Homemade Soy Milk (Cook First Method)

January 11, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes About 3 cups
Author Notes

Of the several methods for making soymilk, this is my favorite. It yields the most velvety, complex, rounded result. Although the aroma is bean-y, the soymilk itself is balanced and pleasantly nutty. As an alternative to steaming the soybeans, you can boil them or cook them in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
Dina Cheney

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup dried soybeans (preferably organic and non-G.M.O.)
  • Salt, for seasoning (optional)
  • Maple, agave syrup, or honey, for sweetening (optional)
  1. Pour soybeans into a medium bowl and cover with a few inches of water. Let sit for at least 8 hours, or overnight, at room temperature. (You will notice that the beans will almost triple in volume, to about 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons.)
  2. Pour the beans into a colander positioned in the sink, then rinse and drain.
  3. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepot. Once the water is boiling, insert a steamer basket into the pot. Pour beans into the insert, cover, and steam over medium-low heat until slightly tender, about 1 hour (you might need to add more water to the pot during this process).
  4. Add beans to a high-speed blender with about 3 cups water. Cover and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Position a nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour the bean mixture into the bag and close the bag. Wait for the mixture to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes (to avoid burning your hands). Squeeze the nut milk bag repeatedly, wringing out the soymilk. [Editors' note: We used doubled-up cheesecloth instead of a nut milk bag and, while we endured some splatters, the process worked beautifully regardless, though we were left with perhaps more soybean solids—okara—than had we used a bag. We also waited for the beans to cool *before* blending them with the water. That worked, too!]
  6. If desired, flavor it with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and, for sweetness, 4 teaspoons agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup per 8-ounce serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ivan
  • Ted Ross
    Ted Ross
I’m the author of The New Milks; 100-Plus Dairy-Free Recipes for Making and Cooking with Soy, Nut, Seed, Grain, and Coconut Milks (out in May), plus Mug Meals, Meatless All Day, Year-Round Slow Cooker, Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads, and Tasting Club. I’m also the founder of the dairy-free resource site, Read more about me here.

3 Reviews

Ivan September 2, 2023
I like your steaming first method (I use Instant Pot) as it gets over the problem of foaming. Also, I remove the hulls before cooking so I don't need to strain afterwards. Doin it this was in the Vitamix makes a really smooth milk with more body. Cheers!
Ted R. August 8, 2018
Should you remove the shells from the beans?
Ivan September 2, 2023
After soaking it is really easy to remove the hulls—I do this for both soy milk and tempeh. Using a high-power blender (in my case Vitamix) I find I don't need to filter the soymilk. This may be an issue if you use it to whiten coffee or tea but I use it only as a topping for oatmeal, etc. HTH.