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Okara Tofu Nuggets

If you make your own soy milk, use the leftover soybean pulp to make okara tofu nuggets. These are not only healthy, they can be made vegan and gluten-free too.
Ingredients for okara tofu nuggets: okara (soybean pulp from making soy milk), tofu, eggs, garlic, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules.

Ingredients for okara tofu nuggets: okara (soybean pulp from making soy milk), tofu, eggs, garlic, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules.

Okara is the leftover soybean pulp from making soy milk. While this “waste” is usually thrown away, it can be turned into various delicious food.

Today I have an easy recipe for okara tofu nuggets, so please give this recipe a try if you make your own soy milk at home. If I get an enthusiastic response from this recipe, I plan to share even more okara recipes in the future.

Okara nugget mixture by mixing together okara, crumbled tofu, eggs, grated garlic, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules.

Okara nugget mixture by mixing together okara, crumbled tofu, eggs, grated garlic, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules.

What do I need to make okara tofu nuggets?

We will need okara, firm/extra-firm tofu, eggs, garlic, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules.

Since the recipe is so basic, feel free to add your favorite ingredients such as thinly sliced scallions, grated carrots, and diced bell peppers.

Wet/fresh okara vs. dry okara

If you think about it, okara probably has more nutrition compared to soy milk, and it is such a waste to throw them away. Since it is very common for Japanese to incorporate okara in their dishes, you can even buy okara from market in Japan, so you don’t have to make soy milk to get a batch of okara.

To clarify, what we need for this recipe is wet/fresh okara, which is the soybean pulp we get from making soy milk. If you visit an Asian market, especially a Japanese one, you may have spotted okara powder/flour sold in a clear plastic packaging.

Although okara powder/flour is basically dry roasted wet/fresh okara, and then grind into a fine powder, please don’t substitute the okara in this recipe with the dry/flour version.

Deep-fried okara tofu nuggets.

Deep-fried okara tofu nuggets.

Can I substitute the eggs, all-purpose flour, and dashi stock granules?

This is a pretty flexible recipe to work with, so it is fine if you want to substitute some of the ingredients with what is stocked in your pantry.

Eggs vs. mayonnaise

I am using 2 eggs for this recipe. If you wish, or if you are running out of eggs, you can substitute with 12 cup of mayonnaise. Any mayonnaise is fine, even vegan mayo if you want to make some vegan-friendly nuggets. When I use mayonnaise to make these, my favorite is definitely Kewpie mayonnaise.

All-purpose flour vs. starches

All-purpose flour can be substituted with potato starch (katakuriko), cornstarch, or tapioca starch. You will need the same amount of starch as all-purpose flour. Using starch means your nuggets will be gluten-free.

dashi stock granules

I am using dashi stock granules to flavor the nuggets, but you can always substitute with other flavors too, such as the more common chicken, beef, or vegetable stock powder.

These deep-fried okara tofu nuggets are best piping hot, with your choice of dipping sauce. I suggest a mixture of tomato ketchup and mayo, sriracha, or homemade garlic and chili sweet sauce.

These deep-fried okara tofu nuggets are best piping hot, with your choice of dipping sauce. I suggest a mixture of tomato ketchup and mayo, sriracha, or homemade garlic and chili sweet sauce.

Prepare the okara nugget mixture

In a large mixing bowl, add okara, crumbled tofu, all-purpose flour, eggs, grated garlic, and dashi stock granules.

Use a spatula to slowly combine all the ingredients into an even mix.

Once the okara mixture is even, we can start heating some oil for deep-frying.

Shaping and frying the nuggets

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a wok/pot for deep-frying. Wait until the oil reaches 180 Celsius (360 Fahrenheit) before frying the nuggets. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop about 12 teaspoon of the okara mixture into the hot oil. If it surfaces immediately, the oil is ready.

Take about 3-4 tablespoons of okara mixture and shape into a patty. Don’t worry if the mixture feels like it barely holds together. Carefully drop the patty into hot oil and fry until golden brown.

Depends on how big your pot is, you can fry several patties at once, but be sure not to crowd the pot or the oil temperature may drop too much. I use an 8” pot and I can fry 4 patties at once with ease.

Set aside fried okara on a wire rack to remove excess oil. Continue shaping the mixture into patties and frying in hot oil until all the mixture is used up.

These deep-fried okara tofu nuggets are best piping hot, with your choice of dipping sauce. I suggest a mixture of tomato ketchup and mayo, sriracha, or homemade garlic and chili sweet sauce.

