Soybean Milk

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
The traditional method for making soymilk is to soak the beans until soft, grind them, and either sieve out the solids and cook the milk (China) or cook the slurry and then sieve out the solids (Japan). The result is a watery fluid filled with soy proteins and microscopic droplets of soy oil. Either method results in a strong soy flavor. The modern method that minimizes enzyme action and soy flavor is to soak the dry beans (an hour at 150°F/65°C allows them to absorb their full weight in water without significant cell damage), and then either quickly cook them to 180–212°F/80–100°C before grinding, or grind them in that temperature range in a preheated grinder and preheated water.