I was bored a few weeks ago so decided to do something drastic - make home made soy bean! I have fond memories of watching my late Grandmother make soy bean milk. The whirring of the blender, the white muslin cloth, the fragrance of cooking soybean and the joy of drinking thick and pure soybean milk is a strong childhood memory which I wanted to relive while learning a traditional art.
First I put approximately 500g of beans to soak overnight. I rinsed it several times and rubbed it to try to get rid of the outer skin of the beans. It's an additional step some people omit. I'm not sure what impact it has if you leave it on but I guess it's just one of those things that get handed down while the real reason has disappeared!Next, I blended them in batches with some water. This is the tricky bit. You have to play "agak-agak" or estimation with the water and consistency. If there's too little water, the blender won't be able to move well and if there's too much, it ends up too watery. It can't be blended too fine either, which I learnt, as too fine beans don't yield much soy milk when it's squeezed through the muslin cloth.
Then we came to the tiring part! Put a little of the blended beans in a piece of muslin cloth and s-q-u-e-e-z-eeeee hard to get as much soy milk as you can! It was hard work! I didn't have a muslin cloth so I used one of Dad's old handkerchiefs which had to be sacrificed after too many squeezes! I had quite a bit of beans which yielded one big pot of soy bean milk after an exhausting hour! You'll be left with a huge pile of dry powder-like blended beans. My mom used to shape them into patties and fry them to be eaten like vadai which is a really good idea as they are really rich in protein and nutrients.
I cooked the soy bean milk with lots of pandan leaves to give it a lovely fragrance. You'll have to keep stirring to make sure the bottom of the pot doesn't burn and to prevent the "skin" from forming on the top. Add your sugar as you cook. You'll know when it's cooked when it's lost its "greenish" smell and taken on that familiar soy bean fragrance. When it's cooked, take it off the flame to cool and there you go, home-made pure soy bean milk! A healthy, preservative-free treat that's delicious icy-cold from the fridge! Go give it a try!