These deep-fried okara tofu nuggets are best piping hot, with your choice of dipping sauce. I suggest a mixture of tomato ketchup and mayo, sriracha, or homemade garlic and chili sweet sauce.

Serve the nuggets with your favorite sauce(s)

The best time to enjoy these nuggets is when they are still piping hot. They are great as is, though, with the right condiment, they can taste outstandingly delicious.

Whenever I serve these, I always prepare several sauces and let people simply choose or experiment with which one they like best.

I suggest using one or several of these sauces:

If you come up with a nice dipping sauce to go with these, do share with me in the comment. :)

Okara Tofu Nuggets

Okara Tofu Nuggets

Okara Tofu Nuggets

4.9 from 24 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Serves: 8

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 450 gram (1 pound) okara (soy bean pulp from making soy milk)
  • 1 block (450 gram/1 pound) firm tofu, crumbled into tiny bits
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese dashi stock granules, or use chicken/beef/vegetables stock
  • 2 eggs, or 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (Note 1)

Instructions

  1. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a wok/pot for deep frying. Once the oil reaches 180 Celsius (360 Fahrenheit), it is ready for deep frying tofu nuggets.
  2. Mix together all ingredients in a mixing bowl, take about 3-4 tablespoon of mixture and shape into patties, then carefully drop in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Repeat until all mixture is used up.
  3. These nuggets are delicious as is, but they are also great with some tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, and sriracha.

Notes

  • (1) For a gluten-free option, use the same amount of potato starch (katakuriko), cornstarch, or tapioca starch.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Stephanie@ApplesforCJ Stephanie@ApplesforCJ says:

    I've never tried okara but these nuggets sound like that would be really good. Especially with the garlic and mayo. Yum!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, and I simply made some easy mayo + sriracha dipping sauce. Couldn't stop eating. Luckily, they are healthy snacks I'm telling you, healthy!!

  • Denise Wright Denise Wright says:

    I never tried okara, but these look yummy! I am intrigued to try them!

    • Anita Anita says:

      You won't be sorry Denise. I get tons of okara since I love making my own soy milk, at least once a month.

  • Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes Lucy @ Supergoldenbakes says:

    What a great way to use up something most people throw away. These little bites look absolutely wonderful.

  • Ginny McMeans Ginny McMeans says:

    I LOVE this! It is using so many good ingredients but and it is wonderful how you are utilizing soy milk pulp. I have to sub the may but that is not problem with the vegan mayos that are out now. Thanks so much!

    • Anita Anita says:

      The mayo is there basically as binding ingredient. You can use other vegan options of course :)

  • cookilicious cookilicious says:

    You have some unique ingredients here that I would love to try. Interesting recipe!

  • Jasline (Foodie Baker) Jasline (Foodie Baker) says:

    I make my own soy milk so I'm always looking for ways to use up okara. This is one recipe I got to try!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Same here Jasline :) I hope you will like this recipe.

  • Jhereen Jhereen says:

    Interesting way to use okara after making soy milk. However, 4 tbsp dashi seems too much! Would you mean 4 tsp? I tried with 2 tbsp dashi with all other ingredients to the dot and still too salty; it taste good though. Thanks.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Oh no, I think you are right! I am updating the recipe so it now says 4 teaspoon instead of 4 tablespoon. Thanks for letting me know Jhereen.

  • Carol Molina Carol Molina says:

    I’m looking for recipes to use the okara I have after making soy milk. Could I just eliminate the granules? I don’t know what dashi is and I don’t want to use chicken.

    • Anita Anita says:

      You can substitute the dashi granules with other seasonings. The easiest would be to use 1 tablespoon chicken stock. You can also use beef stock, mushroom stock, or vegetable stock, depending on what you have and prefer.

  • Sharon Sharon says:

    Can these be baked instead of fried? If anyone has tried baking, would love to hear what temperature and bake time worked for them.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Sharon, since these nuggets don't have a breadcrumb coatings, I am not sure they can be baked. I'm sure they can be pan-fried with shallow oil. If you can make a simple breadcrumb coating to coat the nuggets, you should be able to bake them with 400 F for about 15 minutes. My korokke recipe should be the closest guide to bake these nuggets in the oven.

  • Jen Jen says:

    I love that this recipe is so creative and helps to use something we usually just toss. This sounds delicious!

