Asian Recipes/ Drinks/ Recipes/ Vegan/ Vietnamese

How to Make Soy Milk

23/10/2023

Whip up this creamy homemade soy milk recipe in no time. Just soak, blend, and strain for a silky smooth vegan milk you can use in your favourite drinks or recipes. Learn how to make soy milk and never buy store bought again!

A glass of soy milk on a wooden board with dried soybeans scattered around,

Why We Love This

Learn how to make soy milk at home for the freshest, tastiest soy milk ever! Made with just real natural ingredients, no artificial sweeteners or thickeners, and less packaging waste than store-bought soy milk.

Soy milk a great plant based alternative to dairy milk for vegan and vegetarian diets. Not just great in your morning coffee or cereal, you can even use it in place of dairy milk in many different recipes. 

We’ve created this super quick method so you can whip up a batch in just one day (no overnight soaking required).

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Related: Avocado Smoothie / Vietnamese Three Colour Drink

Pouring pandan soy milk at Da Lat night market in Vietnam.

What is Soy Milk?

Soy milk (also known as soya milk or soymilk) is a creamy, pale liquid made from soaked soybeans blended with water. The liquid is then separated from the soybean pulp (known as okara) and can be used as soy milk or curdled to make tofu

On its own, soy milk has a mild nutty flavour and is a great substitute for dairy milk in cooking and baking recipes.

You can make all sorts of delicious treats from the leftover soybean pulp, such as biscuits, muffins, stir-fries and more!

What You’ll Need

Main Ingredients:

  • Soybeans – Can also be labelled as soya beans. These pea-sized cream coloured legumes are packed with protein. We often buy ours in bulk at Asian grocery stores, but they’re becoming more widely available at regular supermarkets of health food stores. Use organic dried soybeans for the best nutrition and flavour. 
  • Sugar – You can use white sugar, palm sugar, honey or maple syrup, or leave it out for unsweetened soy milk.
  • Water – It’s fine to use regular tap water for boiling and soaking the beans, but if possible, blend with filtered water for the best flavour in the finished milk.

Optional Flavourings for Vietnamese Soy Milk:

  • Pandan – This is a staple ingredient to savoury or sweet dishes in many Asian cuisines. Check out our pandan guide for more ideas. Use 1-2 fresh pandan leaves if you can get them, the scent and aroma they infuse is amazing! Otherwise use 1/2 tsp of pandan flavouring like we did. Both the leaves and flavouring should be available at most Asian grocery stores. 
  • Peanut Butter – Use smooth peanut butter so you don’t get any crunchy peanut bits in the milk, otherwise you’ll just have to strain it again.
Ingredients laid out for homemade soy milk.

How to Make Soy Milk

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

Prepare the Soybeans:

  1. Place ½ cup soybeans in a colander over a bowl and cover with water. Rinse thoroughly and pick out any discoloured, misshapen or floating soybeans. Drain.
  2. & 3. Soaking your soybeans:
    Quick Method: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to the boil, then pour in the washed soybeans and boil for one minute. Switch off the heat and allow the soybeans to soak in the hot water for around one hour until they double in size. Tip: At this point, you should be able to pick up a bean and easily squish it in half.
    Lazy Method: Before bed, pop your washed soybeans in a bowl or jar and fill with 3 times as much water. Allow to soak overnight for 8 hours. If the weather is cooler, you may need to allow up to 12-14 hours for them to fully soften.

Blend the Soybeans:

  1. Transfer the softened soybeans into a blender and add 2 cups of filtered water for every 1 cup of soaked beans.
  2. Strain the soy milk mixture using a nut milk bag or a colander lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Tip: Pour and strain the soy milk slowly in batches so it doesn’t overflow or get clogged with the okara (soy milk pulp). 
  3. Pull the edges of the cloth together and squeeze the pulp to extract the milk.
  1. Use the okara pulp in another recipe or pop it in your compost. Use a spoon to carefully press out any remaining soy milk through the bag or cloth.

Sweeten the Soy Milk:

  1. Pour the soy milk into a large pot or saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Note: Soy milk can foam up quickly once it comes to the boil, so keep a close eye on it at all times and reduce heat to low as soon as foam appears to avoid it boiling over. Use a strainer to skim off any foam or skin that forms on top and discard. 
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes. For a nuttier, less sweet soy milk drink, stop cooking here. Otherwise, keep simmering for another 10-20 minutes for a sweeter soy milk. Taste test along the way until you get it just how you like it (but be careful not to burn your tongue).

Add Flavourings:

  1. Original: Once you’ve finished cooking, your plain soy milk is ready to drink as is, and can be enjoyed warm or cool.
  2. Pandan Flavour: Add 1/2 tsp of pandan flavouring or 1-2 fresh pandan leaves (knotted) to the soy milk while it’s simmering.
  3. Peanut Butter: Add 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter while it’s simmering. Stir through until the peanut butter has completely melted. Best served warm.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Dried vs Soaked Soybeans: For every 1/2 cup of dried soybeans, you’ll end up with around 2-3 cups of soaked soy beans.
  • Water: Add 2 cups of water (preferrably filtered) for every 1 cup of soaked soybeans when blending.
  • Blending – If you are making a double or triple batch or are using a small blender, blend the soybeans in short bursts or smaller batches so you don’t overheat the machine. 
  • Straining – Make sure you’ve squeezed out as much soy milk as you can to get the most milk out of your soybeans!
  • Storage – Store leftover soy milk in sterilised jars in the fridge for around 5 days. If it starts to smell sour, it’s time to get rid of it.
  • Make It Easier – Want to drink homemade soy milk more frequently? Consider investing in a soy milk maker to take out a lot of the hands-on work.

FAQs

What else can I use soy milk for?

