Doujiang (Soy Milk) 豆漿

posted in: Recipes | 12

Growing up, soy-based products were never strangers in my home, but it took me a good few years before I could truly appreciate and enjoy the flavour of soy milk. Ironically, I was given soy milk for babies when I was a young warthog. And by warthog, I mean infant.

In Mandarin, we say “doujiang” – ‘dou’ meaning bean and ‘jiang’ meaning liquid/beverage/drink. The reason why the word “nai 奶” (which is milk) cannot be used is because the word includes a feminine element (女). The reason for this is that “milk” technically comes from female mammals and doujiang is far from being an animal product, i.e vegan-friendly.

Doujiang is part of a traditional oriental breakfast. This liquid is an extraction of the soybean and the substance is milk-like, providing incredibly nutritious properties. You can drink soy milk hot or cold and since it’s so easily accessible in most retail supermarkets, many people don’t know how to make their own.

Making your own allows you to have fresh soy milk and avoid all the preservatives and additives used in cartons. I suppose you can buy a soy milk machine that can make it for you, but it’s, honestly, such an easy process – all you need is a blender, muslin cloth and a large pot. My papa showed me how to make the perfect soy milk.

Makes about 2 litres


  • 2 Cups of soybeans
  • 8 Cups of water (excluding soaking water)
  • sugar to taste*


  • Sift through the dry soybeans, remove stones and bad soy beans, and rinse it a few times with water.
  • Soak the soybeans overnight in water. Make sure that there is twice the volume of water compared to the beans. The beans will grow twice their original size when ready. (step 1)
  • Blend half the beans with 4 cups of water for 1 minute.
  • Prepare a colander in a deep soup pot, with a muslin cloth lining the colander
  • Pour the blended pulpy mixture into the muslin cloth (step 2)
  • Squeeze all the liquid out into the pot – that is straight soy milk. (step 3)
  • Blend the rest of the beans and water and repeat the process.
  • Once all the liquid has been squeezed out, heat the pot up on the stove at a low temperature. The heating process is amazing because this is when you can smell the fragrant soy milk.
  • Keep a close eye on the heating process and mix it every few minutes to avoid the soy milk from sticking to the sides.
  • Scoop the foam up that’s collecting on the top.
  • When it starts boiling, simmer for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to keep mixing.
  • *Add sugar to taste (1/2 cup at most) – this is optional.
How to make soy milk from soy beans


Serve hot or cold or use as an ingredient in another recipe.

In Cape Town, you can buy fresh soy milk from some Chinese supermarkets. I usually go to Live Mart in Durbanville.

12 Responses

  1. Nice one Ming! I absolutely LOVE doujiang and drink it by the litre. I’ve never actually made it myself because it is so freely available here. I know of only 2 friends here that make it themselves, and then not very often.

    I’ve also seen a machine in one of the shops the other day that you can buy to make your own. Think I’ll give your method a try though!

  2. […] For pictures of the basic method, please visit the original post at Butterfingers. […]

  3. […] was originally posted on Butterfingers, where you’ll also have step-by-step […]

  4. Jasmine
    | Reply

    I just made soya milk and soya pudding. Yummo!

  5. Solly
    | Reply

    I’m trying to find the traditional way of preparing soya milk in China. I found one comment from a poster whose gran stated that traditionally soya milk required the removal of the ‘filmy part’ of the bean after the initial soak as this part is unhealthy. This was done by rubbing the beans in a bowl of water – called ‘winnowing’ or dehulling. Did your papa mention this? How old is he?

    Thanks for the lovely post! Very clear and concise. 🙂

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      Hi Solly

      Yes, you can remove the film, I’ve done some research to find out all the different methods. But because the liquid is strained through the muslin cloth, none of the film particles actually goes through. Taste factor-wise, it doesn’t make much difference with the film or without. It just takes a bit longer to remove the film before blending the beans.

      • Solly
        | Reply

        Thanks for this!

      • Solly
        | Reply

        I made my first batch tonight using your recipe. Delicious! Thanks for sharing this easy recipe.

  6. Leigh Lee
    | Reply

    I made this on Sunday morning. I have been craving Chinese soy milk for ages, as all the soy milk here in Korea is really thick, sweet and just plain yuck. It’s so simple and tastes like the 豆酱 I drank in China.
    Thank you!!!

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      The best thing about making something from scratch is that you can control all the extra ingredients to make it the way you like most. People have different taste. So glad this recipe helped you!

  7. […] Click here for a doujiang recipe! […]

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