Okara Brown Sugar Biscotti

Sliced okara biscotti ready to bake a second time

Astonish people at your next dinner party when you tell them you made the tofu in the tofu dish. They never need know you made it with only soybeans, water, a coagulant and basic kitchen tools. Unless you send them to this blog. Which you totally should…

homemade soy milk, tofu and okara
Homemade soy milk, tofu and okara

Homemade tofu does require some planning ahead—you must soak the soybeans many hours before you make the tofu (I start soaking the night before). You then make soy milk with the beans, heat the milk, add the coagulant, strain out the curds and form a blob of tofu. Pretty simple.

So why don’t I make tofu every week?

Because the process renders shockingly large amounts of leftover soybean pulp—or okara. We’re talking about five or six cups of okara for every pound of tofu.

If you don’t write a zero-waste blog or have OCWD (obsessive compulsive waste disorder), you could simply toss all of that okara onto your compost heap. But if you do write a zero-waste blog and have OCWD, you must think up ideas to eat up every morsel of the okara—and the results must taste delicious.

I have added a bit of okara to soup to thicken it, to granola for a yummy nutty flavor (add about 1 cup of okara for every few cups of oats) and now to make vanishing biscotti.

biscotti dough with okara, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder
Break up the lumps of okara in the okara-flour mixture
Form two blobs with the biscotti dough
Form two rectangles with the okara biscotti dough, bake, then slice
Cook the biscotti dough, allow it to cool, then slice it
Arrange the slices on the cookie sheet and bake again
Sliced okara biscotti ready to bake a second time
Sliced okara biscotti ready to bake a second time
Biscotti made with okara or soybean pulp
Okara biscotti after second baking

Okara Brown Sugar Biscotti


  • 1 cup packed fresh okara, with as much soy milk squeezed out as possible
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk (I use the homemade soy milk that generates all of this okara)


1. Heat the oven to 325°F and lightly grease a cookie sheet.

2. Combine the first five ingredients—the okara through to the salt. Because I use fresh okara for this, the mixture will be lumpy. Use your clean fingers to break up the larger lumps.

3. Add milk and mix thoroughly with your fingers.

4. Shape the dough into two rectangles roughly 6” x 4” and place on the greased cookie sheet. 

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until very lightly browned and firm.

6. After the rectangles have cooled enough to handle, cut them into 1/2-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange the slices, sliced sides up, on the cookie sheet.

7. Return the biscotti to the 325°F oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake 10 minutes longer or until golden, crispy and quite dry. If your okara was very wet, the biscotti will require more time in the oven.

17 Replies to “Okara Brown Sugar Biscotti”

  1. Miecislau Dolata says: Reply

    Que vontade de comer esses pães todos!

  2. Michèle Sharik Pituley says: Reply

    What do they do with the Okara in Japan? (Traditionally, or now?)

    1. Outbackambition says: Reply

      Hi Michèle,

      In Japan, okara has traditionally been cooked with a small quantity of stock and shredded vegetables such as carrots and shiitake mushrooms. Any vegetables would do, I guess, as long as they retain their colour and crunchy texture after cooking. The resulting consistency should be moist but quite dry, like couscous, so you need to stir the mixture from time to time so that it won’t burn. I would cook the okara and vegetables first in a frying pan before adding the stock.

      If you have dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in advance (as Anne-Marie said, you need to plan ahead a little :)) and use the liquid as part of stock.

      If you have forgotten to soak the shiitake mushrooms, or do not have time to shred carrots etc., it is best to cook okara with a small amount of vegetable oil until it is dry, as okara does not keep long. You can freeze the cooked okara.

      Other traditional recipes use okara as stuffing for steamed fish, as substitute for meat (in burgers), but, as okara is rich in dietary fibre (11.5%), it is a popular ingredient in baking, such as scones and cakes, and yes, biscotti!

  3. Omg!! This is the easiest thing EVER and SO so yummy! I’m going to start making my own soy milk all the time now just so I can make these with the bi-product!!

    1. Carissa Arty says: Reply

      Anyway to store okara post making tofu? Love the biscotti buy might not always do both back to back

      1. Hi Carissa,
        I have frozen it and that works well. It gives me a little break. You might want to freeze it in batches if you don’t use it all at once.
        ~ Anne Marie

  4. I dehydrated all my okara last time I made soy milk. How could I use it in this recipe? Soak it in some soy milk?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Logan,

      I would try baking a small amount and if you need more liquid, add some. If the okara is too wet, it takes longer to bake, so dried okara might work well.

      ~ Anne Marie

  5. You can make a stir fry with okara. Saute some diced onion, garlic, chili peppers, red/yellow peppers, and add some okara. It becomes almost like a fried rice, basically. Instead of rice, you have okara. Same idea as people using cauliflower rice to make fried rice. Top the dish with a fried egg. It’s a meal.

  6. Discovered today after 14.5 years of marriage that my husband likes biscotti. Who knew?! So I pulled out some okara from the freezer and whipped these up. So easy, and really delicious! I may well make this for Christmas gifts another time (or this year, for people I haven’t seen yet this season!).
    Thanks so much for this blog… I have learned so much and use a lot of your recipes! 😀😀

  7. I made this this morning, reduced sugar to half a cup and THEY ARE DELICIOUS!

  8. […] need to reheat them in the oven to get them back to their toasty glory. See the recipe for Okara Brown Sugar Biscotti from the Zero Waste Chef. Note: For the second bake, I cooked for at least twice as long to get them […]

  9. Do you think these would work with almond flour instead of regular flour?

  10. This recipe is fantastic, I am a terrible cook so I cannot believe I make such a delicious thing with my Okara! Many many thanks!

    I was wondering if it might be possible to make a salty (not sweet) version of this? removing the sugar and adding, I don´t know…olives, garlic, something like that! I am not sure if it will be same texture/consistency if I remove the sugar…does anyone know?

    I was also wondering, is it normal that it is not crunchy? It is when I take out from the oven but after few hours they become a bit chewy, I think it is because it is just the way okara is, but maybe I am doing something wrong…

    Thanks a lot!

  11. Just wanted to say THANK YOU ! For posting the recipe for the Biscotti, My wife and I made TOfy for the first time last night (not by your recipe) and we are anxious to see how the cooking turns out. We were in the hurry and tossed the Okara. We agreed this bothered us both and later before our next batch we would be looking for a way to use the Okara instead of composting it. Very exciting to find another foodie who will echo my sentiments about wasting food !

  12. I use okara in ravioli/pierogi/gyoza/potstickers filling. Or anywhere where you would normally use breadcrumbs and eggs to stick things together but you want it to be vegan. It doesn’t have binding properties as good as eggs do but it works pretty well. You can also incorporate it into a savory tart, use it in place of the almond powder in a bottom of an apricot tarte. It’s pretty versatile and it freezes well. I love tofu, but I’m as happy with the okara.

  13. Thank you so much for this recipe. I make soymilk and was looking for dessert type possibilities for the okara. I will definitely try it this. I’m not sure what difference brown sugar rather than white sugar would make. I have spent hours online looking for ways to use the okara. I have made a whole wheat okara bread that turned out wonderfully that I can recommend. It can be found at food.com and it might appeal to people who are interested in zero waste and like to make things from scratch. Toby, Salt Spring Island, BC

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