Okara Soy Burger

It never ceases to amaze me how few okara recipes there are available. That was a bit of an overstatement, but I mean I always just see things like “oh, I throw it in muffins” rather than concrete recipes. There are a few good recipes out there, like Fat Free Vegan’s “Crab” Cakes and the repository at Ellen’s Kitchen, but in general the pickings are slim.

So here’s a dead simple recipe with tasty results, a thick burger made from okara. I really want to get some more okara recipes out there since it’s such a nutritious thing to waste (for those who make their own soy milk, you can probably relate with the guilt felt when throwing yet another batch in the bin). If you have any suggestions, please, by all means share them!

Recipe Notes

These okara burgers are more like the beefier of the frozen veggie dealios you pick up at your supermarket. No vegetables here, I’m afraid (but technically wine contains fruit, so it totally counts as healthy). Experiment with the spices all you want, but I recommend sticking with the yeast extract because it really imparts a beefy flavour. Finally, for a less firm burger try using a little more liquid in the mix.

Steamed Okara Soy Burger

Makes two large burgers
  • Directions/Method
    1. In a coffee or spice mill or food processor, grind the the TVP with the spices to a fine powder. Mix thoroughly in a large bowl with all of the other ingredients except the vital wheat gluten.
    2. Incorporate the gluten flour into the mix, kneading for about two minutes. The dough will be fairly stiff, but still workable.
    3. Divide the dough into two parts, forming each into a ball. Press each one between the palms of your hands to form a rough burger shape and place each one on greaseproof or wax paper in a steamer basket.
    4. Steam the soy burgers for 30 minutes and then proceed to use as you would any other burger (e.g. grill with vegan cheese on top).


Any references to teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, or any fraction thereof, are based on American measurements.

* Any links to amazon.com or amazon.co.uk are affiliate links which will earn me a small commission should you make a purchase. This does not affect the price you pay for the item.


  • http://vegandietguy.com TokyoVegan

    Recently, I made the Enlightened A-Maize-ing Okara Burger recipe from Enlightened TV and had them with salsa. Here's the photo of our attempt.
    http://tweetphoto.com/30506187
    They were delicious (as were FatFreeVegan's Thai Soy burgers). Your burgers looks nice and firm, and I can't wait to try them out.

  • Deleoncosm

    How or is it even possible? could this recipe be converted into gluten/casein free?  So no wheat gluten or TVP and the yeast extract? I’ve never heard of what is this… I know of nutritional yeast and instant yeast for making my breads… thank you as I am just begining to learn about okara etc… hopefully I might one day get to contribute to the recipes :)

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    Yeast extract, like marmite or natex, is a spreadable paste that’s a by-product of beer making. It sounds completely gross I know, but it’s very popular (predominantly on toast) in lots of countries. It’s not as common in the US, but it can be found at places like Whole Foods. I think British marmite is GF. I’d highly recommend checking it out; it really adds a bold rich flavour to gravies and mock meat style products.

    For TVP have you tried Bob’s Red Mill brand? I’m pretty sure it’s gluten free. The gluten flour is what binds this, so maybe if you added breadcrumbs and a starch (like potato or corn flour even) you could get this to work. It wouldn’t be as firm, but probably would still taste okay…

  • http://twitter.com/tokyovegan William Santoro

    I finally made these with your original recipe yesterday. Except one thing, I used vegetable broth instead of wine. I had 2 cups of okara, so I ended up quadrupling the recipe, too. Maybe my okara was too wet, but they required almost twice as much gluten flour to become stiff. In the end-using 3 steaming apparati at once–I produced 10 large patties! We fried 2 of them in a little oil and ate them with mustard. The spices/yeasty (I used Marmite) taste and consistency made them really tasty. Although I had not planned to make so many at once, it’s nice to have them in the freezer for last-minute meal plans!
    Thanks again,
    William

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    I really need to find a way to make okara recipes that come out across the board for everyone! It’s so tricky because I’ve no idea how much liquid any batch might still contain. Do you make your own or do you buy it?

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    PS thanks for trying it out and reporting back with your results!

  • http://twitter.com/tokyovegan William Santoro

    We are producing our own as a bi-product of making soy milk at home. However, for consistency, I use dried okara in recipes that I develop for businesses. Can you suggest anything else for replacing the wine in this recipe?

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    I think I might need to start writing my recipes based on dried okara too, like you said, for consistency.

    To replace the wine, try a rich veg broth with a splash of red wine vinegar in.

  • http://www.marketmentat.com GT

    When The Lovely and I made our own tofu (back in 2009 – it’s a travesty we stopped doing so), we made burgers like these from the okara… slap some fried onions, barbeque sauce (or peri-peri soy mayo), sliced tomato and lettuce on those bad boys and my hyper-carnivore brother would not know the difference.

    Know what else is THE BOMB when made from okara? Sausage rolls. Mix some of this burger-style mixture up, roll into a sausage, roll into a sheet of puff pastry, bake… proper Aussie food, mate.

    I had planned to try to find some (veggie) sausage skins and try to make actual sausages, but never did.

    As OP says, okara is a WAY underutilised product (not by-product) of tofu production. Internet commenters say this all the time, but I totally mean it when I say I’m going to convert some of our dried soybeans to tofu tomorrow (it’s 8pm as I write here in Oz).

    PS this site is better than magnets (a 4chan/”breaking bad” joint reference – sorry). I’ve already found at least five or six recipes that will go straight into our rotation: the Thai inspirations are brilliant, and will add further ammunition to enable me to refute – with menaces if need be – any carnage-vore who claims that veggie food is ‘boring’.

    PPS… I think I invented ‘carnage-vore’ (and ‘carnage footprint’ – the thing we should all try to minimise).

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    PPPS this comment totally made my day. And I’m totally making the sausage rolls, perhaps for my MiL’s annual Xmas eve party (where I trick people into eating vegan food every year and they act shocked as if I would bring anything else).

    PPPPS You are better than magnets.

    PPPPPS Breaking Bad is the best TV show ever.

  • Iris

    Hi!
    I’ve been looking for okara recipes and yours look the best :)
    I have a problem though, I’m from Portugal and we don’t really use things
    like TVP, nutritional yeast, yeast extract and vital wheat gluten
    (seitan?). I know this is like half of the ingredients but do you think it
    would work with other ingredients? I eat eggs and cheese and I’m not 100% vegetarian.
    Thanks for your help!

  • http://www.messyvegetariancook.com Kip

    Hi Iris,

    For this recipe all of those ingredients provide a structure that cannot be achieved otherwise. Maybe you could find a store on the internet that sells these products and ships to Portugal…