You can use it in just about any recipe that calls for dairy milk! The high protein content makes it an especially good substitute for regular milk in cakes, muffins and pancakes. We love it in dairy free versions of matcha latte or three layer tea.

Otherwise, pop it in your morning coffee or pour over your cereal, oats or granola as a delicious dairy alternative. You could even use it to make your own homemade tofu! 

Try it alongside a bowl of chao ga (Vietnamese rice porridge) for the ultimate comfort food combination.

How can I make it taste better?

Not everyone likes the taste of soy milk, but there are a couple of ways you can make it tastier and easier to drink. You can try adding more sweetener – whether this is sugar, honey or maple syrup – or cook it for longer while it’s simmering to make it naturally sweeter and less earthy. 

Otherwise feel free to experiment with different flavours to cover the soy taste. Try it with:
– a pinch of salt
– cocoa powder for a chocolate soy milk
– mint
– vanilla extract
– cinnamon

Three glasses of soy milk - original, pandan and peanut flavoured.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Close up shot of a glass of freshly made soy milk.

How to Make Soy Milk

Whip up this creamy homemade soy milk recipe in no time. Just soak, blend, and strain for a silky smooth vegan milk you can use in your favourite drinks or recipes. Learn how to make soy milk and never buy store bought again!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Soaking TIme: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4 cups of soy milk
Calories: 111kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soy beans dried
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • filtered water for blending

Optional flavourings:

Instructions

Prepare the soybeans:

  • Place ½ cup soybeans in a colander over a bowl and cover with water. Rinse thoroughly and pick out any discoloured, misshapen or floating soybeans. Drain.
    ½ cup soy beans
  • Quick Method: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to the boil, then pour in the washed soybeans and boil for one minute. Switch off the heat and allow the soybeans to soak in the hot water for around one hour until they double in size. Tip: At this point, you should be able to pick up a bean and easily squish it in half.
  • Lazy Method: Before bed, pop your washed soybeans in a bowl or jar and fill with 3 times as much water. Allow to soak overnight for 8 hours. If the weather is cooler, you may need to allow up to 12-14 hours for them to fully soften.

Blend the soybeans:

  • Transfer the softened soybeans into a blender and add 2 cups of filtered water for every 1 cup of soaked beans.
    filtered water
  • Strain the soy milk using a nut milk bag or a colander lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Tip: Pour and strain the soy milk slowly in batches so it doesn’t overflow or get clogged with the okara (soy milk pulp). 
  • Pull the edges of the cloth together and squeeze the pulp to extract the milk.
  • Use the okara pulp in another recipe or pop it in your compost. Use a spoon to carefully press out any remaining soy milk through the bag or cloth.

Sweeten the soy milk:

  • Pour the soy milk into a large pot or saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Note: Soy milk can foam up quickly once it comes to the boil, so keep a close eye on it at all times and reduce heat to low as soon as foam appears to avoid it boiling over. Use a strainer to skim off any foam or skin that forms on top and discard. 
    ¼ cup sugar
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. For a nuttier, less sweet soy milk drink, stop cooking here. Otherwise, keep simmering for another 10-20 minutes for a sweeter soy milk. Taste test along the way until you get it just how you like it (but be careful not to burn your tongue).

Add flavourings:

  • Original: Once you’ve finished cooking, your plain soy milk is ready to drink as is, and can be enjoyed warm or cool.
  • Pandan Flavour: Add 1/2 tsp of pandan flavouring or 1-2 fresh pandan leaves (knotted) to the soy milk while it’s simmering.
    ½ tsp pandan flavouring
  • Peanut Butter: Add 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter while it’s simmering. Stir through until the peanut butter has completely melted. Best served warm.
    1 tbsp peanut butter

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Soybeans – Can also be labelled as soya beans. These are pea-sized cream coloured legumes that are packed with protein. We bought ours in bulk at the Asian supermarket, but they’re becoming more widely available at regular supermarkets. Use organic dried soybeans for the best nutrition and flavour. 
    • Dried vs Soaked Soybeans: For every 1/2 cup of dried soybeans, you’ll end up with around 2-3 cups of soaked soy beans.
  • Sugar – Use regular white sugar, palm sugar, or sub with honey or maple syrup. Or leave it out for an unsweetened soy milk.
  • Water – You can use regular tap water for boiling and soaking the beans, but try to use filtered water for blending if you can. This will give you a better flavour in the finished soy milk.
    • Water: Add 2 cups of filtered water for every 1 cup of soaked soybeans when blending.
  • Pandan – Pandan is a staple addition to both savoury dishes (such as pandan chicken) or sweet dishes (like dadar gulung) in many Asian cuisines. Check out our pandan guide for more ideas. Use 1-2 fresh pandan leaves if you can get them, the scent and aroma they infuse is amazing. Otherwise use 1/2 tsp of pandan flavouring like we did. Both the leaves and flavouring should be available at most Asian supermarkets. 
  • Peanut Butter – We recommend smooth peanut butter so you don’t get any chunks in the milk, otherwise you’ll have to strain it again.
  • Blending – If you are making a double or triple batch or are using a small blender, blend the soybeans in short bursts or smaller batches so you don’t overheat the machine. 
  • Straining – Make sure you’ve squeezed out as much soy milk as you can to get the most milk out of your soybeans.
  • Storage – Store leftover soy milk in sterilised jars in the fridge for around 5 days. If it starts to smell sour, it’s time to get rid of it.
  • Make It Easier – Want to drink homemade soy milk more frequently? Consider investing in a soy milk maker to take out a lot of the hands-on work.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Soy Milk
Amount per Serving
Calories
111
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Sodium
 
69
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
137
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
16
g
5
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
14
g
16
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
22
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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How to Make Soy Milk

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