Soy milk noodles is a very traditional and lesser-known Korean dish–so imagine my surprise when I started noticing it in fancy restaurants in NYC and epicurean magazines. You might doubt that soy milk doesn’t sound like a savory ingredient, but think about how often we vegans use soy milk or other non-dairy milk to make gravy, creamy sauces, soups, and the like. Now that doesn’t sound so bizarre!
Unlike those other recipes however, the key to making Korean noodles in soy milk is to make the broth yourself and not just pour it from the carton. The most complicated part about this is just soaking the beans ahead of time (12 hours is ideal). Once that’s done, you blend the beans and *skip the straining*. (Note that if you strain the solid parts with a cheesecloth, you will have a 100% liquid that is actually soy milk. It’s this liquid that can be made into tofu, if you so desire.)
The result is a creamy, nourishing, protein-packed broth that has a very nutty and savory flavor only with salt added. It’s incredibly delicious and complex with just kimchi and buckwheat soba noodles. Yes, that’s just 5 ingredients including salt and water!
Vegan Korean Soy Milk Noodle Soup
- 4 cups organic soybeans, dry and soaked in water for 24 hours
- 6 cups water
- 8 ozs buckwheat soba noodles
- 2 cups kimchi (or more, as needed)
- to taste sea salt
1. Soak organic, non-GMO, dried soybeans (about 2 cups) in water for about 12 hours. Rinse well and drain, especially any foam or outer layer of the beans that rises to the top.
2. Take 4 cups of soaked and drained soybeans and 6 cups of water, and bring to boil. Boil covered for 7-9 minutes at medium-high heat, then taste a bean for doneness. If it’s al dente, it’s done. Turn off heat.
3. Ladle the mixture carefully to the blender, 1-2 cups at a time, and blend until smooth and creamy. (A high-speed blender will make the creamiest, smoothiest broth, just FYI. But don’t worry if some solid pieces still remain, it will be still delicious!) Salt generously to taste. Set aside. (This is where you would allow to chill and refrigerate, if wanting to serve the dish cold).
4. Boil buckwheat soba noodles according to package instructions, about 5 minutes.
5. In summer, this dish is served cold with ice, like naeng myun (Korean cold noodle soup). In winter, serve it warm: ladle broth, add noodles, and top with kimchi.
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling