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Aug 1, 2012 11:18 AM

Reduction Question

This is only my second time doing a reduction. I'm making braised short ribs (http://saltandserenity.files.wordpres...).

The recipe doesn't mention reducing the coconut milk. I'm wondering if this was an oversight? And if so, should I reduce it by half?

Thank you.

El Bandito

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  1. Why would you think it needs to be reduced by half?

    5 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      Because I'm newish to cooking and my assumptions aren't grounded in experience. I'm guessing by your question that I'm wrong to assume this?

      1. re: el bandito

        Yes. Not everything gets reduced. Have you made the dish yet? I'd simply follow the recipe, gain the experience, then tweak it to your preference.

          1. re: el bandito

            Bandito, the coconut milk might go in when it does so that its pure flavor is added on top of the other concentrated flavor, which would give you layers of flavor. Also, reducing coconut milk could make it a bit gloppy.

            I bet this will turn out beautifully. Short ribs are a great thing to make when you're new to cooking because they usually turn out amazing. I do recommend making them in advance - the previous day if you can. Let them cook and skim the fat off the top. When you reheat, you'll have better flavors and less grease.

            1. re: katecm

              Thank you for the explanation. I'm very interested in the "why" of cooking. They did, by the way, turn out great. Made a bunch, so we will eat leftovers today.

    2. I agree with the above posters. I wouldn't worry about reducing the coconut milk.

      That said - with reductions, you are usually safe reducing the final product if you think it is still too runny and you would like it thicker. So you can always follow the recipe, adding things over time, and then if the final product isn't right you can continue to heat it to reduce the final product more.

      This doesn't mean you can always dump everything in at once and then reduce. Sometimes things are "layered" into the reduction for different reasons and to attempt to create different concentrations of the various ingredients.

      And your question was not silly. People are reducing everything these days to "see what happens" - I've seen beer reductions recently, Dr. Pepper reductions, etc, etc, etc.

      Hope that helps.

      Reduce away!

      4 Replies
      1. re: thimes

        I was cruising through this thread not really paying much attention to the details then like a train wreck something snapped my attention........DR. PEPPER reductions? Wha.....wha.....what???

        Please please please do tell share where you have seen/read or heard of a recipe calling for a Dr. Pepper reduction. That facinates me.

        Oh and by the way if you can't tell I'm a Pepper!!

        1. re: jrvedivici

          The Dr. Pepper probably produces a glaze, or finishing sauce of some sort.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              I seem to remember seeing it somewhere else but this was one of the recipe's I've bookmarked for when I'm feeling adventurous.

              I'm also a Pepper!


          1. I would put the can of coconut milk in, and wait to see whether I need the cup of water. For braising I don't like the meat to be swimming; half immersed is better. Plus the meat will release juice as it cooks.