Soybean Recipes

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Canh Kho Qua (Bitter Melon Soup Recipe) Recipe

Khổ qua ("bitter melon" in English) is a truly unique vegetable. Its warty, pale-green color could scare even a veteran foodie away. However, it’s actually a very forgiving and versatile veggie! In Vietnamese cuisine, it's often served with pork or shrimp; I filled it with soybean stuffing instead to imitate the meat and served the bitter melons in canh (Vietnamese broth).

I love this dish because it's so flavorful and the texture of the soybeans is dense and very similar to meat. I also flavored the filling with fresh wood ear mushrooms for a more meaty texture. If you're trying this dish for the first time, I have to warn you that bitter melon, as its name indicates is, well, bitter. But really, you have to try it at least once. It's a love-it or hate-it kind of vegetable, but who knows, my might get struck by Cupid's arrow!


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Vietnamese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Tau Hu Cuon La Nho) Recipe

This recipe is the result of one of my many experiments. The plants in our garden are starting to sprout beautifully. We have a small grape vine, so I used the leaves as wrappers for some Vietnamese vegetarian appetizers called tàu hũ cuốn lá nho (grape leaf wrapped tofu).

If you want to make the dish truly authentic, you should use betel leaves, but I find this version served on occasion. Betel leaves have a peppery, slightly bitter taste and I think the grape leaves taste a lot milder. The choice of the filling is really up to you. I filled them with bean thread noodles, fried jicama, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein).

Either way, they make the perfect snack or appetizers. They're healthy, tasty and packed with good nutrition.


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Edamame Hummus Recipe Recipe

Edamame Hummus Recipe

04.28.11 by Jackie

Edamame beans, also known as soybeans, are a common, healthy snack in our home. They're packed with fiber, protein and iron. So it's especially good because most of the family is vegetarian. To change things a little, I removed the thick velvety shells and made edamame hummus. The spread is made the same way I would make regular garbanzo hummus, except that I flavored it with feta cheese for a creamier texture.

I left the edamame hummus on the table while preparing dinner. Everyone spread it on warm pieces of garlic bread. It's a great way to keep everyone patient while I’m getting dinner ready. If you're planning on serving it for a party, you could create crostini appetizers. They're always a hit!


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Soybean Soup with Gingko Nuts (Healthy Soup Recipe) Recipe

Soybean soup is my vegetarian version of Vietnamese crab soup, called "súp cua chay". I use instant soy meal that I buy at the Korean market. Once the soy meal mixture is cooked, the appearance of the soup is very similar to crab meat.

In addition to the "fake crab", I add fresh gingko nuts, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms to give the soup a meaty texture. The soup is light and healthy, so I serve it often as a first course.


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Bun Rieu Chay Recipe (Vietnamese Vegetarian Vermicelli Rice Noodle Soup) Recipe

Bún riêu cua is traditionally a vermicelli rice noodle soup made with tomato broth, meat, crab and shrimp paste. I'm not a very big fan of the meat flavors with shrimp paste so I usually make it meatless, using a paste of soybeans (and add the crab separately). The visuals and texture resemble the crab patties and the broth has the same fragrance from the sweet tomatoes.

The soup is typical Vietnamese comfort food. It's paired with the usual Vietnamese aromatic herbs and topped with other vegetables and fried tofu for a complete meal.


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