Making soy milk is less work than you might imagine. Soaked soybeans are cooked, then pureed and filtered through a sieve. The key to making delicious soy milk for kongguksu is not to overcook the beans so that they retain their natural flavor. More often than not, a small amount of sesame seeds and/or nuts (such as pine nuts, peanuts, almonds, and walnuts) are pureed with the soybeans for an extra-nutty flavor. Last summer, I posted my recipe for kongguksu using black soybeans and peanuts. This recipe uses yellow soybeans and pine nuts. Either way, the result is creamy soy milk with a delicate nutty flavor. It is delightful and refreshing!
4 tablespoons roasted pine nuts (or any other nuts of your choosing)
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds (more for garnish)
salt to taste
1 small Kirby (pickling) cucumber, julienned
1 small tomato, sliced (or watermelon) – optional
Drain and place the beans in cold water to cool. Rub the beans with your fingers to remove the skins. Pour out the skins that rise to the top. Add more water. Repeat this process to remove as much as possible.
In a blender, puree 1/2 of the cooked beans, 2 tablespoons of nuts, and a teaspoon of sesame seeds, if using, in about 2 cups of cold water as fine as you can. (The finer it is, the creamier the result will be.) Repeat with the remaining beans. Add water (no more than a cup) to adjust the thickness of the liquid.
Run the puree through a fine strainer for a smooth milk-like texture, stirring with a spoon to force it through. (This step is optional.)
Lightly salt to taste. Stir well. Refrigerate to chill.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook somyeon noodles according to the package instructions (about 3 minutes). Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again and rinse in icy cold water. Make serving size mounds. Place the mounds in a colander to drain.
Stir up the solids settled on the bottom of the soy milk and pour over the noodles in a serving bowl. Garnish with the julienned cucumbers, tomato pieces and/or sesame seeds. Drop in a few ice cubes and serve very cold.
Any leftover soy milk can be refrigerated for 2 – 3 days.