nigeria. We call it awara - doubt you'll find anything about it online or in the cookery books.

It's basically tofu - which we season with a lot of chillis and onions before it sets and then cut and fry like normal tofu.

Eaten on it's own.

Lori said...

The tofu risotta sounds amazing. I just made a baked tofu with mole sauce two nights ago - the tofu was good, but the I'll keep trying. :)