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what do do with leftover coconut milk

I have some coconut milk left over and am just wondering if this can be used for baking or if there are other better uses for it.

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  1. Drizzle over mango and eat. Mix into yogurt. Make coconut rice. Make coconut/lime/cinnamon/pineapple rice pudding. Add some spices, veggies, broth, & noodles for a curry soup. Toss chunks of butternut squash with coconut milk & s&p and roast at 375 for an hour. Add to your morning smoothie. (Can you tell I go through a lot of this stuff?)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Emmmily

      What Emmmily said! And if all else fails, freeze it until you're inspired!
      Great in cocktails too :)

      1. re: Emmmily

        One of my cookbooks calls for an Indian spiced, coconut milk squash gratin, like Emmmily suggested. I think it called for cinnamon and cardamom, among other things. Saffron?

        1. re: Emmmily

          how do you make the coconut lime cinnamon pineapple rice pudding? That sounds awesome

          1. re: aussieinsantamonica

            for just coconut/lime:

            or for coconut, cinnamon & pineapple (and you can sub lime for the lemongrass):

        2. I use it for baking all the time. It makes a great substitute for milk, or mix it up and use 50% milk, 50% coconut milk. I've tried it in waffles, pancakes, muffins, and banana bread (YUM) with excellent results.

          Both Emmmily and HillJ have excellent suggestions, and I second coconut rice, smoothies, and cocktails.

          Another great idea is homemade ice cream (if you have an ice cream maker) - coconut is by far my favourite flavour and coconut milk gives a great coconut base. Adding fresh or frozen / thawed young coconut, ripe banana, vanilla, and palm sugar makes for absolute heaven, but even just the coconut milk itself is sufficient for a delicious ice cream.

          Alternatively, cut up bananas or, even better, berries; mix with generous amounts of sugar; and serve with coconut milk poured overtop. Delicious.

          I personally don't like freezing / thawing, so I don't do it; you can, however, and coconut milk is actually sold frozen sometimes. (No thank you!)

          4 Replies
          1. re: vorpal

            Ice cream is a great suggestion. But you made me smile vorpal ie: no to frozen but you like coconut ice cream! Your ice cream recipe sounds great.

            I semi freeze coconut milk for smoothies & cocktails beforehand and then there is no need for ice.

            1. re: HillJ

              LOL! I feel silly. That hadn't even occurred to me! I do find, though, that freezing coconut milk can affect the texture when it comes to things like curry. Your mileage may vary, and perhaps it depends on brand.

              Let me point out, though, that you still definitely need whipping cream in your ice cream recipe. I don't think it would turn out properly if you just used coconut milk! (I might be wrong - I haven't dared to try.)

              1. re: vorpal

                vorpal, in other ice cream recipes I've varied whipping cream with half & half but folded in egg yolks to achieve a nice mouth feel. Lots of variations to try yet.

                I agree w/your reference to brand. Not all brands of coconut milk are created equal.

                1. re: vorpal

                  I make vegan ice cream a lot and use just coconut milk - no whipping cream. It may not be quite as creamy but for those of us unfortunate enough to be lactose intolerant, this is close enough and just dreamy :)
                  There are recipes all over if you google it. In fact, I have a recipe bookmarked from the recipe section on Chow for roasted banana vegan ice cream that I can't wait to make.

                  I just made a curry with leftover coconut milk the other night with cauliflower and shrimp and it was very good.

            2. I recently made a panna cotta from coconut milk. Whisked in enough cocoa powder and sugar to make the coconut milk "taste right" as it was heating, then added about 2 tsp gelatin per cup of coconut milk and let is chill in small tupperwares sprayed lightly with cooking spray. They popped right out, looked cute, and tasted great!

              1 Reply
              1. re: 4Snisl

                I like the panna cotta suggestion. I've made coconut milk panna cotta once before for a vegan friend. The richness of the coconut milk really worked well for this dessert.

              2. In addition to baking, it's also lovely in massaman curry, haupia (a Hawaiian coconut milk jelly), beef rendang. Some versions of Keralan avial also call for it.

                How much coconut milk do you have left over, exactly?

                1. the uses for coconut milk are ridiculously long and varied. you just have to look at the cultures that use it often and what they do with it. Thai and Vietnamese cooks are especially adept at transforming it, as well as Indian.

