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Recipes for cooking with coconut oil?

Hi CHowhounders. I am looking for recipes for cooking with coconut oil. In looking some up, I've found ones for cooking sweets/baking, but I'm more interested in entrees...and not fried food. I read an older string on the topic on CH which turned into a debate on the positive/negatives on using coconut oil, and please, let's not get into that...just recipes you've used and the food tastes good. Thanks CH'ers!

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  1. I use coconut oil for just about anything where a solid shortening type of fat is called for (e.g. baking) or when it can be heated, like frying and stir-fry dishes. Can't think of too many dishes when I can't/don't use it, except salad dressings, actually.

    It seems that there's a lot of variation in how much coconut oils impart a coconut taste to the foods. I like coconut, and think it adds a lot to Chinese and Thai dishes especially.

    5 Replies
      1. re: magiesmom

        How do you use it in French toast? We have been adding it to stir fries lately, but other than that I have been stumped....

        1. re: saintp

          I use it as the fat to cook it in, as we like the flavor and it creates a nice crust leaving the inside soft.

      2. re: Transplant_DK

        coconut oil is great in a vinaigrette for a fruit salad. I make one with lime juice and coconut oil.

      3. Almost anything that could be considered either Thai or Southern Indian.

        Lotus Root
        Split Peas
        Snap Peas

        Personally, I love Coconut in everything. Just try to think "Tropical".

        Coconut comes from the Tropics and tends to go very well with almost everything from that area.

          1. Popcorn!!! A delightful entree!

            1. Coconut or Samoa Cinnamon Rolls
              Coconut Caramel
              Chicken Marinades
              Island Style Shrimp or Scallops
              Spring Roll Dipping Sauce
              Chicken Lettuce Wraps
              (White) Chocolate Ganache

              1. Any South Indian recipe. Well, almost any. I like to use sesame oil for dishes with tamarind, and ghee for sweets and stuff like pongal, but otherwise it is coconut oil all the way!

                1. Thanks so much, everyone! And Angelsmom, those coconut muffins look OMG good.

                  1. When I make fried PB&J sammiches (a.k.a: The Elvis Special), I bust out the coconut oil. Tremendously good!

                    1. Coconut oil is good to have in the cupboard but its usage is somewhat limited. Coconut oil taken from the refrigerator is impossible. Cold coconut oil requires a hammer and chisel to work with. But at room temperature it can be used for virtually anything where you would normally use butter. I like it as a spread over warm toast.
                      It can be used for baking, or coating the baking pan for almost anything that will not later be refrigerated. I use it to coat the pan for making corn bread, but have not had much success using it for making pie crust.
                      It smokes badly when cooking and requires a filter hood over the stove, but the aroma brings back pleasant memories of the Philippines.
                      I like coconut oil, but for most of my purposes butter or olive oil works much better.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: condie

                        You don't have to store coconut oil in the fridge, though. Problem solved!

                        1. re: Vetter

                          Coconut oil should not be stored in the fridge. Neither should anything that is made using coconut oil. A large pie, for example takes some folks at least a week to eat. Made with coconut oil and kept at room temperature is fine if you like moldy pie. Keeping it in the fridge turns the coconut oil crust into concrete.
                          Butter is best.

                          1. re: condie

                            We store my choc chip made with coconut oil in the fridge because my husband likes hard cold cookies (he's weird), and they still retain their chewy center even in the fridge, but ten seconds in the microwave turn them soft and moist again.

                            I also made brownies with coconut oil, and they retained their moist and chewy texture in the fridge. However, if you do like them softer, the microwave does the trick.

                      2. Made the best chocolate chip cookies ever with coconut oil, and they retain their moisture. My family can't eat enough of them and since I'm replacing the butter with coconut oil, they're not getting the cholesterol or bad fat either. I heard that butter is worse than lard for your general health. I also made low fat brownies with coconut oil, and they taste rich and moist. I also made banana bread from America's Test Kitchen recipe (ultimate banana bread) I replaced with coconut oil (they use butter) and it was the most moist delicious banana bread ever. Try it, but use it melted or at room temp. It's also great for pan frying meat and fish. I am head over heals in love with coconut oil and I refuse to use butter ever again (sorry Julia!!).

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Tudor_rose

                          Is it one-for-!one substitution?

                          Also, have you (or anyone else) used it for Indian recipes?

                          1. re: Hungryhughy

                            Yes, one to one substitution. I don't cook Indian cuisine, but I have seen' Spice Goddess' on the Food Network use it.

                            1. re: Hungryhughy

                              Yes I use it when I make Indian dishes, but I've learned not use all coconut oil in my rice dishes as it can be overpowering and result in a greasy mouth feel.

                          2. I use it as the fat when making brownies from Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate boxed mix, and add walnuts. I cannot imagine a better brownie.

                            Take advantage of its hardness when chilled: use it as the fat in topping for fruit crisp and in pie dough. It keeps refrigerated leftovers from being too soggy, as long as you don't heat them up again before serving.

