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Coconut Milk Recipe

Why It Works

  • A screwdriver with its pointed steel finish and lengthy deal with is right for piercing the coconut eyes open to empty the coconut water earlier than cracking open the coconut.
  • Mixing the cleaned coconut flesh with a measured 3 cups of coconut water ensures a contemporary coconut-forward remaining drink with a easy texture.

Making contemporary coconut milk is definitely fairly easy, but it surely does require some effort and instruments which might be extra prone to be present in your toolbox than your kitchen. Sure, we do name for a screwdriver and a hammer on this recipe, however the effort is nicely definitely worth the reward. The subtly candy and nutty taste of contemporary coconut milk has layers of complexity that its canned equal can by no means obtain. Whereas canned coconut milk is a completely acceptable and handy ingredient, its taste would not rival the from-scratch, probably because of canned shedding a few of its extra delicate taste compounds throughout processing below excessive warmth, and having emulsifiers or stabilizers usually added to it.

If you would like your dishes that comprise coconut milk to succeed in their fullest potential, contemporary is the way in which to go.

Attain For Your Toolbox: Methods to Safely Open a Recent Coconut

The prospect of opening a contemporary coconut might be intimidating at first. Its exhausting and spherical shell makes it tough to carry regular when making use of stress to open. Don’t be tempted to choose up your largest knife attainable and simply begin hacking away at it. The quantity of pressure and stress wanted to chop by means of the coconut may end in severe harm, or, greatest case situation, wasted coconut water splashed over your chopping board and kitchen flooring together with fragments of coconut meat.

Step one to extracting coconut milk is to make sure a protected working surroundings. Safe a chopping board to the kitchen counter with a non-slip pad or moist paper towels, then high with a kitchen towel that you’re comfy getting messy. (Preserve these fantastic tea towels folded of their drawer for one more use.) Now the coconut might be nestled into the towel. The gentle material will maintain it securely in place when making use of stress to open, extra so than a easy chopping board would.

Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


One of many key elements in making contemporary coconut milk is the coconut water trapped inside. One of the simplest ways to open the shell whereas nonetheless preserving the coconut water is to pearce open two of the three “eyes.”—the cluster of small round indentations on one finish of the coconut The coconut eyes are literally the seed’s germination pores (a tough, brown coconut shell is, in actual fact, the seed of the coconut fruit).

As talked about earlier, don’t attain for an enormous sharp knife to pierce the eyes, as a substitute open your toolbox. A screwdriver with its pointed steel finish and lengthy deal with is right for piercing the eyes open. With the coconut mounted in place on the kitchen towel, maintain the screwdriver regular with the pointed finish flush to the attention and use a hammer to faucet the again of the screwdriver’s deal with. Begin gently, and hammer, rising stress if wanted, till punctured. 

As soon as you have punched by means of two of the eyes, the coconut water can then be poured right into a bowl with out shedding a drop. For the reason that quantity of coconut water will differ from coconut to coconut, I like to recommend including water, if wanted, to measure three cups of whole liquid. This ensures there may be sufficient liquid to mix right into a easy combination as soon as the coconut meat is extracted and added.

The drained coconut can now be cracked totally open with the hammer. As soon as cracked open, use a spoon or paring knife to patiently separate the coconut meat from the outer shell. Forewarning, that is arguably probably the most time consuming a part of this course of, particularly if that is your first coconut. It’s okay if among the skinny brown pores and skin stays hooked up to the coconut meat, but it surely’s vital that all the exhausting outer shell is eliminated. Not solely is the shell more durable to mix, but it surely imparts an undesirable bitter taste as nicely.

Mix, Twist, Pressure: Making Recent Coconut Milk

Now it’s time to mix. Add the measured three cups coconut water (with added water if wanted) and the coconut meat to a blender and mix on the bottom velocity, then slowly enhance to most velocity. Growing the velocity in increments will insure you preserve a vortex whereas mixing. I extremely advocate utilizing a high-powered blender. A blender with much less motor energy could wrestle to completely break down the agency coconut meat. It is going to nonetheless work, however the outcomes is not going to be as creamy or easy as when utilizing a high-powered blender.

Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


As soon as blended, switch to a strainer lined with cheesecloth, collect the edges of the cheesecloth collectively, and twist, squeezing till all the coconut milk is extracted from the pulp. For simpler dealing with, this may be performed in two or three smaller batches as nicely. If you’re performed, all that ought to be left contained in the cheesecloth is dried coconut pulp.

Sip, Cook dinner, or Freeze: Methods to Use and Retailer Recent Coconut Milk

The freshly extracted coconut milk is superb sipped as-is, or it may be substituted for canned coconut milk in any recipe the place canned is named for. It’s an prompt improve to your favourite curry, and I extremely advocate cooking it down till thick and candy within the satisfying fish-forward Jamaican breakfast known as rundown.

Should you don’t plan on having fun with contemporary coconut milk instantly, retailer it in an hermetic container and refrigerate it for as much as two days. As soon as the milk has been sitting, the fats, water, and sediments will start to settle and separate. Merely give it a tough shake or stir to recombine earlier than utilizing. Alternatively, the contemporary coconut milk might be frozen for as much as one month. If planning to make use of it in small portions afterward, attempt pouring the coconut milk into an ice dice tray to freeze. You may then come out only a few ice cubes, thaw them within the fridge in a single day, after which use as desired—they’re an ideal addition to breakfast smoothies.

Whereas making contemporary coconut milk is just not an on a regular basis job, the candy and wealthy coconut milk is nicely definitely worth the effort.

This recipe was developed by Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau; the headnote was written by Leah Colins.

Methods to Make Coconut Milk

A number of instruments and a little bit of elbow grease yields the freshest coconut milk attainable.

  • 1 complete dry coconut (about 1 1/2 kilos; 680g)

  1. Place the coconut on a folded kitchen towel on high of a chopping board (this creates a gentle work floor). Utilizing a screwdriver, and tapping it with a hammer if crucial, puncture and open 2 of the three eyes on high of the coconut. Pour the coconut water by means of the opened eyes right into a 4-cup (1L) measuring cup or or massive bowl, then add sufficient water, if wanted, to whole 3 cups (710ml); put aside.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  2. Utilizing a hammer, crack the now-drained coconut shell totally open. Take away kitchen towel from the chopping board. Utilizing a spoon or small knife, rigorously pry out coconut meat, separating it from the shell. Ensure that to take away all exhausting shell items, although it’s okay if bits of the skinny brown pores and skin stay hooked up to the meat.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  3. Switch coconut meat and reserved coconut water combination to a high-powered blender and mix, tamping with the blender’s tamper (if it has one) or stopping and scraping down the edges as wanted, till coconut combination is totally pureed right into a milky slurry.

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


  4. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth and set it over a big bowl. Pour the blended coconut slurry into the ready strainer. Collect the cheesecloth up across the slurry, then twist straight over the strainer to surround the slurry. Proceed to twist and squeeze cheesecloth over the strainer, tightening the packet and expressing coconut milk as you go, till no extra coconut milk might be expressed and solely the now-dry coconut pulp stays within the contact. Discard coconut pulp and reserve strained coconut milk; you must have about 3 cups (710ml).

    Critical Eats / Karina Matalon


Particular Gear

Screwdriver, hammer, high-powered blender, fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth.

Make-Forward and Storage

The freshly made coconut milk might be saved in an hermetic container and refrigerated for as much as 2 days or frozen for as much as 4 weeks. Thaw within the fridge till liquid, about 24 hours, earlier than utilizing.

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