How to Make Soy Milk: A Korean Recipe

Soy milk
Tee Tran / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 cups (8 servings)
Ratings (11)

Homemade soy milk has a nutty flavor and is easy to make with this simple recipe. By making the milk in your kitchen, you can control its texture and sweetness. While Americans commonly drink store-bought soy milk, many Koreans prefer homemade versions.

Given the price of soy milk and the news that some of the "organic" soy milk is not actually made from all-organic soybeans, Koreans have started making batches at home more frequently. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup organic yellow soybeans
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons. honey (or sugar)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

How to Make It

  1. Soak beans overnight in a large bowl.
  2. The next day, discard any beans that have not softened or expanded.
  3. Rinse beans and discard loose skins.
  4. Put beans and 2 to 3 cups of water in a blender.
  5. Puree until smooth, adding more water as necessary.
  6. Strain milk and pulp through a sieve lined with a cheesecloth a few times, pressing beans to remove milk.*
  7. Put soy milk and 2 to 3 cups of water in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Stir and skim foam.
  1. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  2. Add more water as necessary.
  3. Add honey or sugar to taste. If you like vanilla, you can add that as well.
  4. Chill the milk and store in the refrigerator.

*Don't discard the pulp, as it can also be enjoyed in a few different ways.

Notes and Suggestions

Since soy milk does not contain any lactose, it is a good milk substitute for anyone that is lactose intolerant (about 80 percent of East Asians). It is also an easy and delicious substitute for vegans and vegetarians since it is a plant-based food and does not include any cow's milk.

Soy is a complete protein, which is rare for a plant-based food. It is high in protein and relatively low in fat compared to cow's milk. It also has no cholesterol, which is good for people with health issues that need to watch those numbers. Soy contains isoflavones, which have been shown in some cases to reduce “bad” cholesterol. It does not, however, have B vitamins or calcium.

If you'd like to incorporate soy milk more in your everyday life, try these tips:

  • Use soy milk instead of cow's milk in oatmeal or cold breakfast cereal.
  • Use soy milk in your coffee or tea.
  • Make pancakes and waffles with vanilla-sweetened soy milk for a lighter breakfast.
  • Use soy milk in smoothies and shakes with fruit and/or juice and ice.
  • Substitute soy milk for cow's milk in cream-based soups or stews.
  • Use soy milk and applesauce to make moist, lower-fat muffins and baked goods.
  • Substitute soy milk for cow's milk to make rich cream sauces that are cholesterol-free, low in fat and lighter in calories.