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Old 02-07-2007, 11:02 AM   #1
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Coconut Milk Products

Coconut Shrimp is becoming very popular. I have not made a shrimp dish like this for a long tme and I lived 1500 miles across the nation when I did.
I am looking at possible products for making coconut shrimp. I don't get as excited as most about buying coconuts in Illinois. They look prehistoric. I think the ones I passed on 15 years ago are the same ones that they have now wrapped in plastic and labeled "organic". Very small (probably shrunk), very dark in color, and they give me the creeps!
I was checking out the canned coconut milk which they have next to the evaporated milk (?) The only coconut milk was labeled "Thai Coconut Milk."
What kind of coconut milk is that?

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Old 02-07-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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When you ask "what kind of coconut milk is that" what do you mean?

Also most coconut shrimp recipes don't use cocnut milk -- just shredded coconut you can buy in a bag in the baking aisle.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:18 AM   #3
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StirBlue as Jennyema asked can you clarify what do you mean by coconut shrimps. Shrimps can be fried with a batter that has coconut flakes in it or you can cook the shrimps in a coconut based sauce (curry).

For the first version you would need shredded coconut and not the milk. I am not sure where you live in IL. If you can elaborate I can give you some good sources where you can buy good quality frozen shredded coconut that does not look old or nasty.

I also have great luck picking up fresh coconuts at my farmers market. It's a bit of work than I have time to put in so I buy the frozen stuff. You can also get dry coconut flakes unsweetend versions at Indian stores and also at stores like Whole Foods.

The product you came accross in the store is coconut milk. It is used by a lot of asian cuisines to make their version of curry. Thai cuisine, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Burmese and Indian all use this product for their own concoctions.

The two products - milk and flakes are not interchangable in recipes.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirBlue
Coconut Shrimp is becoming very popular. I have not made a shrimp dish like this for a long tme and I lived 1500 miles across the nation when I did.
I am looking at possible products for making coconut shrimp. I don't get as excited as most about buying coconuts in Illinois. They look prehistoric. I think the ones I passed on 15 years ago are the same ones that they have now wrapped in plastic and labeled "organic". Very small (probably shrunk), very dark in color, and they give me the creeps!
I was checking out the canned coconut milk which they have next to the evaporated milk (?) The only coconut milk was labeled "Thai Coconut Milk."
What kind of coconut milk is that?
StirBlue, for the coconut shrimp, you can use packaged shredded coconut - as already mentioned. The Thai Coconut milk, is delicious - but I used it for other dishes. The brand, as I recall is, A Taste of Thai. Get the low fat - it's been around in most markets for quite some time. I have a coconut dip somewhere in my files. Let us know how it turned out.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #5
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This is the recipe that I have been thinking about making. I have everything except for the coconut milk.

I have found coconut milk on the canned fruit isle before in the section of carrot juice, kraut juice .... (not to degrade coconut milk; that's just where the grocery put it).

I can give you some good sources where you can buy good quality frozen shredded coconut that does not look old or nasty. I would be very grateful for that information. I live in Pekin, IL (10 miles across the IL River from Peoria)

I am also looking for powdered sugar that does not contain cornstarch. (an unrelated recipe) I know that I can grind granulated sugar in the blender but it's not a consistent fine powdery form.

Curry-Coconut Shrimp
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat oil in large, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, red pepper, and garlic until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Season with cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Cook for 1 more minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in shrimp, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until shrimp is cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Stir into shrimp mixture, and cook until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro, and remove from heat.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:22 PM   #6
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For that recipe, use the canned coconut milk that you found. If it's "Taste of Thai" brand, all the better. Its usually in the asian section of the supermarket. If it's not "lite" that's still ok. More calories but will taste fine. Don't use the water from a fresh coconut or coconut cream.

Make sure it's room temp and that you shake it up VERY well.

Also, the recipe has no salt in it, so IMO will be pretty bland. I'd definitely recommend adding soy sauce and/or fish sauce and maybe even a little salt too. To taste, that is.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:57 PM   #7
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Hi Stirblue sorry my sources are mostly in the suburbs of Chicago and that is quite a long drive for you so they will not work.

As Jennyema stated get the coconut milk from the grocery store (the brand you indicated is fine). The only coconut milk product you should not buy are the ones that are labeled as Coco Lopez. They are to make frozen drinks such as pina colada and are loaded with sugar. You don't want to add them to your curry recipe.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirBlue
This is the recipe that I have been thinking about making. I have everything except for the coconut milk.

I have found coconut milk on the canned fruit isle before in the section of carrot juice, kraut juice .... (not to degrade coconut milk; that's just where the grocery put it)...

Stirblue: Thai Coconut Milk is made from partially mature coconuts.They're green or orange on the outside, and I doubt very much you'd find them where you live. They look like this:



The white bit in the middle thickens, then the coconut falls off the tree. The outside husk is removed and we get a brown nut, as many of us are used to.

There are two kinds of coconut milk used in Asian cookery - the "first" coconut milk, and the "second". The first is obtained, as below.

Shake that brown nut and, if you hear water in the middle, buy it.
Remove the water (or milk, as I always knew it) and then remove the meat.
Grate the meat ( I put it into a processor and grind it) and add it to about 1 litre ( 2 pts, plus a bit more) of boiling water. Boli for about 15 minutes, then cool and strain. You have your coconut milk.

I do not have the ready-made comforts of Tinned Coconut Milk here, so I've had to learn to make my own!
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Old 02-08-2007, 03:15 AM   #9
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StirBlue, if the can or packet says "coconut milk" then it is what you are looking for. Some are pretty thick in consistency in which case, add some water to dilute it. As for coconut juice, it should say "coconut juice or drink". This comes from young coconuts whose flesh is soft and eaten with a spoon. If drunk straight from the fruit, the juice is very refreshing and thirst quenching. Once canned, it is usually loaded with sugar.

If you have difficulty getting coconut milk, you can replace it with milk.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:02 AM   #10
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Shake that brown nut and, if you hear water in the middle, buy it.
Remove the water (or milk, as I always knew it) and then remove the meat.
Grate the meat ( I put it into a processor and grind it) and add it to about 1 litre ( 2 pts, plus a bit more) of boiling water. Boli for about 15 minutes, then cool and strain. You have your coconut milk.

I do not have the ready-made comforts of Tinned Coconut Milk here, so I've had to learn to make my own![/quote]

I have a bit of experience with coconuts but you have refreshed my memory of some things. It has been a long time since I shook a coconut.
I thought canned goods were universal. I will send you some canned coconut milk if you send me some coconuts.

There were two kinds of coconut milk, whole & lite. They process the coconut just as you do to produce coconut milk.

I bought a can of the lite because that is what the recipe called for. I also bought a package of shredded coconut to try the batter fried coconut shrimp.

Where do I send the canned coconut milk?
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