Li Yu-Ying - 1881-1973 - Page 4

by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi


A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and
Soyfoods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s

©Copyright 2004 Soyfoods Center, Lafayette, Californi


Li Yu-Ying Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Work with Soy in China. We lose track of Li from 1912 until 1927, when we rediscover him mentioned repeatedly in Horvath's excellent monograph of that year, The Soybean as Human Food. Li was then connected (in what way we are not told) with the Kai Cheng Bean Products Company in Beijing. Among the soyfoods that Horvath mentions produced by the company are the most famous of the various kinds of Chinese confectionery made with the addition of soy flour ("Some of them are really excellent and are sold in most of the big shops in the cities."), an artificial soybean coffee which is claimed to be "a good substitute for real coffee, cures constipation, and improves appetites," and various secondary soyfoods made from tofu, such as several types of soybean meat and soybean sausages. The company had also established a restaurant in Beijing (at 86 Morrison St.), where one could get a Chinese dinner with numerous dishes prepared mostly from soybean products, such as chicken meat, pork, ham, and beef, all made from tofu. It is not clear whether these were traditional Chinese preparations or new dishes which Li developed and introduced, based in part on his work in Paris.

1700's Chinese Ivory Food Container

That is the last we know of Li. What else he did, where and when he died is unknown. His name, however, reappeared in 1956 when Philip S. Chen, author of Soybeans for Health, Longevity, and Economy, dedicated the first edition of his book to "Li Yu Ying and William J. Morse." In subsequent editions, Li's name was replaced by that of Harry W. Miller.

A thorough biographical sketch of Li Yu-ying has yet to be written. We urge anyone (Chinese, Parisian, or soyfoods researcher) to take up this challenge and send us whatever new information you can find.

Part 4
Li Yu-Ying Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4