                  Desserts...mango with sticky rice, black sticky rice coconut milk pudding, bua loi (glutinous rice flour dumplings in coconut milk), tapioca pudding, bananas in coconut milk, kabocha squash boiled in sweetened coconut milk (really awesome)

                  Savory.....banh xeo (rice flour crepe with coconut milk batter), indian pulses/dals/chickpeas made into dips and enriched with coconut milk, added to winter squash soup, sweet corn soup, sweet potato soup, or most any other soup in lieu of cream, the same goes for indian curries--many that call for cream can be enriched with coconut milk instead., also, when i have just a little left i love to use it in a southeast asian style peanut sauce with hoisin, chilies, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, etc.

                  the possiblities are endless

                  1. ARRRRGGGGHHHH. Kick me silly I just poured out 2/3 can coconut milk without even checking with you geniusi (plural). I want that panna cotta.....bad.....I have 36 of the cutest
                    flared shot glasses that I once served a blood orange panna cotta in and they were the hit
                    of the reception. I'm not good at "fixing" but can follow a recipe to the letter so please, 4Snisl, post it with your suggestions!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: amazinc

                      I can try, amazinc! It was all kind of by feel......I do wish I had measured since it turned out better than I expected! You may want to cut down on the gelatin if you're not planning to unmold. I wanted to make sure it was firm enough, so it may sound a little high on the proportion of gelatin compared to typical recipes. Plus the gelatin I used is a halal powdered gelatin, which may "set" a little differently than more typical gelatins.....

                      1 cup regular coconut milk
                      2 TBS cocoa powder
                      3 TBS sugar
                      2 scant tsp powdered gelatin
                      dash of salt
                      1/2 tsp vanilla extract

                      Set aside 1/4 cup of coconut milk- bloom gelatin in reserved milk. In a small saucepan, heat remaining coconut milk, salt, sugar and cocoa powder (whisk until all dissolved) over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, and whisk in bloomed gelatin.

                      Divide mixture evenly among small tupperwares sprayed very lightly with neutral cooking spray (I used the round GLAD containers that hold about 1/4 cup). Chill overnight. Unmold by gently squeezing container sides, then tapping inverted container in center of single serving dishes.

                      Will make sure to measure next time I make this, but hopefully this gives an idea of what to start with!

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        Wow that sounds good. I've got a few cans of coconut milk in my pantry and some gelatin hidden somewhere - I'll have to give it a shot.

                    2. I had some extra coconut milk the other week, left over from a curry I made. I wound up using it in oatmeal (mixed with some soymilk)--it was actually pretty good! Had I had some mango at home, I'd have added chopped mango to the oatmeal.

                      1. My favorite use for coconut milk is coconut *jasmine* rice, which I love to use as a base for savory dishes, especially Caribbean-style black beans. I replace about half the liquid with light coconut milk, add a pinch of salt, and cook as usual. So, for example, it would be a scant cup of coconut milk, a scant cup of water, a pinch of salt, and a cup of jasmine rice, cooked normally. It's seriously delicious.

                        Also works well as a base for Thai-style curries, lechon or kalua pork, etc.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: LauraGrace

                          So true. In fact it is the only proper way to cook the rice for Gallo Pinto (Black Beans and Rice). This is the national dish in Costa Rica served with virtually every meal. Love it!

                          For baking some things, such as cookies I also like to use coconut oil. Do not use coconut oil for stovetop cooking, however, unless you have a good filtering hood. It smokes!

                        2. Here's a really good recipe for Sticky Rice with Mango.


                          1. And if you can't think of an immediate use, freeze it in a Ziplock bag! I wedge it vertically between two blocks of frozen tofu so that forms a flat layer that doesn't touch the top of the bag, and then break off pieces as I need them!

                            1. the second time i made this tart, i substituted coconut milk for the cream (along with cutting the sugar to 1/4 cup and changed the lemon juice and rind for vanilla and almond extracts. i really like this tart, and since i only buy cream for specific recipes, using coconut milk means i'll have all the ingredients on hand the next time i want to make it.


                              1. These are awesome ideas. Had no idea (or creativity at the time) that could have matched some of these suggestions. Thank you.

                                1. Coconut milk is great in place of the half and half and/or evaporated milk in Tres Leches cake.

                                  1. Oh! Another fabulous idea for leftover coconut milk that I can't believe I forgot: an unusual twist on french toast!

                                    2 eggs
                                    3/4 cup coconut milk / cream
                                    3 tbsp raspberry jam
                                    2 tbsp sugar
                                    1/2 tsp salt
                                    1 tsp vanilla

                                    Beat the eggs, then mix everything else in thoroughly. Soak about six slices of dense, homemade bread. Cook on the griddle at 350F for about four or five minutes per side, and serve with butter.

                                    The combination of flavours from the jam and coconut are heavenly, and the stickiness of the jam makes a very interesting, highly unique texture. I love french toast of all stripes, but I think that this concoction invented one day by me while too wickedly hung over to venture to the store to buy milk is my favourite by far.

                                    1. Am letting all of you know that 4Snisl's recipe for coconut panna cotta is spot on. I tripled
                                      the recipe and used my fluted shot glasses for a party last week. Topped each with a single raspberry and arranged the individual glasses on a tray covered with toasted coconut. Those little darlings flew off the table. Thanks 4Snisl for a great crowd pleaser!