Food has been noted as a reason for Japan’s world-leading longevity and value has also often been found in ingredients which would ordinarily be thrown away during the manufacturing process. However, I’m focusing on one particular ingredient today which is also effective for dieting.


       Okara is the remnants that remain after soy milk is extracted from soy beans in the production of tofu, or in other words, tofu lees. It is low-calorie, high in dietary fiber, and expands when water is added, making you feel full. Raw okara has been sold as food for a long time, however the powdered okara that has gone on sale recently has become very popular in Japan.


       It is easy to use, and can simply be mixed with rice and added to grilled or pan-fried dishes. It can also be mixed with yogurt and jam and enjoyed as a dessert. Okara itself is almost tasteless, so it’s easy to add to your usual dishes. Lady Gaga is also rumored to use okara in her diet. Okara is quite topical in Japan at the moment and it can be purchased cheaply and easily from most supermarkets; why not add it to your souvenir list?