How to make coconut milk

I make my own coconut milk. It tastes nuttier and richer than that from a can, and frankly, I enjoy spending vast amounts of my spare time preparing food. Most recipes for making milk mention grating up the coconut or extracting the white flesh with a zester or fork – but it is much faster to pulp the flesh up in a blender.

how to make coconut milk

You’ll need a hammer, a clean cloth, a blender and an old brown coconut.

how to make coconut milk

In his book Thai Food, David Thompson recommends cracking the coconut open with the back of your heavy cleaver but a hammer is much more efficient and satisfying, with the added bonus of not risking losing an ear. Whack the coconut with the hammer until it cracks open. Let the juice inside run out and discard (or drink it, if you’re into sour coconut water).

how to make coconut milk

Opened.

how to make coconut milk

Peel out the white flesh using a knife or a spoon. There is a thin and woody brown membrane that coats the flesh, the testa.

how to make coconut milk

Cut it off.

how to make coconut milk

Continue until you’ve separated the brown parts from the white. Place the white flesh into your blender along with about two cups of warm water. Blend until thoroughly shredded.

how to make coconut milk

Pour the shredded mix into the tea towel or clean cloth.

how to make coconut milk

Squeeze out the milk. I’d do this with both hands, but my other one is holding the camera.

how to make coconut milk

Let it settle. The thick layer on top is coconut cream, the thinner milk is beneath.

8 Comments How to make coconut milk

  1. Maytel

    incidentally Hock and I recently met David with Austin, and I told him a story about a friend of mine from NZ who was at the time an unemployed architect and used to work as his dishwasher at his old restaurant in Kings Cross. The job included the back breaking work of having to crack the coconuts and extract the pulp. I think he’s happy as an architect now.

    Reply
  2. Nick

    I just tried this. I hadn’t planned to, but I saw a coconut in the supermarket. The hammer-smashing bit was easier and more fun than I expected. The skin removal part was harder and less fun than I expected. The end result was fairly watery, next time I’ll start with 1 cup of water and add more if necessary. I put it in a lamb curry and it was very nice!

    Reply
  3. Jertoons

    A few videos show how to tap around the equator with the back of a heavy knife or cleaver. I tried this, works very well. No hammer needed. Also, you may do this while it is still inside the orange netting from the market. A MicroPlane vegetable peeler works very well to remove the brown skin (or testa). MicroPlane tools are molecularly sharpened (not mechanically sharpened). The serrated peeler really does peel tomatoes easy as an apple. The blender won’t liquify brown coconut, and I have a Waring 3.5 HP, almost twice as fast as the VitaMix. Does blending and soaking work ? How long, if it does soak. I am used to using young, green coconuts and the meat is still “jell-ish”, blends easily. But they’re hard to get and rarely have good quantities of flesh inside. Browns are plentiful and have up to 5X more coconut meat. Also — what to make with the unliquified tiny bits of meat ?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *