Using Coconut Milk
Buying Coconut Milk
When you puncture a coconut, a watery liquid will come pouring out. Though this is often used as a drink in some cultures, this is not coconut milk.
Coconut milk, as called for in many drink and cooking recipes is a far creamier liquid actually made from the white meat inside the coconut. The coconut meat is grated, soaked in hot water and then strained through mesh or cheesecloth. This produces the think coconut milk we are all familiar with. The thinner liquid inside the nut is sometimes called "coconut water".
Coconut milk is very high in fat, but it's saturated fat so the body can process it better than some other high-fat drinks. Besides the fat content, there are other health benefits to coconut milk. It's also considered to be anti-viral (due to the high levels of lauric acid), as well as anti-bacterial and possibly even anti-carcinogenic. The latest health trend is coconut oil, which is a whole other article.
While you can always make your own fresh coconut milk from the meat of a coconut, it's more likely that you will just buy it by the can in the supermarket. You can usually find it in the "ethnic" foods section.
If you love the tropical and creamy taste of coconut milk, you can experiment with some new drink or food recipes:
A classic Mexican drink, but served in a non-alcoholic variety. It's very tropical and a cool way to usher in the warmer weather of upcoming summer. Enjoy with while lounging on the patio.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup crushed pineapple fruit
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbs lime juice
- Ice, crushed or cubed
Add all ingredients into a blender and puree until everything is mixed and slushy. Have chilled glasses ready for serving. A little paper umbrella would be a nice touch too.
Thai Chicken Curry
You can certainly use coconut milk in cooking as well as in drinks. This classic chick curry recipe is quick, easy and an exotic change from your everyday chicken dinners.
- 1 cup chicken breast
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 tbsp green curry paste
- 1 cup sweet peas
- 2 green chilies, cut lengthwise
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Slice chicken into strips or cubes, depending on you own preference. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir-fry green curry paste for about one minute to flavour the oil.
Add chicken pieces and fish sauce. Stir fry until chicken is cooked through.
Add coconut milk and bring to a simmering boil. Add peas and chilies. Cook for 3 to 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and serve over rice.