Soy beans. I love them and I hate them. It's a love hate relationship.
I love them because they're delicious, healthy and economical. I hate them because they're a real pain the arse to remove the skins. Seriously, I felt like I was removing those pesky skins all day. As soon as I thought I had won the battle, I'd see more that needed to be peeled or scooped out...well, now that I've got that out of the way, let me tell you about this dish. Even through my laborious peeling session with the soy beans, I really do adore this cold noodle soup. I love the nutty taste, the simplicity in ingredients and its nutritional value. It's also very filling.
On a hot summer day, the cold broth is perfect. And mind you the broth is not a runny, water like broth. But a thicker consistency, almost like baked potato soup. On occasion, my mom would make this for us and I've always enjoyed it. And if you have a Vitamix, well, the task becomes significantly easier and faster because the Vitamix is a beast of a machine and it liquifies anything.
2 Cups Soy Beans, Soaked over night ( I soaked more for soy bean milk too)
Salt to taste
4-5 Tablespoons of Sesame Seeds
Korean Ja Jang Myun (자장면) Noodles
1. Wash your soy beans and soak over night in a large bowl with about 6 cups of water. These suckers soak up a whole lot of water and they double in size so use a large bowl or pot for soaking. Grab a handful of the soaked beans and rub them together with your hands as if you're washing your hands to peel the skins off. You can also use one hand and rub the beans together too. I did a combination of both and it was time consuming. This is the hardest part of the process. It's okay if they break apart. I pretty much abused my beans while de-skinning them. I not only had halved beans but I also had tiny bits of beans. Wash the beans in water and try to get the skins to drain out or pick them out with your hands. You will never get all the skins off your beans or out of your bowl, so do you best. Removing the skins helps with flavor.
Below is a photo of the soy beans before soaking, after soaking and those pesky skins.
2. Place the soy beans in a pot, covered with water and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat. Drain beans and place them in your Vitamix along with the sesame seeds. Pour in 4 cups of water and close lid. Turn your beast of a machine on to variable 1 then slowly turn to variable 10 then to high. Allow your Vitamix to do its thing for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the frothy foamy part with a large spoon. You can use a standard blender as well on high until smooth and creamy.
3. Boil water, cook noodles for about 3-4 minutes. Place noodles in colander, wash with cold running water and allow to drain or follow directions according to the package instructions. Have the noodles prepared ahead of time. Place desired amount of noodles in a large bowl, add the soy bean soup, julienned cucumbers, sprinkle with sesame seeds and add several ice cubes to dilute the soup a bit and to make it cold and refreshing. Salt to taste.
*NOTE: You can store your soaked beans covered in cold water with a lid in your fridge. Be sure to periodically re-wash and change the water if you're not using them within a couple of days. I wouldn't let it sit too long.
I also made the Chinese style soy bean milk. The only difference in preparation is that you blend 1 cup of soy beans in its raw state with about 4 cups of hot boiled water (add more water to desired consistency). Blend in Vitamix for 2-3 minutes, set on variable 1 then slowly turn to variable 10 then to high. Skim the frothy foam layer, then simmer in a pot for 20 minutes. You can add your choice of sweetner. Hot soy milk is very soothing and quite delicious in my opinion. And because there is no straining, this version is very filling, you could drink it as a meal, seriously. Homemade soy milk not only tastes great but is also high in nutritional value without added additives or commercial processing.
If you're using a standard blender for the soy bean milk, you'll need to strain the milk through a fine sieve or a cheese cloth. Serve hot or cold. Either way, it's delicious.
I am so pleased that my first homemade soy bean experience was successful. I feel more confident and will be making these more often. Enjoy!