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Coconut milk & cream (for culinary purposes)

To prepare coconut milk and cream from scratch, scrape the meat from a broken coconut and discard the shell. Cut the flesh into 3cm chunks, then either grate it by hand or in a food processor.

For cream: cover the coconut you have with an equal volume of boiling water or milk. Allow this to stand for 30 minutes, then squeeze through muslin or a clean tea towel to extract the liquid. The solids can be thrown away unless making milk. It will still have a slightly granular texture.

For milk: after this first squeezing - set the cream aside for future use, then cover the residue coconut over a 2nd time with the same quantity of boiling water or milk and repeat the operation. You can repeat this a 3rd time if you wish, each pressing will produce a thinner, less oily liquid.

Both the cream and milk keeping the fridge for a few days or freeze well.

Both coconut milk and cream can be bought in tins, or the above procedures can be repeated using unsweetened desiccated coconut. See 'Coconut'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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