Can I make Coconut Milk From Dried Coconut?

By: Dried Coconuts Filed Under: Uncategorized Posted: November 15, 2012

Oh my, you certainly can make your own coconut milk from dried coconut. I love it. But since it is so convenient to pick it up at the supermarket, that is my method of choice. However, there are many people who like the thrill of making things on their own, especially when it comes to cooking.

Of course, the ideal way to make your own coconut milk is to start with fresh coconut. Not everyone lives in the tropics, though and it is harder to get your hands on genuinely fresh coconut in the perfect stage of ripeness to make your coconut milk if you live in a northern climate. You see, when the coconut is still green there is more liquid inside. That is ideal time. But do not be fooled. That coconut water is not involved in the making of coconut milk. Drain it off and save it for other recipes.

Coconut milk is actually an extract of the white “meat” of the coconut. It is an old wives tale that you get coconut milk by boiling shredded coconut in milk. (Though that may taste good too!)

Let’s assume you have fresh coconut to start with. Be sure your kitchen counter and utensils are clean, and your hands and the coconut,too. That is to avoid the potential risk of salmonella contamination. There is no salmonella IN coconut, but the fresh coconut is vulnerable if you have exposure to salmonella bacteria.

Shred or grate your coconut meat really into really fine particles. You can use a large mixing bowl for most of this preparation. Put one cup of grated coconut into the bowl and add 1 cup of hot water. Mix it together.Then cover the bowl and let it sit and cool down 5 or 10 minutes so it is easy to handle. Then you can use a smaller bowl to press down on the coconut mixture to extract the liquid. Stain the coconut liquid to keep the pulp separate. The resulting liquid is either coconut cream or coconut milk, depending on how thick it is.

You can repeat this process several times to get thinner coconut milk each time you do it. Some recipes require coconut cream while others call for coconut milk. Be sure to keep each collection of liquid separate and covered. If you are not using it immediately (which is unusual) refrigerate it.

To do this with dried coconut, you will need to adjust the proportions of water and coconut. Use twice as much water as dried coconut. Let it soak longer. Then squeeze it harder. Straining with cheesecloth will help you keep the pulp out of the resulting coconut milk. Have fun. Remember to clean up well after you do this too!

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