Long popular in the East, soyfoods have only recently found a home in Western kitchens. Yet beyond tofu, many people are still at a loss about what to do with the versatile bean. Use the primer below as one might use a tour guide to a foreign culture. All these soyfoods can be found in supermarkets, natural-foods stores or Asian groceries.
What it is: Mature soybeans that have been dried, hulled and split can be ground into flour. The texture is denser than wheat flour and it has a pronounced flavor some describe as "beany."
What to do with it: Soy flour makes a good protein-rich substitute for wheat flour in recipes, but because it contains no gluten, replace no more than one-quarter of the total flour called for. Full-fat soy flour can go rancid quickly; keep it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months or in the freezer for up to 1 year.