I wanted to make a thai curry on Friday night but didn't have any coconut milk. I remembered reading somewhere that you could make coconut milk from dessicated coconut so I did a bit of search and found you could!
I found multiple ways of making it - the simplest being just to soak the coconut in boiling water and drain it out to extract the milk. I ended up using this one from Recipezaar (because I like to find the most complicated method possible lol):
- In a medium-sized pot, place dessicated coconut and water.
- Mix and allow to soak for ½ an hour.
- After ½ an hour, turn heat onto low and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and leave pot on element for ½ an hour.
- After ½ an hour, transfer coconut mixture to blender or processor and process for 45 seconds.
- Put a large sieve over a bowl and empty coconut mixture into it.
- Press down hard on coconut solids with the back of a spoon to remove as much coconut milk as possible.
- This method produces approximately 2 cups of coconut milk.
- Can be made up to 2 days before use in a recipe and refrigerated, covered. The milk will separate in the fridge, forming a creamy ‘fat’ layer on top, and a thinner ‘liquid’ layer underneath. Not to worry, the fat layer will melt into the liquid when heated and form a lovely milk.
It looked like coconut milk, smelt like coconut milk and tasted pretty darn good too! I don't know if I'll stop buying the tinned stuff altogether but it's nice to know I can make an alternative out of the pantry.
Oh and I used the coconut to make a coconut cake today, so the coconut milk was basically free!