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Jan 16, 2011 11:31 AM

Emergency question about coconut milk

I'm making a frozen coconut milk dessert for tonight. (With a little whipped cream and toasted coconut and some sugar.) (From the Asian dessert book The Sweet Spot.)

I just opened my can of coconut milk.

It's been a while since i've used coconut milk.

It was about 2/3rds solid with about 1/3 liquid.

Looks kind of concealed, like Crisco on the top.

Doesn't really small coconutty.

Is this normal? Should I use it? I have another can I could open but if this one is good would rather save it.

What do you think? Help!

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  1. How old is the can? It's usual to have some congealed solids on top, but I've not had more than 1/3 of the can solid. Does it taste coconutty? Seems like a small thing to open your other can if this seems at all off.

    1. I've had cans like that that must have at on grocery store shelves, then on mine for over a year. The top 1/4 or so is basically coconut cream. Just poke it down. get it mixed up, and you should be fine. I've only used it in recipes like tom ka gai though, so I can't guarantee it'll smooth out if heat isn't added.

      1. yes, that's a creamy coconut fat and it is perfectly fine to use.

        1. It smelled a little off to me, but I tasted it and it tasted fine. I saw the recipe called for heating it gently with sugar until the sugar dissolved. I did that stirring a bit and I think it's ok.

          This one does seem to have more of the cream on top than the norm.

          (I'm on an economy drive so I didn't want to open that other can if I didn't need to.)

          I'll let you know how the final dessert turns out.

          And thanks!

            Hands down my fav dessert recipes of all time come from this book!
            Coconut milk, coconut cream are best shaken before you open them because separation is very common. Brands vary on the amount of solid sometimes but like you experience easy to rectify and smell would most definately be a bad sign.

            Hope the dessert came out to your liking.

            4 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              Isn't the book interesting? I have done only a bit of cooking from it but need to do more.
              It really combines the familiar with the Asian.

              Want to try a tapioca type thing. Lots of interesting fruit things.

              Do you like some particular things you think I should try?

              1. re: karykat

                The spiced coconut brownies are delicious. Any use of lychee always makes me happy and I enjoy fruit desserts too. Then the pistachio rose thumbprint cookies.. Chocolate and Vietnamese Coffee Tart ...and the jasmine rice pudding!

                1. re: HillJ

                  Thanks for these recommendations.

                  And for how my dessert turned out.

                  I put the coconut mix in ramekins and put in the freezer. They weren't really frozen by the time we went to our friends. They accidentally weren't put in the freezer there, but just on a cold porch. So they weren't frozen by the time we had them. More like soup but still good. Very coconutty and refreshing.

                  But I still had one extra one in my freezer. Which I just had for breakfast. Very refreshing.

                  1. re: karykat

                    Sounds like a nice way to start the morning! I hope you enjoy the cookbook as much as I have. The author is on the Net quite a bit if you would like to expand your research from his rep. I'm a big fan.