Dried soy beans are an inexpensive and convenient staple to keep in your pantry. Because dried soy beans can take so long to cook, you might want to cook a large amount so that you can enjoy them throughout the next few days, and ensure that you leave enough time to cook them before you want to serve them. This recipe will direct you to cook soy beans in the most straightforward way. From there, you can add them to soups, salads or serve them as sides---however you prefer. How much you cook is completely up to you; the recipe is flexible and can be used for any amount.
Pick through the soybeans, discarding any hulls, stones or dark-colored soybeans. Wash the soybeans, rubbing them together lightly. Rinse them well once or twice.
Place the soybeans in your large bowl, and cover them with 2 inches of water. Add more water if the soybeans soak up so much that they are no longer covered. Soak them in the water for 8 hours (overnight or all day), or longer until they become plump. Older soybeans will need to soak for a longer period, some as long as 12 hours.
Drain the soybeans, rinsing them again if their soaking water was cloudy.
Place them in the bottom of a large pot. The soybeans should come up only one-quarter of the way up the side of the pot.
Pour enough water in the pot to come up one-third of the way up the pot, covering the soybeans. Leave extra room in the pot for the water to foam up, as this tends to happen when cooking dried soybeans.
Bring the water to a full boil over medium heat, then simmer for about 3 hours until the soybeans are soft. Skim off any foam that floats to the top. Stir occasionally, discarding any hulls that come off during stirring and float to the top.
Strain the soybeans and eat as desired. You can toss them in a salad, toss them with olive oil and some grated cheese, or just salt them and eat them straight.