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Old 09-04-2004, 07:05 AM   #1
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Coconut milk?

Has anyone tried to make coconut milk for Thai recepies using dried unsweetened shredded coconut?

I have instructions from The Book of Tempeh by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi (see below). It looks simple but I was wondering about the quality of the final product. TIA

Code:
put 1-1/2 cups dried coconut in blender with 2-1/4 cups very hot tap water
let stand 5 minutes, then puree for 1 minute
pour coconut puree into fine mesh strainer set over a bowl and press to expel as much milk as possible

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Old 09-04-2004, 05:10 PM   #2
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hmmm thats could be a way i take a fresh coconut and drink the juice then i use a knife to scrap the meat and then take a mesh strainer and put the coconut meat in the mesh and sqeeze it dry like a towel. I saw that in hawaii and it works
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Old 09-05-2004, 10:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
hmmm thats could be a way i take a fresh coconut and drink the juice then i use a knife to scrap the meat and then take a mesh strainer and put the coconut meat in the mesh and sqeeze it dry like a towel. I saw that in hawaii and it works
The book says if you're using the blender method with fresh coconut you grate the coconut (don't have to remove the thin brown covering) but use equal amounts grated coconut to water (or the coconut water).

I was actually wondering if anyone had experience using dried coconut to make the milk and also how the milk compares to the canned coconut milk one can buy.

A side note:
Probably no one knows about the cook books published by William Shurtleff and Akiko Aoyagi. They also published The Book of Tofu and several others. Their books were originally published in the middle to late 70's - around the time that the seminal Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé (1975) first got people thinking about reducing meat intake. Their goal was to introduce soy products to an American audience. Their recipies are a mix of authentic Asian and Americanized. What I loved about them is that they gave explicit, detailed instructions how to make tofu and tempeh in a home kitchen.

I know I'm dating myself here but as they say, "what goes around comes around". Now, vegetarian and vegan cooking is really popular on college campuses. When I started, only hippies did it.
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Old 09-05-2004, 11:49 AM   #4
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i would just go and expirement around. i would assume that the hot water would rehydrate the dry coconut, but i would just go ahead and try it.
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:16 PM   #5
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I use dehydrated (dessicated as we call it) coconut to make coconut milk. I prefer the texture of the tinned product, but you can't really tell the difference in a Thai dish. Go for it! It's a great stand by, as I always have dried coconut in the cupboard, but not always a tin of coconut milk.
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Old 11-03-2004, 07:04 AM   #6
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The instructions you have are the same as I have read. And yes, when people here in Sri Lanka make coconut milk, they will squeeze the shredded coconut to expel as much liquid as they can, then add water and repeat several times.

It's also possible, depending on where you live, to buy dried coconut milk powder. I regularly found it on the shelves of the Asian aisle in grocery stores in Canada. In that case, it then becomes an issue of merely adding water without that extra fuss.

The other thing to pay attention to, though, is whether the recipe calls for thinn or thick coconut milk - if they specify.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:19 AM   #7
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That is the way to do it.

But since you can buy it in tins, or solid block for, why bother? It is a lot of effort.

And if you like pina colladas, it's MUCH better to use the low fat variety. Much more drinkable.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:07 AM   #8
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thanks to all for the replies - I did try making it with dried coconut; it was fine but a little thin, so the next time I just reduced the water a bit.

I've since discovered a local supermarket carries canned coconut milk at a reasonable price so I'll think I'll go that route in the future. One brand is imported from Thailand, the other is by Goya (a major importer for the Latin market for those who don't know). Does anyone have an opinion on which brand might be better or doesn't it make any difference (ya - I know - I can try both and make up my own mind - just thought I'd ask). TIA
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:10 AM   #9
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Just a comment. The coconut milk sold in cans here has cornstarch added to it. Atleast that's what I have heard. They do this to make the milk appear thicker.

The best coconut milk is made using fresh coconut with water (as others stated). Keep blending and straining the milk out. You can repeat this process until the coconut husk has no milk left in it.

As for a dry coconut. I am not sure you will be able to extract a lot of milk even by rehydrating it given at that point the coconut is pretty oily.

I have eaten a lot of dried coconut in my childhood days (actually I can't resist on giving my jaw a good exercise even today if I see a peice of dried coconut) and it's flavor is much more concentrated and oily than it's fresh counterpart.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:43 PM   #10
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its 99 cents a can here with maybe 10 difft good brands, so making my own (althoughintriguing) doesn't make much sense.
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