View All Molecular Gastronomy Glossary

Soy Lecithin

What is Soy Lecithin?

Lecithin, also called soy lecithin, is a natural emulsifier that comes from fatty substances found in plant tissues. It is derived from soy beans either mechanically or chemically and is a byproduct of soy bean oil creation. The end product is a light brown powder that has low water solubility.

As an emulsifier, it works to blend immiscible ingredients together, such as oil and water, giving way to stable preparations.

Aside from being used as an emulsifier, soy lecithin is also used in creating foams, airs, mousses and other aerated dishes that are long lasting and full of flavor. It is also used in pastries, confections and chocolate to enhance dough and increase moisture tolerance.

When used as an emulsifier, soy lecithin can be whisked directly into the liquid of choice. A concentration of 0.5% to 1% of the liquid's weight may be used depending on the desired outcome of the preparation.

In the preparation of foams, the lecithin can be added to the liquid with dosage ranging from 0.3% to 0.8% and aerated with a hand blender just below the surface of the liquid. The resulting foam may be skimmed off for use and will remain set for upwards or 15 or 30 minutes.

As with most ingredients, dosage and concentration for soy lecithin will depend on the ingredients used, specific properties desired in the resulting preparation, as well as other conditions.

Related Soy Lecithin Articles

Mustard Air

This modernist mustard soy lecithin air is a great way to add unique flavors and textures to dishes like pork or hot dogs. Airs are easy and quick to make and can be done at the last minute.
Read the whole article.

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Air and Fried Snow Peas

I love cooking sous vide pork tenderloin and this recipe combines it with fried snow peas, chanterelle mushrooms, and a light mustard-based lecithin air.
Read the whole article.

Turkey Bite with Gravy and Cranberry Air Recipe

This recipe makes a fun party dish that combines turkey with a foamed gravy and a cranberry air for a great small plate treat. The cranberry air will last for 5 to 10 minutes after plating, so the quicker you serve this dish the better.
Read the whole article.

Chicken Piccata with Lemon-Caper Air Recipe

Chicken piccata is a light Italian dish that uses salty capers and acidic lemon to complement breaded and fried chicken. In this recipe I use sous vide to ensure the chicken is super moist and fully cooked. For a fun modernist take, I turn the lemon caper juice into a delicate air with an immersion blender.
Read the whole article.

Candied Bacon with Chive Air Recipe

Deviled eggs with bacon and chives are a common party food but this recipe takes it up a notch by using modernist cooking techniques to make it candied bacon and chive air! Your party guests will enjoy the crispy, sweet, spicy and smoky flavors of the candied bacon while the chive air adds a fresh onion flavor with a hint of sweetness. A fun treat for your family and friends.
Read the whole article.

Xanthan Strengthened Maple Vinaigrette Recipe

This is a simple modernist vinaigrette to make and utilizes both xanthan gum and lecithin to strengthen and thicken it. I really like the sweet maple syrup with the tangy balsamic vinegar. This goes well on salads, especially ones with berries. You can also add a little more xanthan gum and use the vinaigrette as a sauce on fish or chicken.
Read the whole article.

Soy Lecithin

Soy lecithin is a modernist ingredient used to stabilize emulsions and foams. It is commonly used to create "airs" and other light foams.
Read the whole article.

How to Make a Soy Lecithin Foam

One of the most popular methods in molecular gastronomy is the creation of foams. While they are associated with modernist cuisine, foams have been used for centuries and range from meringues and whip cream to bread and quiche. Here we will look at how to make a foam with soy lecithin.
Read the whole article.

Soy Lecithin Citrus Air Recipe

Within molecular gastronomy one of the easiest things to experiment with are foams. There are a lot of ingredients that can cause foams, and a lot of variety depending on what type of foam you are trying to make. For my preparation I wanted to make an "air", basically a really, really light foam, similar to the fizzy head you get when you pour soda or a light beer. For this type of foam soy lecithin is perfect.
Read the whole article.

Frothy Tequila with Citrus Air Recipe

My wife loves tequila, especially straight or in a margarita. I wanted to do a fun twist for her so I decided to make a cocktail with tequila that would resemble a beer. This frothy tequila with citrus air recipe is a fun play on a margarita, tequila shot, and beer combination. If you like tequila you'll love this!
Read the whole article.

Soy Foam Recipe

Soy foams are an easy way to get started with molecular recipes and this soy sauce foam recipe is no exception. It's very easy to make and the only special tools are soy lecithin and an immersion blender.
Read the whole article.
placeholder image