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Homemade coconut milk

February 15, 2013

After receiving a few requests, I decided to finally create documentation detailing how I make homemade coconut milk for all the random coconutty foods I eat.

The first step I do is to poke a hole in one of the three eyes on the head of the mature coconut and drain it from all the coconut water. Which makes a very delicious, electrolyte-ful beverage.

Coconut

The rest of the coconut gets stuck in an oven preheated to 400 degrees to cook for 30 minutes in order to easily separate the meat from the shell later, as a result from being stripped from moisture.

Blended coconut

After wrestling the meat from the cracked shell, I throw the meat into a food processor with some warm water and allow it to blend for 5 minutes, pausing to help scrape down the meat from the side of the container into the water as the pieces continually get pulverized.

Straining
After the water looks reasonably milky, I strain in small batches through a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid from the coconut as possible. Small batches being good in that it drains the liquid the best as it is pressed down, but bad in that it’s a very involved process. It works to also leave something heavy on top of a very large strainer for a long period of time, or to just press easily through a cheesecloth. Whatever works.

Usually I do a second blend with the leftover pieces because usually there is more milk to extract. It’s definitely more watery the second time around, but I don’t like to waste.

Coconut Milk

After the coconut milk is fully separated to cook, I store the leftover pieces to bake with or make coconut-egg pancakes. The milk tends to separate into creamy and watery sections, but a quick stir or shake mixes it all back together.

Steps below just to have it all nice together without pictures getting in the way.

Directions
(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
(2) Manufacture a hole into the coconut through one of the three eyes. Drain of water fully before placing into oven to bake.
(3) Bake the coconut for 30 minutes.
(4) Allow the coconut to cool for at least 10 minutes. Place in plastic bag, stand outside least favorite neighbor’s front door, and smack it on the ground several times until it breaks into pieces.
(5) Continue separating the pieces from the shell. Use a knife if needed. Usually the longer the bake, the easier to separate from the shell, so use discretion on the timings given in these directions based on your oven shelf placement and other random variables.
(6) Place the pieces of coconut into a blender or food processor with 1-1.5 cups of clean water. Blend for 3-5 minutes, scraping bits of the coconut down the sides if necessary.
(7) Strain the coconut pieces and water through a strainer or cheesecloth into a clean container.
(8) Place leftover coconut pieces back into blender or food processor with another 1-1.5 cups of water and blend another 3-5 minutes. Repeat the straining process.
(9) Use coconut milk within 1 week for best results. Otherwise, freezing in plastic bags for a longer shelf life works as well.

Enjoy!

Dai Dai

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