I must say, I never cooked with coconut milk growing up. It’s not a very common ingredient in Puerto Rican savory dishes. The only time I ever remember eating coconut related food as a child, it was always in a dessert of some sort, like flan, coquito, coconut candies or macaroons. So after meeting the hubby, I learned that many dishes from his dad’s hometown, Barranquilla, Colombia use coconut milk. His favorite coconut-based dish is something called Arroz con Coco y Pasas or Arroz con Titote. So, in an effort to make a truly authentic version of this dish, I decided to venture out on a limb and make homemade coconut milk. The results were awesome! Whenever possible, I like using fresh ingredients in my recipes. Most canned and refrigerated coconut milks contain a slew of preservatives, thickeners, or stabilizers, and I’m not interested in having these in my foods. So if you’re a fan of coconut milk, try this recipe!
1 brown coconut
2 cups hot water
Check out my coconut. It’s a beauty! Don’t know how to pick a good one? Pick it up and shake it. If you hear a good amount of sloshing liquid inside, that’s a good sign. It should also feel heavy for its size.
Using a clean screw driver and a hammer, pierce a hole into each of the 3 “eyes” of the coconut.
Drain the coconut water inside.
Once the water is drained, place the coconut on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the coconut, and prepare to bash away!
Bash the heck out of the coconut with a hammer or meat mallet, and separate the meat from the shell using a knife or a spoon.
Chop up the coconut meat into chunks and toss the coconut pieces into a blender.
Pour in the hot water and blend on high for 1 minute.
Pour the water/coconut pulp mixture into a strainer. Using a spatula, press the pulp down and extract as much liquid as you can.
Don’t toss that pulp away yet! There’s still a lot of liquid trapped. Pour the pulp onto the cheese cloth, wrap it into a tight ball, and squeeze every last drop out.
You’re done! Pour the coconut milk into a storage container, and refrigerate. Use within 2 days.
I have a spätzle press (aka noodle press)… if you do a google image search, you’ll see lots of them. It looks like a potato ricer, but with holes on the bottom only.
Anyway, I used my press to squeeze the last coconut milk out of the solids, instead of using cheese cloth, and it worked really well. The advantages are that you don’t have to wash out the cheese cloth, you get more leverage, and you can always make noodles, which is what it’s really for.
Btw, I’m doing coconut rice for a friend of mine, una barranquillera.
Thanks for posting these instructions, too. Very well done!
Fabulous recipe. Question for you: What do you do with the left over pulp?
I like blending it into smoothies for extra fiber, as it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own after you purge the coconut milk from it.