Why It Works
- Thickening soy milk with just the right amount of gelatin produces a pudding with the perfect wobbly consistency.
- Warming only a portion of the soy milk to bloom and dissolve the gelatin allows the pudding to cool much faster.
For those of you who drink soy milk, I wonder if you started out the way I did: Sips of chocolate soy, then vanilla soy. After a few years, when the vanilla became too sweet for me, I finally moved to unsweetened. A glass of whole milk tastes like cream to me now, and low-fat milk seems sour. I can't even imagine what freshly made soy milk tastes like. Some day I'll give it a go, but if you want to do it before me, try our recipe for homemade soy milk.
Soy milk tastes incredibly fresh and clean, and soy pudding is nothing more than soy milk which has been gelled just enough to barely hold it together. It's delicate, with a creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture. Served well-chilled, it's one of my favorite ways to crush the sticky-hot Singapore heat. And Singapore is crazy for it, with folks queuing up just to get a taste of this simple, clean flavored sweet. Mr. Bean, Lao Ban, and QQ Soya Bean are just a few of the many, many, places to slurp it, whether in a hawker center, grocery store, or dessert shop. Even 7-Eleven sells soya pudding!
Competition is fierce. I've seen soya stalls pop up right next to another, and within a few months the loser is packing up their beans.
Flavors are basic, and the pudding is eaten unadorned (no whipped cream, no sprinkles). The lightly sweetened original flavor (my favorite), almond, and chocolate seem to be the most popular. Mango, strawberry, coffee, green tea, and durian are others. Recipes vary between shops, with differences in texture and flavor—some firmer than others, some sweet—resulting in a fan base for each business.
Flavors are basic, and the pudding is eaten unadorned (no whipped cream, no sprinkles). The lightly sweetened original flavor (my favorite), almond, and chocolate seem to be the most popular. Mango, strawberry, coffee, green tea, and durian are others. Recipes vary between shops, with the differences in texture and flavor—some firmer than others, some sweet—resulting in a fan base for each business.
Because it's so easy to make your own pudding, I couldn't resist posting a simple recipe for an original flavor (plain) soya beancurd. Soy milk and gelatin—that's it. There are recipes that are based on powdered soy milk (I suspect some shops do this because of the super light consistency of the pudding), and some recipes incorporate powdered creamer for richness, but I chose to stick with simple, liquid soy milk, with a touch of vanilla. I used just enough gelatin to achieve a perfectly wobbly consistency. After four hours in the fridge, good and cold, it'll not only cool away the beads of sweat on your forehead but it's the perfect light, sweet ending you crave after ingesting a ginormous Sichuan meal. For a little extra flavor, place sliced bananas in the bottom of the serving dish to make it a banana soy pudding.
3 cups soy milk, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 packet) gelatin
Sugar to taste (see notes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place 1 1/2 cups soy milk in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over top and let sit 5 minutes to allow gelatin to soften.
Heat soy milk over medium heat, stirring, just until gelatin dissolves (do not boil soy milk). Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups soy milk and vanilla. Sweeten to taste. Pour into serving bowls and chill until set and very cold, 3 to 4 hours.
Use your favorite soy milk. Because sweetness levels vary between brands, sweeten to taste.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 3g||4%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 9g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|