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How do you use coconut milk?

Beyond curries, how do you use coconut milk?

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  1. Pretty much just in curries, although there is a 'coconut mochi cake' in my to-make notebook, and www.thaifoodandtravel.com has some good desserts that we've eaten in class.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Louise

      Same here - I use it primarily in curries, but I have a great Hawaiian coconut-butter mochi recipe that I make often with coconut milk. Also in Thai sticky black rice pudding.

      1. re: yogurtsoda

        Yogurtsoda, would you mind posting more about the mochi recipe? My husband's from Hawaii and that sounds like something fun to make, maybe for a party? Thanks!

    2. These corn and coconut cream fritters are addictive. Totally amazing.


      6 Replies
      1. re: Candy

        That sounds great, could you paraphrase the recipe?

        1. re: mellycooks

          Oh my goodness you will not be disappointed. My DH and I ate that whole batch in one sitting. They were that good.

          Start by placing 1 C. corn kernels in your food processor and grinding them until then kind of forma paste. Then transfer to a bowl and add 1/4 C. coconut cream, don't shake the can. You want the rich condensed cream at the top of the can.Then add a lightly beaten egg, 1/3 C. AP flous, 1 1/2 tsp. corn starch 1/2 tsp salt and I add 1/2 tsp, baking powder. The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. sugar but my corn has always been sweet enough that I did not need it.

          You will want to deep fry the fritters in 2 tsp. measurements in 350 F. hot oil. A wok works well as does a deep iron skillet. Don'tcrowd the pan and cook about 3 mins. total, turning once.

          The dipping sauce is 2 Tbs. Hoy Fong Siracha, 2 tsp. sugar and 1 tsp water. If your Siracha is very fresh you may find the sauce a bit spicy and want to tone it down with more water and sugar.

          1. re: Candy

            gosh candy - those sound fantastic

            1. re: krissywats

              Just make them. With our the dipping sauce and with some maple syrup they'd be great for breakfasr.

            2. re: Candy

              Beautiful color, curious is this fresh corn on the cob?

          2. re: Candy

            would you print the recipe? sounds so good

          3. I sub coconut milk for normal milk in a baked rice pudding.. delish!

            1. In rice it's great too!! Also for coconut cream pie instead of cream..Mmmmm yummy!!

              1. I love to use it on rice, sweet or savory. For savory I saute onions in butter or canola oil, then add a stick of cinnamon until slightly fried and puffy. Then I add a little ground cardamom. To this add the cooking liquid (I use half coconut milk half water) and finally the rice, and salt (you can also be creative and add almonds and pistachios to this savory dish as well). I serve this with curried tofu or chicken. You can use it for puddings with raisins and almonds, sprinkle brown sugar on top. You can also use it for a variety of curries. A lot of interesting Haitian recipes call for it, you may want to google that as well...especially if you are going to entertain friends. It is less common than a curry... Have fun! I love coconut milk ;-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: yomyb

                  I use it in my rice pudding too (great with basmati)
                  Also now in grilling season I use it in satay - both the marinade and the peanut dipping sauce.

                  1. re: cowgirlinthesand

                    I also use coconut milk for chicken sate and the peanut sauce

                2. I've used it in caribbean types of rice and bean dishes (I have one blogged). I've also used it to make a tropical banana bread.


                  1. I often use coconut milk to make Tom Ka Gai, a Thai coconut chicken soup. Also use it to make Suman, a Filipino dish made of sweet sticky rice cooked in coconut milk with sugar, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in more coconut milk.

                    Both are yummy!

                    1. All great ideas! Thanks!

                      Tonight I made coconut rice. Used the ingredients recommended by yomyb: sauteed onions in butter, added leftover rice, then added the coconut milk and about 1 TBsp of brown sugar. A bit too sweet, but good nonetheless.

                      1. Filipino food uses a lot of coconut milk without curry (which is not so widely used in the Philippines). It's used both in savory and sweet applications too. Funny, my latest blog post was about long beans in coconut milk :-)


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ctl98

                          Long beans aren't always available here. String beans, however, are year-round. I assume they'll work as a substitute?

