We know that Instant Pots are among the hottest cooking trends today—both for the convenience factor in cooking healthful ingredients such as soyfoods and other legumes and for retaining nutrients. That’s because Instant Pot cooking requires shorter cooking times that preserve vitamins and minerals in foods. With the current interest in adding more plant proteins to our diets, we created The Definitive Guide to Cooking Soyfoods (see below or download HERE).
The chart simplifies the process of quickly preparing ingredients such as tempeh, frozen edamame, TVP/TSP (textured vegetable protein/textured soy protein), canned or dried soybeans and other popular soyfoods. The chart also provides cooking times and guidelines for making your own soy yogurt or tempeh in an Instant Pot.
Techniques and ideas for preparing soyfoods in the Instant Pot
Using homemade or packaged soy milk (only two ingredients: water and soybeans), add 1/4 teaspoon yogurt culture (or the powder from one probiotic capsule, 15 billion flora or higher) and stir vigorously (or, if adding to a box of soymilk, shake well). Pour into glass containers (quart jars do well). Place glasses directly in the pot – no water or trivet required – and cover. Move the steam valve to “sealing.” Press the yogurt button, adjust to medium, and set to 8 to 12 hours. When cycle is complete, cover jars with an air-tight lid, allow to come to room temperature and then refrigerate.
Steaming tempeh before marinating is a great way to tenderize it and prepare it for maximum absorption of marinade. Simply add 1/4 cup water to the Instant Pot. Place a trivet and/or steam basket in the pot. Place tempeh on the trivet or in the steam basket. Set for 0 minutes, low pressure, use a quick release.
Tempeh (homemade in the Instant Pot)
- Cook 2 cups dry soybeans (unsoaked) with 5 cups water in the Instant Pot for 50 to 60 minutes on high pressure. Use a natural release.
- Rinse and drain the beans and pour out onto a tea towel (or two) to dry (for about 20 minutes).
- Pat dry with a new tea towel on top. Transfer to a food processor and quickly pulse to split the beans a bit (no more than 10 or 20 seconds).
- In a large bowl combine the beans with 2 tablespoons rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon tempeh starter culture. Mix well.
- Transfer the beans to 2 or 4 plastic bags (pierced with a skewer every one inch). Form beans into a tight rectangle, seal the bag and wrap it securely. Place on a trivet in an Instant Pot with NO water. For more than one block, you can try to fit two small (8-ounce) tempeh bags on a trivet and then put another trivet on top. You want room for circulation.
- Cover the pot. Make sure the sealing lever is on “venting,” not sealing, and select the yogurt function, then toggle the adjust button to low. Allow the tempeh to ferment for 48 hours.
Saute your favorite hearty veggies, a mirepoix (onion, celery, and garlic) and/or diced potatoes, for instance. Crumble tofu into the Instant Pot. Add your favorite spices and seasoning, plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Cover and choose the manual setting, adjusting pressure to “less” (low pressure). Set for 3 minutes. Use a quick release. Uncover, stir and if there’s extra liquid, turn the saute function on to cook down. At this point add cheese, leafy greens or anything else you like to round out the meal.
TVP/TSP and Soy curls
These dried soyfoods are terrific in the Instant Pot. Rehydrate with warm water or broth (1:1 ratio) for 10 minutes. Then add to the pot for soup, stews, stirfries, fillers (tacos, enchiladas, burritos) and more. They can cook up as quickly as three minutes at low pressure (quick release) but can hold up for a few more minutes if you have a longer cooking ingredient (like potatoes).
A few of our favorite Instant Pot recipes starring soyfoods
- Tempeh Rice Bowl
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers with TSP
- Delicious Vegetable Soup with Black Soybeans
- Soy Curl Mac ‘n Cheese
Download a PDF of the chart HERE.