Okara and crab salad


I’m in Japan for the next few weeks! One thing I was really looking forward to having here was easy access to really fresh tofu and okara - the fiber-rich bits of the soybean left over after the soy milk is extracted. Back at home, the only way I can get either one of these things, especially okara, is by making my own soy milk, but here okara is dirt cheap from a tofu maker or at the supermarket.

If you have easy access to fresh okara (see if a local tofu maker has some) or make your own soy milk, please give this super-easy salad a try. It can be made in no time, lasts in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, and tastes like a soft, fluffy tuna or potato salad, except that it’s really packed with protein and fiber. It’s low-carb and gluten-free too, and could be low-fat if you choose the according mayonnaise. Use it as a bento side dish, or as a sandwich filling. If you’re on a strict low-carb diet, you could even use this as your main ‘carb’ like food - okara has a filling quality that is lacking in so many low carb foods. All that fiber will keep you quite regular too.

Even if it is low carb, gluten free and fiber-rich and all those good-for-you things, it really tastes great - even my okara-hating stepfather likes this. If you don’t have any crabmeat around, try canned tuna, canned salmon, cooked or canned scallops , or imitation crabmeat (surimi). Cut up ham would work too. If you are a vegetarian, try it just with the okara and vegetables with no added seafood or meat.

Recipe: Okara and crabmeat salad


Makes about 4-5 cups of salad or 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh, moist okara (or the equivalent amount of reconstituted dry okara - see okara article)
  • 1 can (about 100g / 3 1/2 oz) crabmeat, or 1/2 cup cooked crabmeat, well drained
  • 1/2 medium cucumber
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Peel the carrot and slice thinly. Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

De-seed the cucumber if necessary, and slice thinly. Sprinkle with a little salt, and massage with your hands. Squeeze out excess moisture.

Drain the crabmeat. Mix all the ingredients together, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add more mayonnaise if you like.

This keeps in the refrigerator, well covered, for 2 to 3 days. In hot weather, pack it with an ice pack or in a bento box with a cooling element, because of the mayonnaise.

More about okara

The best way to keep fresh okara is to pack it up very well and freeze it. Defrost in the refrigerator, and use as if you would freshly made okara. See the in depth okara article for more okara ideas.

See also: Okara nutritional data on the Self.com site.

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Re: Okara and crab salad


I love salad too, but is it ok to use mayonaise on daily basis ? as it's not a healthy food. I use home-made dressing by mixing apple vinegar+olive oil+honey+wholemeal mustard.. is it a better substitute to mayonaise ? Thanks


Re: Okara and crab salad

I wouldn't call using dressing a substitute for mayonnaise. It would be a whole different recipe. You can try using a low-fat mayo if the fat content is a concern. Mayo is not necessarily an unhealthy food though, taken in reasonable quantities. This salad is not meant to be eaten all at once - it yields at least 8 or so servings. 1/8th of 3/4 cup of mayo is not a lot.

Re: Okara and crab salad

a super alternative to mayonnaise (too high fat content) in any recipe would be the wonderful Avacado (has no fat content) and the taste is fantastic.

Re: Okara and crab salad

Avocado may well work, but again, it would be a whole other recipe since flavor wise it is completely different. I'm not sure how it would work with okara - has to be tried.

Also, avocado is certainly not no-fat; 100 grams of avocado has about 15 grams of fat. (Regular mayo has 33 grams of fat per 100 grams, reduced-fat mayo has 5 grams of fat per 100 grams. So avocado has half the fat content of regular mayo but nearly 3x that of reduced fat.) It's certainly considered to be 'good' fat but so is most of the fat used in good mayonnaise.

All in all I think mayonnaise gets an unduly bad rap! And there are lots of quite acceptable low-fat versions around which should work fine in this recipe.

Re: Okara and crab salad

1/8th of 3/4????
I should have paid more attention in maths classes :-)

Re: Okara and crab salad

It's about 3/4 of an ounce (I had to work out that 3/4 of a cup of mayonnaise was roughly 180grams anyway, which divided by 8 is 22.5grams)

Re: Okara and crab salad

..or, to do the math a bit differently, since 1 US cup = about 240ml,

240 x .75 = 180 (3/4 cup = 180ml)

180 / 8 = 22.5 ml

… so 1 generous serving has about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Again, if fat is an issue, low-fat mayonnaise can be used. (For low-carb eaters, fat is not as much of an issue as carb/sugar content is, and it’s often recommended not to use low-fat mayo, since these contain sugar and other things, but use whatever suits your dietary needs.)

Re: Okara and crab salad

The salad looks delicious! I have to get out my soy milk machine and make some soy milk and this time I will keep the okara to make this salad. Thanks for the recipe!

Re: Okara and crab salad

i would like to ask if i have to boil/steam the fresh okara i bought from a japanese supermarket before using it for any recipes?

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