                          1. re: Youffraita

                            I've never tried string beans in coconut milk. But we'll never know unless we try right? :-) Let us know how it goes...

                        2. Haupia. It's a classic Hawaiian dessert. I'm making a version for my good buddy's birthday party this Sunday for his pug - he's calling it Peewee's Puupuu Party. He has an unbelievably beautiful house and garden, very Japanese in sense and spirit, and a goofy sense of humor and a wicked way with food - so - haupia is basically a coconut sort of flan thing. I make a macadamia nut shortbread base, let it cool. Cook the haupia, which is simply coconut milk, cornstarch, water, sugar, let that set up. Whip fresh cream, sweeten slightly with powdered sugar and vanilla, top with a generous sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes. It's like a whispy dream, and you'd never know it has 100 bazillion calories....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rcallner

                            I second the haupia. use coconut cream instead of coconut milk when I have it (higher fat content...ummm)

                          2. coconut curries, coconut black rice, reduce carrot juice whisk in some of the thick cream at the top of the milk for a great sauce, coconut milk ice cream...to name a few

                            1. Coconut milk and sweet potato soup. Savory. Mmmmm.

                              1. Great tuna ceviche - lime juice, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, fish sauce or salt, coconut milk... serve on toasted corn tortilla wedges.

                                1. Great suggestions above! Another thing I often find myself making when there's leftover coconut milk is moqueca, Brazilian seafood stew (fish, tomatoes, onions, veggies, coconut milk)

                                  1. In smoothies and shakes (like the ultra-decadent Vietnamese avocado shake).

                                    I've used it for sauces (peanut sauce) and salad dressings (cilantro dressing) before too.

                                    1. You can make pina colada! Actually coconut milk and papaya or coconut with mango smoothie is unbelievably delicious!

                                      There is also a Cantonese dessert with tapioca and mango in a coconut milk broth. Very refreshing in the hot summer!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kobetobiko

                                        I've been served a tapioca that is in a coconut milk - looks like fish eye soup, and it is pure heaven. Do you have a recipe? I used to request this off the menu at a wonderful Chinese restaurant called Blessings in P-town CA, and it was like comfort food. Served warm. They're no longer there, but gosh did they have some great food. That and what he called Chinese Ravioli were addicting.

                                      2. I get loads of requests for Saigon Beef:


                                        Lettuce wraps made with beef cooked in mirin and spices and finished with a coconut milk and cooks down until it's thick. So yummy. Served in Boston lettuce and layered with a wonderful hot/tangy/sweet sauce, peanuts, mint, and lime.

                                        It's really fantastic. I make it all the time.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: krissywats

                                          thanks krissywats, boy did this thread wake me up!

                                        2. How about Coconut Rice or one of my favorites: Jamaican Run down sauce with pasta, mmmmmm

                                          1. To thicken fish cakes or crab cakes
                                            and the usual Thai dishes:
                                            Coconut Chicken Soup
                                            Chicken Yellow Curry

                                            1. I use coconut milk in my clam/snapper soup, in rice with coconut and raisins....delicious added to any type of chicken or seafood stew....

                                              1. Made some coconut lime mussels the other day.
                                                I don't know where I saw this, or just made it up, but this was for under a pound of mussels.

                                                saute two chopped cloves garlic, half chopped onion in a little butter/oil.
                                                add red pepper flakes, little salt while sauteing.
                                                turn up the heat a little and add the cleaned mussels
                                                2 minutes later, or when most of the mussels are open add about 1/4 can of coconut milk.
                                                Simmer, and add a little more red pepper flake.
                                                When the milk starts to color from the mussels, you are done.
                                                add juice from half a lime, provide wedges for people to add juice to taste.

                                                1. In homeade ice cream (along with a can of sweetened condensed milk). Serve on top of poundcake with carmelized pineapple. Heaven.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Honey Bee

                                                    Yup... we use it here in pretty much exactly the same way, and it's great.

