Waste Not, Want Not

This week has been all about uncharted territory. Everything I cooked this week was something I’ve never made before, and this recipe is no exception. I made soy milk earlier in the week and found myself with a healthy amount of okara (soybean pulp) left over. Here is how to make some okara for yourself. Why should I throw this protein-packed, fiber-dense goodness away? It has a neutral flavor and is packed with niacin, calcium, and potassium. I put it in the fridge because I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Out of sight, out of mind so to speak. Well, yesterday I made coconut mint chutney and realized that I didn’t have anything to eat my chutney with. I love samosas but mainly just the filling. Why not put this okara to use?

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Okara. Pretty bland and blah.

I have never made an Indian anything before I made that chutney so this was definitely going to be an adventure. I have also never worked with okara before. I didn’t even know it was a thing until Tuesday when I found myself with 2 cups of it. I knew I needed something to hold these gems together, and flax eggs are my go-to binder. Just mix 2 tablespoons of flax meal with 6 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and BOOM! This makes the equivalent of two eggs.

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Flax eggs. No cholesterol or salmonella scares here!

While the eggs are setting, set aside 3/4 of a cup of frozen peas and also 3/4 of a cup of shredded carrots. You want everything at room temperature so they cook evenly. Chop one medium potato into small cubes and boil until soft. I used a russet potato. Let that cool before handling. Chop 1/4 of an onion, two green onions, and 1/2 an inch of ginger.

You want to use a giant bowl for this recipe. Add your spices and chopped goodies to the okara and mix really well. Use your hands. Don’t be afraid to touch your food! We toast and grind our own cumin and also grind our own coriander seeds. Trust me, once you have freshly ground cumin, the stuff sold in the spice aisle will taste like dust. For this recipe,  I used 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. I realize not everyone has these spices, so I am sure a teaspoon or two of curry powder or garam masala will work well. Actually, I have never tasted curry powder, so if you use it, let me know how it works! By the way, taste the mixture and see what it needs. I found I needed to add way more salt than usual. Okara is a bland beast.

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Next, add  your veggies, flax eggs, and 1 tablespoon of lemon and lime juice. Just use 2 tablespoons of the one you have on hand if you don’t have both. Be gentle when you mix this. You don’t want to mash the peas or potatoes.

Taste the mixture again. Make sure it’s seasoned. Indian food is very vibrant and fragrant. Now you’re ready to form the patties. I made eight burgers, but you can make smaller appetizer- or slider-sized patties as well. Dredge both sides of the patties in potato starch. Just put some in a bowl and add black pepper and garlic powder but not too much. Remember, I like to sneak flavor in wherever I can. Get the potato starch on both sides, but don’t cake it on. Make all your patties before you start frying. If you don’t have potato starch, corn starch will work. If you don’t mind gluten, flour will work too.

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Heat about 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. I used canola. Add the patties a few at time. No need to overcrowd the pan. Heat them until they are golden brown, then flip and cook until the other side is GDB too. That’s golden, brown, and delicious in case you didn’t know. Lay out some paper towels on a plate or tray to place them on after cooking. Add more oil to the pan between batches.

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Serve them warm with coconut mint chutney or ketchup if you’re into that. These would be great over a salad or in a wrap too.

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Recipe:

  • 2 cups okara
  • 3/4 cup peas
  • 1 potato, chopped and boiled
  • Flax Eggs
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • potato starch
  • garlic powder
  • vegetable oil
  • mint coconut chutney

In a large mixing bowl, combine the okara, onions, ginger, and spices. Taste and adjust accordingly.

Add all the remaining ingredients minus the potato starch and garlic powder. Gently combine

Form patties and dredge in potato starch seasoned with garlic powder and black pepper.

Heat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side.

Place cooked patties on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve warm.


 

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