  • Katherine Katherine says:

    I haven't heard of okara - so thanks for introducing me to it! I love these nuggets.

  • Diana Reis Diana Reis says:

    These are so good. A really nice change to the weekly menu and kid friendly.

  • Elaine Elaine says:

    Thank you for telling us more about what okara is. I don't remember making it at home, so really excited to try your recipe out now!

  • Ed Ed says:

    For the firm tofu do you blend it into the Okara mix or do you wrap the Okara mix around the tofu? Will you make a video of how you make these nuggets?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Ed, I crumbled the firm tofu into small bits and mix with the rest of the ingredients. I'm sorry if the recipe is not clear. As for the video, I don't have a plan to make any for now, but I'll keep it in mind. :)

  • Andrew T Dysangco Andrew T Dysangco says:

    Does the okara need to be dried or can you use the okara right after you make soymilk? I squeeze out my milk with cheese cloth. Thanks!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yes, they can be used straightaway right after making soymilk.

  • Kay Reddy Kay Reddy says:

    Awesome recipe!! And so healthy!! I was always scared that it may fall apart and use Vital wheat gluten and I make meatballs adding chopped onion and green and red peppers delicious in a pasta sauce with spaghetti!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Kay. I must follow your example and make some okara meatballs for spaghetti. That sounds really delicious. :)

  • Vicky Vicky says:

    Can u do without tofu? Or use alternative ingredient ?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Vicky, I haven't tried experimenting, but my guess is you should be able to substitute the tofu with equal amount of mashed potatoes. That is, boil peeled potatoes until soft enough to mash. The step-by-step should remain the same even with mashed potatoes. :)

  • Jeannette Jeannette says:

    What a DELICIOUS way to enjoy okara! I can't wait to try these out as a vegan alternative!

  • Erika Erika says:

    What a fun recipe! I've never had okara, but it looks great.

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    This is such a great idea! I've never had Okara before but I have a feeling I would really like it. Especially with all the other yummy flavors you include. Yum!

  • Alice Alice says:

    Never had okara, but looking at how crispy these nuggets are, I should definitely give it a try!

  • Suzy Suzy says:

    I love flavoring tofu and cooking it up, it’s so good! The garlic with this and frying it up is so easy!

  • Chris Brown Chris Brown says:

    I loved using this as a good base recipe. I omitted the Dashi and added dried (soaked), diced shiitake mushrooms, garlic chives and yacai (preserved leaf veg). After shaping I steamed half of them and fried the others. Served them black bean sauce, spiced soy and chilli mayo. Turned out awesome.

  • Nart | Cooking with Nart Nart | Cooking with Nart says:

    I love to fu so I will definitely have to try this one!

  • Michael Michael says:

    It looks delicious. Follow your recipe but can I bake instead of frying? If so, how the temperature is appropriate? Thanks you!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Michael, this okara batter is a bit too wet and barely hold its shape together. I think as is, the batter is not suitable for baking. It may work if we switch the tofu with all-purpose flour to make the batter stiffer, but I haven't tried it and I don't know how much all-purpose flour is needed.

      If you do end up experimenting and succeed in making the batter stiff enough to shape into nuggets/meatballs, you should be able to bake them in an oven. For meatballs of about 1 1/2 tablespoon mixture per meatball, I will try 350 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes with the meatballs in a baking tray covered with aluminum foil.

  • Roses Roses says:

    This is the first time I try to make Okara Tofu Nuggets. It's so delicious. Your recipe is great. Thanks you!

  • Dianshan Ee Dianshan Ee says:

    Can these be freezed? Before or after frying?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Dianshan, please freeze after frying.

  • Puchea Puchea says:

    Amazing way to use the okara. I changed the seasoning to garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper and shaped them into chicken burger. I didn't fry them but pan fried them. Delicious!

  • Will Will says:

    A delicious food. Amazing.

  • Bec Bec says:

    I had okara to use and these were so delicious!!! I coated them in breadcrumbs and shallow fried, although I also tried a few in the airfryer which was slightly firmer but overall good. My only question is what size tofu block did you use? I had a 500g block but it looked like a lot so I didn't use quite all of it (although I was also short 75g of okara)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Bec, the block of tofu I use weigh 1 lb (450 gram).

  • Parsimonia Parsimonia says:

    Delicious. I looking for a recipe as this. Thank you for the tips!

  • Brendon Brendon says:

    I tasted it. It's delicious!!!Thank you for sharing!

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