When making homemade soy milk with a blender, what is the difference between:

  • cooking beans -> blending --> straining
  • blending raw beans -> cooking --> straining
  • blending raw beans -> straining --> cooking

Is there any difference or advantage to using one method over another?

P.S. Since soaking the beans is always the first step, I left that part out in this question for sake of simplicity.

9 Answers 9


I know I am joining the conversation late, but I wanted to share my experience with making soy milk in two different ways. First method tried: soak, blend, strain, boil. This method produced a milk with a strong soy flavor but also a LOT of okara (perhaps my blender is wimpy?).

Another time, I soaked the beans in a crock pot, and then, just out of habit from making other beans, I started cooking them after they had sufficiently soaked. I LOVED the result. Cooking the beans produced a much milder bean with an almost sweet flavor. True, this version was much more like a soy cream (depending on how much water was added) when blended, but I liked it so much better than the grainy, almost vegetable-tasting traditional soy milk.

I think it much improved the flavor and texture, and plus, I could then add some of the cooked beans to various dishes to add extra protein where needed.


You are asking about the difference between the traditional Japanese and Chinese methods of soy milk preparation.

In the Chinese, the beans are soaked, ground, strained, and the milk is boiled.
In the Japanese, the beans are soaked, ground, boiled, and then strained.

I have tried both ways.

The Japanese method extracts more from the beans but they tend to foam a lot while they boil. Depending on your straining setup- you will also have to wait for the beans to cool before straining them.

The Chinese method is faster because I don't have wait for the beans to cool. Additionally, if I am making tofu I can add the coagulant immediately while the milk is hot.

I was not able to detect a difference in the resulting milk. I now use the Chinese method because it is faster and easier for me.

I have not read of or tried cooking the beans whole before grinding- I assume it would result in much lower yield and have the same downside as the Japanese of requiring the beans to cool before I can work with them.

  • Why would cooking the beans first result in a lower yield?
    – Jonathan
    May 2, 2013 at 2:11
  • It's just a guess. Perhaps this warrants more experimentation. May 2, 2013 at 3:29

I have been experimenting with making soymilk since I need a lot of it for my bakery. I want to go more cruelty free, so eliminating dairy would be a huge step in that direction.

I found that soaking, straining and then boiling made a huge mess bc the soymilk really foams up and boils over the pot. I found that bringing it to a boil using very low heat worked, but the heat had to be extremely low and getting it to a boil took an hour or even more!

I then tried the quick soak method, then let them soak for 1-2 hours, changed the water, boiled them for 15 mins, drained. Then, I blended with the water and it was perfect! The whole beans never boil over at all! No mess!


The order of the preparation steps for soy milk do make a difference, but primarily in the ease and convenience of the process. By fully pre-cooking the beans then freezing them, you can make small batches of soy milk daily and you don't need to filter the end product if you use a high powered blender. This works well for morning grain cereal, recipes and sauces. It doesn't work for coffee or just to drink. But it is fast, easy and convenient. Something I can do with my eyes half closed as they often are in the morning.

  • Thank you for making the answer fit the question better. I happened to notice it and undeleted it. Normally, if you need a moderator to take a look at a post (including suggesting that a now-improved post be undeleted) you can flag the post, then we'll get a message that something has to be done.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 4, 2015 at 17:00

I've tried many processes for making soy milk and... These days, for my day to day routine,I use the "cook whole then blend method", because, at the end, it takes me less time for making a huge amount of milk (I blend 1 cup of cooked beans for 3 to 4 cup of water). I freeze the beans by the cup and I blend it directly in the mason jar.

But if I want to achieve a mellow-caramel taste, I "blend-cook then strain" the beans and let the milk cook for more than an hour on medium-low heat, stirring now and than (this method does make the milk overflow.

I hope it helps you. :-)


Yes, i have tried cooking the whole soaked bean then blend. The result is not milk. It is yellowish with transparency water. Taste not as soy milk and no fragrance at all. It was a failure. I tried two times this method and totally failure.

I believe cook the ground bean then strain will be better, because we tend to use blender (as modern folk don't have grind stone) , and the ground soy is not totally in powder form, hence lot of protein of the soy is still locked in the smaller pieces of blended soy granulate (try to imagine in microscopic level of the size).

To be fast, I will try hybrid of the Chinese and Japanese method. first , I will filter away the blended soy okara, while cooking the extracted juice in a pot, I will add in the okara into blender and blend it again using maybe a portion of water, then cook the okara and the water or add in more water to facilitate cooking so that it wont get burn at bottom. after the okara cooked, I will strain it out hot, just like Japanese method. there you go, a hybrid, faster then Japanese and more soy milk as Chinese method.. :0)


Just on the cooking side. Boil some water and while boiling, slowly stir in the soy milk. That will prevent burning.

  • Charles, welcome! Unfortunately I can't really understand what you mean - isn't the question about making soy milk? Please clarify, if possible, by editing your post. Let me also point out our tour and our help center, which gives valuable information about Seasoned Advice and the Stack Exchange system.
    – Stephie
    Sep 2, 2016 at 18:28

I use Dr. Ben Kim's method. This was the 4th recipe I tried and it yields far superior results. It is also not difficult. Soak beans for at least 6hrs then rinse and put in a pot with no more than an inch of water to cover beans. Boil beans for 15 min; Beans should be soft yet have a slight crunch (in theory this allows beans to retain more of their nutritional value). Then rinse and remove outer skin of bean if desired. Steps for removing the skins are on Dr.Ben Kim's blog. I will do this step if I have time and because I find the process strangely satisfying; Though I am not sure this step is necessary or will affects taste significantly. Next blend with 3-4 cups water and strain(I higly recommend getting a nylon nut milk bag for straining as it will drastically cut down on time spend straining and you get out more milk(I got mine on amazon, 2 for $7).


Well it definitely does make a difference. I make soy yogurt from whole beans, 200g in 1.5l water to make it nice and thick. When blending before bringing to the boil, it has to be stirred constantly or else it will catch and burn, so I thought I'd boil the while beans first, then blend before simmering. The result was oddly greenish and watery and made nasty yogurt. I guess the initial boil is locking something into the okara that gets released into solution if you blend it first. How annoying, I thought I had found the answer to the burning problem!

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