How to Cook Soybeans

Soybeans from Scratch

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Soy beans photo by Baltar / Freeimages

Wondering how to cook dried soybeans? There are so many reasons to cook beans from scratch rather than to buy them in a can, including soybeans. Here's what you need to know about cooking soybeans from scratch.

How to cook dry soy beans

Like any other dried beans, you can cook soybeans stove top, in a pressure cooker, or even in a slow cooker (crock pot). Soybeans take a very long time to cook, so you may prefer using a pressure cooker or slow cooker.

No matter which method you use, take a few minutes to sift through your soybeans by hand to look for any discolored beans, gritty pieces, or anything which doesn't belong. Place your soybeans in a colander or strainer, and give them a quick rinse.

See also: What is the nutritional value of soybeans?

Cooking Soybeans Stove Top

Before cooking soybeans stove top, you'll want to soak them well. I recommend at least four hours, but preferably overnight. To soak soybeans, place them in a large bowl or pot and cover them with plenty of water. When you're ready to cook them, drain the water and give the beans another quick rinse.

Cook soybeans in a 1:3 ratio with water. That is, for every one cup of soybeans, you want about three cups of water.

Bring water to a simmer in a large pot. Add the soybeans, cover, and simmer for about three hours, or a little bit less if your soybeans are very fresh. Up to four hours may be needed to make sure your soybeans are fully cooked.

 

Cooked soybeans will more than double in size. For one cup of dried soybeans, you'll end up with a little more than two cups cooked.

Cooking Soybeans in a Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers are amazing for cooking dried beans! It's still best to soak your dried soybeans first when using a pressure cooker: one-hour minimum, four hours is better and overnight (8-12 hours) is best by far.

Once you've soaked your beans, discard the water and give them a quick rinse. Place soybeans in the pressure cooker along with 4 cups of fresh water. Cook them for 10 minutes if you've soaked your beans for at least four hours, and about 15 minutes if they've soaked for less time.

Your pressure cooker's manufacturer instructions will probably caution you not to fill the water above a certain line, usually about halfway full, to avoid clogging the vent pipe. Some manufacturers also suggest adding about a tablespoon of oil to the water while cooking. This helps to reduce the natural foam that develops when beans cook, as the foam can easily clog the vent pipe.

After pressure cooking, turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to slowly release the pressure. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to up to an hour, depending on your machine. 

For one cup of dried soybeans, you'll end up with a little more than two cups, cooked.

Cooking Soybeans in a Slow Cooker

Soaking the beans first is also a good idea if you're using a slow cooker or crock pot to cook your soybeans. Cover them with plenty of water and allow them to soak for four hours minimum, and up to twelve hours, then drain and rinse well.

 

Add about four cups of water to your slow cooker for every one cup of soy beans. Cook on high for 6-8 hours.

Need some more healthy vegetarian and vegan cooking help? Here's a few places you might want to start: