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Cooking with coconut milk

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Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Youngerberry » Sun Mar 06, 2022 7:26 pm

When I cook with coconut milk for a reasonable duration, I have noticed an unusual nutty flavour tends to develop which I'd like to avoid, and I'm wondering if there are any general rules I don't know about which might help. I'm guessing I could simply add it at the end of cooking, but that might yield a watery result. Do the smart people use coconut block, or fresh coconut?

(I don't have a problem with curdling)

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby ZeroCook » Sun Mar 06, 2022 9:13 pm

.
Not sure exactly what you mean by nutty flavour - it is a nut after all. What brand/type are you using and what duration? What sort of recipe/dish? No rules, just observations for me. I find that the usual sort of canned coconut milk is better added towards or at the end of longer cooking times as it easily loses its flavour and aroma, which is quite delicate IMO. I sometimes use/add block creamed coconut for a more coconutty flavour. For certain dishes, like beef rendang for e.g. (I use an adapted very spiced up version of Sunflower's Beef Rendang) which are long cooked with coconut milk, more coconut flavour like kerasik is added nearer the end.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Lusciouslush » Sun Mar 06, 2022 9:37 pm

It depends what coconut percentage is in your can. I like using 80% or above for curries etc. added towards the end of cooking - less a percentage for other stuff like rice'n peas for instance which is not so creamy & intense, I don't find the taste 'nutty' at all - just coconutty .

Spooky Zero - I took one of Sunflowers rendang out of the freezer this very afternoon - it's been in there awhile but will be still ok fingers crossed.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby scullion » Sun Mar 06, 2022 11:35 pm

ZeroCook wrote:.
Not sure exactly what you mean by nutty flavour - it is a nut after all.

actually... it's not, it's a drupe, like plums and peaches etc.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Earthmaiden » Mon Mar 07, 2022 1:18 am

I always used to just add the whole can of coconut milk, mixing the separated water and solids first. Since reading a lot of vegan recipes where they recommend discarding the watery liquid (a waste IMO) and just using the solidified matter I have started adding the watery liquid to cook with the dish and then mix in the solidified matter at the end. I find it works well and prevents curdling and loss of flavour.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby ZeroCook » Mon Mar 07, 2022 2:06 am

.
Oh wow, Lush, very spooky! I haven't made rendang for an absolute age. One of my favourite dishes, so must remedy that. Agree about using 80% or above for curries and long cooking but not always easy to get hold of everywhere.

Thinking about it, creamed coconut is probably least wasteful and better value for cooking - no added water and gums etc.

Drupe it is, Scullion. Presumably we're eating the seed part ...

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Gillthepainter » Mon Mar 07, 2022 10:08 am

Never heard of a drupe before.

My tip with coconut (tinned), is to dry fry it, until it splits.
In the days when I watched cookery programmes, not so much now, it seemed to be a chef mantra.
And it has works nicely whenever I've needed to use the milk.

I think it's called "cracking".

Don't bother watching the whole video, unless you like it purile.

But at 6mins in, they cook the coconut milk (I've not had to add oil before, but you get the idea) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU5uF41aa7A

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby scullion » Mon Mar 07, 2022 12:26 pm

Earthmaiden wrote:they recommend discarding the watery liquid (a waste IMO)


there's always a piña colada...

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Lusciouslush » Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:24 pm

Earthmaiden wrote:lot of vegan recipes where they recommend discarding the watery liquid (a waste IMO)


:o :o sacrilege.....!!! That would never happen in this house!

Like you Em, I don't shake the can & drain out any liquid into the curry during cooking at the beginning, then add the solid milk towards the end - although the 80% stuff is all solid - never had a problem with splitting.

Get back in touch with your rendang side Zero :D Haven't had what I took out of the freezer yet - tried a bit to make sure it was still edible ( as I said, it's been in there a good while - 3yrs in fact so I wasn't holding my breath!) - it was wonderful - lovely depth of flavours - the beef texture wasn't as good as freshly made, but the taste more than made up for it.
So that's the secret of a star rendang - freeze it for 3yrs.....!

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Earthmaiden » Mon Mar 07, 2022 3:36 pm

I didn't know about varying % of coconut/liquid before so will look out in future.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Stokey Sue » Wed Mar 09, 2022 11:14 am

LTC and I discussed on a different thread that we find brands of coconut milk vary a lot and some aren’t very nice

KTC is horrible, TRS I’m not too sure about

Most of the SE Asian brands from oriental supermarkets seem to be fine but vary in thickness

Most supermarkets own brands are good, as is Dunn’s River but I think the slightly more expensive brands such as Biona are worth it for a dish in which you can really taste the coconut

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Suffs » Wed Mar 09, 2022 11:20 am

I used a can of Sainsbugs 75% coconut milk in a sweet potato and red lentil soup yesterday (with turmeric and ginger). No splitting, despite accidently letting it boil quite rapidly for a short while ... good flavour and consistency.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby KeenCook2 » Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:54 pm

Can't remember which thread we recently had a discussion about coconut milk, but I got Lidl's full-fat today, 95% coconut, and it was really excellent.

The helpful person who showed me where it was said that they apparently alwys run out of it, and I'm not surprised - there were only a handful of cans there and only one full-fat, so I also got a light as I needed a second tin. That's only 60% coconut, but still much better than some of the other brands.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Stokey Sue » Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:22 pm

I’ve recently been makin red beans and rice the way I was shown in the 70s

Cook the beans with aromatics (thyme, celery leaves, a Scotch bonnet pepper (whole), a smashed clove of garlic, allspice if you like in muslin or a teabag ), keep the liquid

Cook rice, finely chopped onion, and the beans in the bean stock, grating in block coconut cream, so that the stock is about 50% coconut milk strength. Add salt of course

Quite a rich version, I tend to have it as a main with veg sides

Charmaine Solomon the Asian-Australian food writer points out that if you are following a recipe that expects homemade coconut milk you should dilute canned about half and half with water, as it is much richer than homemade

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby KeenCook2 » Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:46 pm

Ah, that's interesting, I will definitely mix the rest of the tin with some water, unless I use it for soup!

I made an absolutely delicious cod and coconut dish - on the recommendation of my very elderly cousin who had it when growing up in the Sephardi community of Calcutta. It is called Anjuli, and according to Claudia Roden, is usually eaten as a salad, cold, on the Sabbath. My cousin said they used to have it hot, with rice and peas - double carb as it also has potatoes in it!

If anyone wants the recipe I found an almost identical one on an American blog: http://madeinmarrow.com/seafood/anjuli- ... onut-milk/

I didn't use chillies and didn't have any spring onions, so garnished it with lots of dill.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Binky » Mon Jun 27, 2022 10:51 am

OH made a laksa last night as I wasn't up to eating a 'proper' meal. He used a tin of coconut milk that must have come from Tesco as that's our regular shopping delivery service. He didn't say anything about it being difficult to use. The lime juice, fish sauce and thai red paste overcame any 'strange' flavour. There was enough for four people so I'm looking forward to lunch time when I can have another bowlful. :D

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Sakkarin » Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:50 am

I've got a jar of Laksa Paste that I got on my last trip to Wing Yip many moons ago that beckons me every time I open my Asian Stuff cupboard, it's about time I put it to good use...

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Suffs » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:45 pm

Now you've done it Sakks ............. Prawn Laksa has gone on the menu ......... it's been soooooooooo long since we've had that ...

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Pepper Pig » Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:55 pm

I think Wing Yip and I may now be history. Word has it that the Cricklewood branch is now in the ULEZ zone.

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Re: Cooking with coconut milk

Postby Sakkarin » Mon Jun 27, 2022 2:35 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Wing Yip - history - ULEZ zone
Me too, my motorbike is non-ULEZ compliant, so I went to Hoo Hing instead yesterday (although my trip was actually to Ikea, which has official dispensation from the ULEZ zone for it's "South of the North Circular" access road) and Loon Fung in Alperton is outside the ULEZ zone too (fab belly pork there).

Actually I lied, I have been to Wing Yip on my bus pass, but it took me about 4 hours there and back (which needs careful planning at my age).

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