Earlier in December, I decided to take the plunge and buy a soymilk maker. Making soymilk for soybean custard was tiring work – two hours for 1.5 liters of soymilk was just crazy! So after searching around the Internet for deals and prices, I decided to get one from a Chinese seller via Ebay. It wasn’t as cheap as the prices on Taobao (Chinese version of Ebay) but after considering that the sellers usually only ship to Asia and that my parents would have to send it over to me, I decided that buying it myself was cheaper. All in all, I paid under USD150 for the machine and international shipping. It arrived just after Christmas – pretty fast considering that the seller told me that it could possibly take over four weeks. Perhaps the festive season had something to do with it.
The machine arrived rather well-packaged and everything was in good shape. The only downside was that the power supply was more for a Chinese outlet but it’s not a big deal. As long as the voltage is 220V, I can always plug the machine into any power outlet by using one of my adapters. While the machine comes with manuals and such, they are pretty useless to me since I don’t read Chinese. So I had one of my friends translate the panel. The machine comes with the following functions: quick wash, five grain, dry bean, soaked bean, green bean, jam and fruit/vegetable juice. It is just a matter of pressing the function of your choice and then the “start” button.
Using this was easy. The machine comes with two cups – one large for fluids and one smaller one for measuring out beans and such. One cup will give you about 90 gms of soybeans. I measured out two cups of beans and soaked them overnight. After a quick rinse, they went into the machine before I poured in cold water until the level reached 1.3L. The machine doesn’t run if you put in less than 900 ml of water or if you put over 1.3L – a failsafe, I reckon. I chose the “Dry Bean” function as I read that it gives a richer texture and more flavourful taste to the milk. It took about 20 minutes – I wasn’t really timing myself. All I know is that I started the machine before Noah’s bath and it was beeping (when it was done) just as I was finishing up with Noah in the bathroom. In terms of noise, this isn’t a very noisy machine – except when it’s grinding, which only happens a few times. Above is a video I took during the grinding process – do ignore the clicking sound in the background (it’s from my heater, I think).
I didn’t use the strainer that was provided – it was too small and I wanted to strain the milk directly into a pot. I was pleasantly surprised at how fine the okara (pulp) was. My previous DIY attempts didn’t even yield okara that was this fine. While the milk looked watery compared to what I got previously (DIY version), it had a lovely rich texture. Straining this took a short time because of the fine consistency of the pulp. I had to do it twice though as the first time – with the metal strainer – didn’t allow me to fully get all out the milk from the pulp. You could drink this soymilk as it is at this stage (strained) but I was using mine to make tau foo fah so I had to boil the milk with some pandan (screwpine) leaves. The picture below is the okara before I strained it a second time. I might dry it out in the oven tomorrow to turn it into soybean meal.
All in all, I’m ultra happy with my purchase! I even joked with my mum about making tau foo fah tomorrow again…that’s how fast and easy it took. Tehehehehe. I’m looking forward to trying out other recipes like almond and buckwheat milk and the jam function – that looks quite interesting. Hm.