When making soy milk, what is the best way to separate the okara (fibrous material) from the hot liquid?

My observations:

  1. When pouring through any kind of a screen, the screen becomes clogged almost immediately, and the material removed from the screen still contains a lot of liquid.
  2. Cheesecloth works well to remove the remaining liquid, except that it is a difficult and awkward procedure because the liquid is so hot.

Does anyone have a "secret weapon" for this process? Some thoughts that have occurred to me (but which I haven't actually tried) include:

  1. Using a large French press (of the type ordinarily used to brew coffee)
  2. Sending the thick liquid through a Juiceman-type fruit juicer (because juicers seem to do a good job of drying out and ejecting pulp)
  3. Using a smaller version of the centrifuges used in soy milk factories (but where to buy such a thing?)
  4. Simply waiting for the liquid to cool before attempting to separate it (time-consuming, but definitely would simplify the cheesecloth approach)

What is the best way?

3 Answers 3


When straining things that clog up the screen, I tend to use a spoon or spatula to move the stuff around, so you can get expose un-obstructed parts of the screen.

Of course, you might end up pushing some of the pulp through the process, but it's generally minimal.

You can then either dump out the pulp as you go (possibly into muslin or cheese cloth, let it cool, then give that part a squeeze), or use the back of a large spoon or a rubber scraper to push the pulp against the strainer to get out some extra liquid. (or use an oven mitt, covered in a plastic bag ... it's messy, but it works).

Of course, if you have a cheap strainer, too much force on it can cause the whole screen to pop out, splashing you and making a quite large mess. (I've since made sure that my strainers weren't basically a screen just held in by pressure to a loop of metal that attached to the handle, but are actually one integral part).


If you're looking at buying new equipment, I'd look into getting a chinoise with the proper sized stick (not sure what it's called), which you can use to basically compress all of the pulp into the bottom as you're working.

  • Nice. I do not have a chinoise, but it does look like a perfect tool for straining hot soy milk. Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 0:49

I have done this in a few different ways and Cheesecloth works the best for me.

The only difference between you and me is I separate the okara (fibrous material) when it's cold. I usually separate the okara as soon as I get the mixture out of blender. I then boil the liquid (soy milk) afterward, so it's pretty simple.

  • I like this idea of blending first and then boiling. I had been using a Joyoung soy milk maker, but maybe it would be easier to use the blender and stove instead. Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 0:42
  • This is what I do as well. Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 1:33


This looks like a great device for what you are asking about. They sell on ebay and amazon. It's called the Titan Soy milk filter. watch the youtube video...it's old school way of making fresh homemade soy milk, but without burning ur hands.

  • This is similar to how I do it, but I didn't realize there was already a device specifically for this problem available somewhere online for purchase. I strain the milk through a jelly straining bag, and then press it dry in a tofu press. This looks to be even better. EDIT: the only downside I see to it is that it costs as much as a soy milk machine does!
    – franko
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 0:30
  • oh i know. The costs is kinda high, but looks like they used high grade 304 steel... than the cheap steel kind, so it'd prob lasts longer than a soy milk machine. I've ordered a soy milk machine, but it's one without the filter, i still have to strain it.... so i'm still considering getting the Titan. If you get another glass of soy milk out of it each time. It might be worth it. doing it old school way seems messy and time consuming. Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 21:43

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