                                                  2. Two words - Coconut Margarita :-D

                                                    1. I use it in a lot of Thai dishes. I also love Chowhound's recipe for "coconut tres leches cake"


                                                      1. Marinate chicken and seafood with it, add salt to it and use it as a brine, salad dressing, substitute for milk in dessert, substitute for water/broth in some dish (stir fry, rice dishes), try it with Italian tomato sauce to make an exotic pink sauce, make mixed drinks with it and finally, use it as a skin moisturizer while taking a bath =p

                                                        1. Green Thai curries and also, if memory serves, a macadamia chiffon pie I used to make in the dim and misty past.

                                                          1. I buy sweetened red beans in a can and put them with coconut milk over shaved ice.

                                                            1. Pumpkin Puree w/ Mahi Mahi over Spaghetti Squash
                                                              Heat pumpkin puree in pan, add caramelized onions, and either stir in coconut milk to desired consistency or puree together til onions are still chunky in a food processor; add sundried tomatoes and/or roasted peppers, as well as sage, salt and pepper. Season and broil fish; bake spaghetti squash and toss with a little olive oil. Put squash on plate, top with fish and pumpkin "sauce," then add some more fresh sage to garnish.


                                                              Jamaican Rice and Peas http://eatjamaican.com/recipes/ricean...

                                                              1. 1. Southeast Asian dessert fruit salad I learned:
                                                                Thinly slice various canned southeast Asian fruits (litchi, rambutan, jackfruit, etc. -- whatever you like), reserved some of the syrup. Make agar-agar gelatin from clear or colored sheets, with a bit of sugar and extract (vanilla, lemon, etc.). Thinly slice gelatin. Sweeten coconut milk with sugar and/or a bit of the reserved syrup. Mix all ingredients. Serve cold. My co-workers love this one and think it's so exotic, but it's super-easy to make.
                                                                2. Eggplant idea I got from a Filipino cookbook:
                                                                Blacken eggplant, cool, and peel. Warm some coconut milk, adding a bit of turmeric and coriander (that's my addition; I thought it needed a bit of citrus). Add eggplant and mash in pan. Add fish sauce or salt and white vinegar to taste. This will be rather bland until you add the vinegar. Serve at room temperature. Easy side dish.
                                                                3. Cook rice in part coconut milk and part water as mentioned before, but add salt and thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves. I love the flavor they impart, and often use this as a side for satay chicken. Using turmeric and pandan leaves instead would make "festive yellow rice," for which you can find many recipes.

                                                                1. Coconut milk sorbet (for my lactose-intolerant mother). Sweeten and flavor a can of coconut milk any way your imagination desires (I like adding pureed peaches, brown sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt), chill in the fridge, then freeze in an ice cream maker. Eat immediately. It's lovely and creamy, like proper ice cream. It tends to get icy if stashed in the freezer for long, so we use that as an excuse to eat the whole batch in one go.

                                                                  1. I use coconut milk in sticky rice with mango and in a cashew "cream" sauce.

                                                                    1. I haven't tried this yet, but use it instead (or mixed with) other milk to make Tres Leches. Bake a normal size white or yellow cake, mix together 1 can coconut milk, 1 can evaporated milk, and some regular milk, poke holes in the cake and pour milk mixture over it while still warm. Chill and serve with sweetened cream.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: xnyorkr

                                                                        I just started using coconut milk to make dairy free yogurt using kefir grains. Yum. (My husband is lactose intolerant and too much plain milk or cheese seems to cause acne for me, though regular yogurt or kefir seems to be fine.) It comes out much thicker than regular kefir and tastes better too, with just a touch of coconut flavor. I used it to make a plum, nectarine & kefir yogurt sorbet and it tasted pretty good, if healthy (I didn't add sugar as i don't like things too sweet anyway). I've also read you can use the coconut milk kefir as a substitute for buttermilk or yogurt in recipes. It does come out really thick, so some blogs suggested using it as a substitute for cremé fraiche (I'm still not sure what that is?) on pancakes, etc. Some recipes I read used coconut milk mixed with water before culturing so it didn't come out so thick, but I kind of liked the thick texture.