                            Coconut oil is the fat in Nikki's Healthy Cookies. Google this vegan (but tasty!) recipe. Since I am not vegan, I add an egg for better cohesiveness. I used it in my Healthy Hummingbird Muffins CHOW recipe, which was a finalist in the muffin contest.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: greygarious

                              I can't find the HH Muffins recipe. Is it posted here somewhere? If not, would you mind posting it? Thanks.

                            2. i hang my head as i admit to using coconut oil to make a pseudo- Magic Shell with dark, semisweet or white chocolate...

                              2 Replies
                                1. re: budlit

                                  magic shell is so... commercial.

                              1. While coconut oil can be substituted for shortening/oil and the like, since it is solid at room temperature, it should be harnessed for those qualities. I like to use it with chocolate for a chocolate shell but it is also great in raw cashew cheesecakes, providing a dose of solidness to the cakes. :) I have also used it in simpler desserts like peanut butter + sweetener (banana) + vanilla + coconut oil.

                                I saw a dressing recipe for coconut oil + Chinese 5 spice (amongst other things) which really piqued my curiosity but I was worried it would be solid in the fridge.


                                1. Assuming you mean no deep-fried recipes, coconut oil is very good for stir-fry. Fried rice, stir-fry vegetables, stir-fry shrimp and cashews, or used to coat shrimp before grilling.

                                  If you are making traditional curry with coconut milk, it's good to use to stir-fry your onions, spices, lime leaf, meat or whatever in coconut oil before adding the liquid portion of the curry recipe. That's how my family used to make it and it was always rich and flavorful.

                                  For a rice entree, it's also good to cook rice, pilaf, or risotto by adding the coconut oil and butter before cooking it so that the flavor seeps in, especially a saffron-garlic rice dish.

                                  And, to keep it simple, you can make a light pasta dish and toss with coconut oil and some matching herbs, like kaffir lime leaves, black pepper, or whatever you think you would like.

                                  1. What kind of coconut oil are you all using? I don't have any right now, but the brand I buy comes in a white plastic cylindrical shaped jar with a dark plastic lid. Can't remember the brand name. It's the only type my store sells.

                                    It has zero flavor. Nothing coconut about it at all. I bought it initially to use in a vegan, whole wheat pastry crust but never got around to it. I love it for frying. It yields the same results as Crisco - which I stopped using about 25 years ago after reading an article about it. It's the best for frying breaded things, like shrimp, chicken, etc.

                                    But I don't get, or want, any coconut flavor. Are you all using raw coconut oil, maybe?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: thymetobake

                                      I used Nutiva for a few years. Right now I'm using something else, I'll have to check the pantry, that I got at Costco. It's raw and organic.

                                      1. re: thymetobake

                                        I use Nutiva too - from Amazon.com. It's organic virgin coconut oil and has a mild coconut aroma and taste.

                                        1. re: thymetobake

                                          Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil, Cold Pressed. They often have it on sale. I just got a gallon of it when it was 40% off. We use it in place of most oils. Home fries are so flavorful done in it, and eggs too. And it's good for you!! You can use it for face cream, lip balm, hand cream. Great stuff.

                                        2. lip balm.... you can use it to make lip balm.

                                          1. I just use coconut oil whenever I would put olive oil in the pan instead. It basically has no flavor, so you just have to adjust slightly if you were looking to the olive oil to bring something to the dish in terms of flavor.

                                            1. coconut oil makes great latkes

                                              1. The only vegetable oils I cook with are virgin coconut and extra virgin olive oil. I use coconut whenever I don't want the taste of olive oil. It is really pretty simple. I use it in saute, stir-fry, fried rice, baking, etc.

                                                I think maybe you are over-thinking this. Just use coconut oil wherever you would normally use vegetable oil.

                                                1. This is strange, a lot of people are commenting on cocount oil being flavourless - I use it a lot (organic, raw) and it is anything but, it makes the house smell, and everything taste, coconutty. I like this so it doesnt bother me but there is no way I would say it is a flavourless oil. Are some brands more coconutty than others? I'd like to have some flavourless coconut oil around for general use.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. Coconut oil is my favourite oil to cook with. Provided it's virgin coconut oil, not refined. The refined coconut oil that I've come across smells rancid to me, whereas the virgin coconut oil has a sort of sweet, fresh, coconut smell. In Sri Lanka, virgin coconut oil is the only kind available, and it's beyond excellent. In Singapore, I've found both virgin and refined. In Auckland, New Zealand, I found only refined that was awful and seriously considered asking my mother in law in Sri Lanka to ship me some coconut oil.

                                                    Most of my cooking is curries - the husband is Sri Lankan, and coconut oil is the oil of choice for Sri Lankan curries. It also goes well in most Indian curries as well. I also use it for pretty much all my deep frying needs. And, well, most other things.

                                                    If I need a flavourless oil, I use a cheap olive oil.

                                                    1. You can blend it with soaked raw cashews, sweetners, fruit purée and coconut milk to make a "vegan cheesecake". There are many recipes out there, and they are surprisingly tasty.

                                                      1. It makes great shortbread, crackers in baking. Stir fry, etc, most places butter is used.

                                                        1. I recently made an salad with Asian sesame dressing and sauteed the chicken in coconut oil and it was delicious.