Description: Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Soy Milk with Youtiao.
Recipe courtesy of Andy Liang for Food Network Kitchen

Homemade Soy Milk with Youtiao

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings (about 7 cups)
Homemade soy milk paired with Chinese fried doughnut sticks (or crullers) is a popular Taiwanese breakfast combo. Our recipe walks you through making the creamy milk using dried yellow soybeans (which have a more neutral bean flavor than green soybeans). You can enjoy the soy milk hot or cold and sweet or savory, though hot is typically the choice for paring with crisp youtiao. Use your favorite frozen youtiao from an Asian food market or a restaurant that sells congee.



Special equipment:
cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (sold at natural food stores or online)
  1. Rinse the soybeans, put them in a medium bowl and pick through them to remove any dark-colored beans (which are spoiled). Add enough cold water to come 2 inches above the beans. Cover and soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours. Line a large mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and set it over a large Dutch oven (see Cook’s Note).
  2. Gently massage the beans to remove some of the skin. Repeat this step until most of the skins have come off. It is okay if some skins remain. Transfer the drained beans to a blender. Add 2 cups of cold water to just cover the beans. Blend on medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add 2 more cups of cold water and blend on low speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. (If your blender is not large enough to hold the entire contents, blend half the beans with 1 cup cold water and transfer to a bowl; repeat to blend the remaining beans and 1 cup water. Then blend this mixture again in 2 batches, each with another 1 cup of water, for a total of 4 cups water)
  3. Transfer half of the blended mixture to the lined sieve. Blend the remaining half with 2 more cups of cold water on low speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir the bean mixture in the sieve to let some liquid through and then gather the 4 corners of the cheesecloth or the top of the nut bag together in a bunch and twist to close. Gently press and squeeze on the cheesecloth or nut bag to extract the soy milk into the pot. Pour the remaining bean mixture into the cheesecloth or nut bag and repeat the same action to extract more soy milk. During straining, try not to squeeze too hard as the mixture can burst out of the top of the cheesecloth or nut bag and become messy quickly.
  5. Gently unwrap the cheesecloth or nut bag, break up the bean paste into smaller pieces, slowly pour another 4 cups of cold water over the bean paste and mix until combined. Wrap the cheesecloth or nut bag again and gently squeeze out as much soy milk as possible. Reserve the bean paste for another use (see Cook’s Note).
  6. Bring the soy milk to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching the bottom. Lower the heat to medium and let simmer, skimming the foam from the top as needed, until the soy milk has slightly reduced and doesn’t taste bitter, about 20 minutes. Skim foam occasionally as needed.
  7. For sweetened soy milk, stir in the sugar if using and 1/2 teaspoon salt. For savory soy milk, omit the sugar and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Enjoy the soy milk while it’s hot or let cool completely and then refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 8 hours and up to 5 days.
  8. When ready to serve, preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the frozen youtiaos on a baking sheet until crisp, about 5 minutes. If desired, heat the soy milk in a medium pot over medium-high heat until steaming, 4 to 5 minutes. Enjoy the soy milk cold or hot with the youtiao.

Cook’s Note

Both cheesecloth and a regular nut milk bag work well for straining blended soybeans but a cinch-top nut milk bag is even better because it holds the top closed and keeps the bean paste inside. After straining, you will be left with bean paste, which can be mixed into smoothies for extra protein.