Sep 4

Hiya-yakko (Chilled Tofu) and Okara Crumble

in Uncategorized

I’m in two places at once today! Go see my Friday Favorites post over at Steamy Kitchen. Jaden, the author of Steamy Kitchen and soon to be released cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, is crazy enough to have recently taken me on as an intern!


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Ok, if you’ve gone through the process of making your own tofu, now you’ve got tofu and okara (the pulp leftover from making the soy milk). But what do you do with them? There are literally thousands of recipes out there that use tofu, but this is special tofu we’re talking about here. This is tofu you made with your own two hands! You can’t just throw that into some random recipe! One of the reasons that I love Japanese food is that it celebrates simplicity. As a busy mom this is an aesthetic that I can get behind! I personally think that some of the best tofu recipes are the simple ones, especially for homemade tofu. After going to the trouble to make it, I don’t want to go and disguise it under some heavy sauce, I want to highlight and enjoy its wonderful flavor and creamy texture.

One of my favorite ways to eat fresh homemade tofu is in a dish called Hiya-yakko, or chilled tofu. Hiya-yakko is easy to make. It is simply freshly made tofu, chilled and then served with condiments and a bit of soy sauce. As far as condiments go, it’s whatever sounds good to you. Some popular condiments are thinly sliced leeks/green onions, grated ginger, crushed/minced garlic, wasabi, and grated daikon. In the past week I’ve eaten hiya-yakko twice. The first time I used a firm tofu I made using nigari as the coagulant. I cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes, drizzled it with a bit of soy sauce, and then topped it with a bit of grated ginger, some shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice), and some thinly sliced green onion.
The second time I used a softer tofu I made using apple cider vinegar as the coagulant. I broke up the tofu into rough chunks, drizzled it with a bit of soy sauce and a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and then topped it with thinly sliced fresh basil from my garden.

Now what about that okara? As mentioned before, okara is the pulp left behind when soy milk is extracted from soybeans.
Okara is a light beige color and is crumbly (it kind of reminds me of coarse cornmeal). Okara is rich in dietary fiber, protein, and calcium and can be used in a variety of ways. One popular use is as a replacement for part of the flour in baking, yielding lighter baked goods. Fresh okara spoils quickly, so make sure to use it within 24 hours. My favorite way to use it is to make what I call Okara Crumble, a crumbly, nutty, and slightly sweet mixture that I like to sprinkle on all kinds of things like yogurt, fresh fruit, and ice cream.
It’s also wonderful if you add nuts and coconut, pour a bit of milk over it and eat it like granola. It smells AMAZING when it’s roasting, and when it’s cooling if you don’t watch out it will disappear because little munchkins will start grabbing handfuls of it and gobbling it down.
I make it, put it in glass jars, and keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

Okara Crumble
Makes 2 1/4 cups

3 cups okara
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
3. Spread out in an even layer in a large shallow pan (I use a shallow roasting pan) and roast, stirring occasionally, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until brown, crumbly, and fragrant.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

diva September 4, 2009 at 7:17 am

my cold tofu salad for lunch is looking very sad compared to this! wow :) congrats on the internship. Steamy Kitchen is amazing. i'm in awe. xx


Jen (jglee's food musings) September 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

What a great post! As a tofu lover, I am really enjoying your series this week. I'm almost tempted to go try to make some tofu so I can use the okara to make this "granola"


Juliana September 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

I love the cold tofu, specially in now days that is so hot…and the okara crumble is totally new to me…sounds yummie. Great pictures!


Kitchen Butterfly September 4, 2009 at 4:41 pm

This is a must-try from one who isnt hot on Tofu…yet. Amazing piccies too


K and S September 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm

usually make okara patties for dinner but this use as a dessert/snack is brilliant!


Sara @ Our Best Bites September 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm

How cool are you to get hooked up with Steamy Kitchen??! That's so awesome! You go girl.

As for Okara, I've never heard of it before in my life- I feel educated now! Cool post.


bigib September 5, 2009 at 7:20 am

Thank you for the Okara Crumble recipe. As I'm typing, it's roasting in the oven


Fuji Mama September 5, 2009 at 9:00 am

Thanks so much everyone!

K and S– Okara made into a dessert is AWESOME! The nuttiness is totally brought out and pairs SO well with sugar!

Sara @ Our Best Bites– Making tofu is worth it for the okara alone! And thanks, I'm pretty excited about the internship!

bigib– Yay! So glad to hear it! Can't wait to hear how it turns out!


mamakd September 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

I am so excited about the internship! Life was busy before but I am awe at your ability to juggle everything…YOU ROCK! I look forward to all your future posts! XOXO


Claire September 8, 2009 at 6:35 am

Mmmm, yum!


Louise | Brochure Printing September 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Oh how I miss eating tofu. It's pretty expensive around here so I can only afford it maybe twice a year. :(
The okara crumble is a great idea. But how long will be its shelf life, since you mentioned that okara is only good within 24 hours?


Fuji Mama September 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Louise– Sounds like you should try making some tofu! Raw okara is only good for about 24 hours. Once you baked it, it is much more stable. If you put the crumble into an airtight container (I use a glass mason jar) and keep it in the refrigerator, it will stay good for at least a week. Past that I'm not sure because ours gets eaten before that!


sky April 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

i tried to make tofu today but it was a bit of a disaster, the soy milk was not white but yellow n watery, like water with a little powdered milk in it, i think i may have over sieved the liquid, or beans were bad.
the okara though was fabulous, the house smells heavenly n its sooo delicious, it looks n tastes like cake crumbs,
any pointers on what could have gone wrong would like to try again. thanks


Fuji Mama (Rachael) April 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

@sky, Sky– My soymilk is never white either. Was the only problem with your tofu the soymilk, or did you have problems with finished product? Which coagulant did you use? I don’t think your soybeans were bad if your okara tasted ok.


Bahia May 2, 2012 at 5:02 am

I am really excited to make my first tofu from scratch using your recipe! For the okara, once you roast it how long will it keep? I love the idea of using everything and not having any waste.

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