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1/2 can of Coconut Milk...What to do?

  • s

I made an indian shrimp curry, but only used 1/2 a can of coconut milk. Now I need to use it before it goes bad, but in a vegetarian dish (no fish)...Here is what I have handy...

Frozen Broccoli, Spinach and Corn

I could go to the grocery store, but would like to avoid it, if possible!


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  1. You can freeze it for next time you need a half a can of coconut milk. I freeze mine in those little ziploc plastic containers. Works just fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: AmyH

      I have a favorite curried chick pea recipe and a red lentil dal that use half a can. I do the same. Freezes and thaws beautifully.

    2. How about creamy zucchini-tomato soup? Sautee up the zucc, tomato, onion and then blend with the coconut milk and some water or veggie broth. Make a small batch and you should have enough coconut milk to infuse the flavor.

      1. Basmati rice with fried shallots is very good prepared with some coconut milk in the liquid

        4 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          That was my first thought. Toss it in with the rice

          1. re: scubadoo97

            I often make my white/jasmine rice with coconut milk. Add 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water to 1 cup rice and prepare as usual. But, watch as it simmers as the sugar content in the coconut milk will sometimes cause it to boil over.

            1. re: ashes


              I'd use it instead of some of the water to make coconut jasmine rice. Toast some coconut flakes and sprinkle on top before serving. Put a large piece of peeled ginger in the pot while the rice cooks, remove when rice is done. Delicious and freezes well.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Agreed. I make coconut milk rice for a lot of beans and rice dishes. It is especially good with red beans and rice or black beans.

        2. Vegetable soup, Thai style.

          1. Tomato saar, a Maharashtrian soup.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              You describe the makings of a nice curry there. Cook all and stir through the coconut milk at the end.

              1. re: rcallner

                I have all the indian spices; and would know what to do with those; but what spices would I use to get a Thai flavor?

                1. re: sds

                  lemongrass, shallots, kaffir lime leaves finely slivered, ginger, galangal.

                  1. re: Louise

                    Plus fresh hot chilis to taste. Lime juice & lime zest if you don't have lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Ginger only if you don't have galangal.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Have you taken any of Kasma's classes?

              1. In parts of Micronesia they saute strips of eggplant with onion and maybe a little hot pepper, then add coconut milk for 10 minutes or so at the end. I would think you could do that with your zucchini.

                  1. Freeze it. Buy an avocado. Make avocado shakes.

                    1. I use coconut milk to add that extra flavor in coconut layer cake frosting. Just add some to traditional buttercream recipe and it's delicious. Can also throw it in with some rice and milk to make a very simple, comforting sweet rice congee type pudding (stovetop).

                      1. Coconut rice and peas -

                        Saute diced onion/shallot in butter or oil,
                        add some rice,
                        add cooking liquid that is some blend of coconut milk, broth, and water
                        and, at the end when the rice is almost done, add some frozen peas.

                        Its quick, simple and good.

                        1. Have some leftover rice too? How about rice pudding?

                          1 cup cooked long grain or basmati rice
                          1 cup whole milk
                          1/2 cup heavy cream
                          3/4 cup coconut milk
                          2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
                          1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
                          1 1/2 ounces golden raisins, approximately 1/3 cup
                          1 1/2 ounces chopped unsalted pistachios, approximately 1/3 cup

                          In a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat, combine the cooked rice and milk. Heat until the mixture begins to boil. Decrease the heat to low and cook at a simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently, approximately 5 minutes.
                          Increase the heat to medium, add the heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, and cardamom and continue to cook until the mixture just begins to thicken again, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Use a whisk to help prevent the cardamom from clumping. Once the mixture just begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in the raisins and pistachios. Transfer the mixture to individual serving dishes or a glass bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

                          1. sometimes it's better to throw a small amount of something out. I find if I get creative to use up the half can, half packet or whatever I end up making too much of the next creation and then that has to be slung out.

                            I have done this with overripe bananas - made too much smoothie or banana cake and then we don't finish it which means other ingredients get thrown.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: smartie

                              Don't throw out bananas if you can't use them right away! I put my over ripe bananas in the freezer. Then when I want to make banana bread, I just take them out and let them thaw. You don't have to mash them, because over ripe + frozen = mushy. They don't look too awesome when you peel them after thawing, but they work and taste great in recipes!

                              1. re: boskof

                                Absolutely! Mushy freezer bananas make the best banana bread. And even if you make too much banana bread, it also freezes well and thaws out wonderfully in a low oven (especially if you cut it into single servings before freezing).

                                I almost never throw anything out, unless it is rotten or spoiled. If I don't want to eat it now, I either freeze it or cook it into something that can be frozen for later. It's really quite useful for the all-too-frequent times I blow my grocery budget on something stupid and run out of food two days before I get paid. I still have a freezer full of treats and ingredients I can live off of.

                            2. Red Beans and Coconut Rice

                              I used to eat coconut rice and beans in Costa Rica. Here's a recipe that looks like it fits the bill from http://www.cheapcooking.com/Recipes/r...
                              I think I want to make it myself!

                              I've done this a few times and it always comes out tasting great. This time I used a recipe from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. One of my kids loves it. The other finds it "too bland." You can use white rice or brown, although I think the brown rice adds a nice bit of flavor if you've got the time. You can always cook the rice ahead of time. If you haven't used coconut milk before, my store has it in the Asian food section so start by looking there. I used a bit less onion than the recipe calls for and used kidney beans rather than small red beans.

                              1 Tbs oil
                              1/2 cup diced onion
                              3 cloves garlic, minced
                              3 cups cooked rice
                              2 15-oz cans of kidney beans or small red beans if you can find them, drained and rinsed
                              1 15-oz can coconut milk
                              1/2 tsp thyme
                              salt and pepper to taste

                              Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onion until soft, then add the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add everything else and bring to a simmer. Cook about 15 minutes, letting the rice absorb most of the coconut milk.


                              1. A small batch of Tom Kha Gai? Or how about Coconut Panna Cotta?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: PotatoHouse

                                  I like the panna cotta idea.
                                  I make coconut pops based on a recipe from Pichet Ong. You heat some coconut milk, a little sugar, and toasted unsweetened coconut. Then add a little whipped cream and some vanilla. I freeze in ramekins. Makes a great snack at night.

                                  Let me know if anyone wants proportions.

                                  1. re: karykat

                                    karykat, I'm a big fan of Ong's; especially his take on desserts and (although unrelated to the use of coconut milk) this recipe is one of my fav Ong desserts:



                                    and this dessert, which does include coconut milk, is light and delicious!

                                2. This peanut sauce recipe is delicious and I will eat it on anything. It uses a small amount of coconut milk :)