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concentrating coconut milk


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Hi! I have a 200ml-can of coconut milk. I want to mix it with other liquid(fruit juice/tea), then reduce it to the original volume(i.e. 200ml). I tried boiling it over med-low heat, it worked, but: 1.Requires lots of stirring; 2.Seems to loose some of the "freshness"(?); 3.It's quite difficult to tell when to stop cooking(I have to constantly stop and measure) and pull it off heat.

I'm wondering if there's any other way to do it(e.g. a no-cook method)? Maybe "coffee filter and natural dripping"? Any ideas?

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If you want to separate the cream (fat) to effectively concentrate it, you can throw the can in the fridge. After a few hours, the cream will solidify and you can just scoop it out and leave the water.

Not sure if this is what you're after.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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As for reducing, measure the original volume (eg., 200ml) and make a mark on the outside of the saucepan where the 200ml is. The when you're reducing back to 200ml, you know when to stop

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As for reducing, measure the original volume (eg., 200ml) and make a mark on the outside of the saucepan where the 200ml is. The when you're reducing back to 200ml, you know when to stop

Similarly, insert any utensil to the 200 ml mark and mark it off. Reinsert occasionally and stop when you reach the marking.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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hi sanrensho & gap-

i'm trying to make a base that combines coconut milk and extra liquid(fruit juice/tea), and maintains/approximates the original volume and density(200ml).

I've noticed that: If you freeze coconut milk and thaw it, it seperates/curdles, and turn into "water+little fat solids". So...so far it seems cooking is the only way out. Still, I'm interested to find out whether there's a no-cook method...

hi Lior-

Cracking open a coconut then grating it is a major challenge itself...a can of good-quality coconut milk seems to be the answer...can't compete with the freshness though.

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Also, the fruit juice doesn't taste as fresh when cooked. That's part of the reason why I'm aiming for a diff. approach, such as filtering(if that's possible).

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How about just removing whatever volume of liquid you want to add from the coconut milk? 150ml coconut milk + 50 ml liquid = 200ml... no cooking required.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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hi Lior-

Thanks for the link! I'll try baking it when I have access to matured coconuts. Sometimes the ones available are young coconuts, with nice coconut water, but the coconut flesh is not good enough for juicing, not very flavorful.

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How about just removing whatever volume of liquid you want to add from the coconut milk? 150ml coconut milk + 50 ml liquid = 200ml... no cooking required.

hi Tri2Cook-

For a 200ml can coconut milk, I want to add some other flavoring liquid to it, then reduce the total volume by evaporation/dripping. The end result should be as thick/dense as the original 200ml coconut milk. Else the coconut flavor might not be as intense.

I always wonder why exactly canned stuff aren't as fresh-tasting as the freshly-prepared ones?

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I'm not sure what minerals and elements makes up coconut water, but I'm leaning toward Tri2Cook's suggestion. Let's assume (possibly incorrectly) that coconut water doesn't have the material make-up to thicken after reducing (I think it will act like water and just evaporate, not thicken). Then, if you bought coconut cream instead, or removed some of the water, you'll have a thicker consistency.

But, you want to incorporate flavor. So why not focus on incorporating the flavor into the fat and not the water. You could steep your flavor into the fat, which I think would hold a fresher flavor (just a guess) better than the water. Then re-incorporate the fat into the water.

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hi Tri2Cook-

For a 200ml can coconut milk, I want to add some other flavoring liquid to it, then reduce the total volume by evaporation/dripping. The end result should be as thick/dense as the original 200ml coconut milk. Else the coconut flavor might not be as intense.

There is an answer that works surprisingly well. I was a bit skeptical when I read about it but I figured if I couldn't give benefit of the doubt to Grant Achatz then I must be one arrogant bastard so I tried it. Spray dried coconut milk powder. It does not taste like fresh coconut milk on it's own but combined with coconut milk you can get a really intense flavor without getting that slightly caramelized taste reducing things with sugar in them get. It also thickens it a bit thus solving the problem of your added juice thinning it.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I was thinking 'coconut milk powder' too. I don't have much experience with it, but worth a try. Or, why not use coconut cream? Not Coco Lopez cream of coconut sweet goo, but coconut cream that comes in cans exactly like coconut milk but is thicker and richer and more coco-licious? Or, heat your coconut milk with some dry unsweetened coconut (is that what they call macaroon coconut? not angel flake) and steep it to intensify the flavor. Man, I love coconut.

If you're adding tea, could you steep the tea leaves in the coconut milk instead of making a separate infusion?

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How about adding coconut milk powder to your existing coconut milk to "concentrate" it. You could use a bit less than your target amount of liquid then stir in coconut milk powder to get the desired volume.

I used this technique to make a somewhat "whippable coconut heavy cream". I found coconut milk powder in Asian specialty stores and in the Asian foods section at a local Safeway.

Here are a few references

Wikipedia

Wilpowder

King Arthur Flour

Googling coconut milk powder will show others.

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Hi Rob-

I’m very intrigued by your “steeping flavor in fat, then add less water” suggestion. Only concern is that since the add-in flavors are in liquid-form themselves, will the mixture ever freeze up well if I intend to turn it into sorbet/ice cream? (An un-altered CM would freeze well and be all creamy without stirring at all, a mixed-then-reduced CM would freeze creamy but with ice crystals. ).

I once reduced a 200ml CM to 50ml by cooking, very very mouth-coatingly rich…can’t say it’s a good or bad thing. I then added liquid to it, and whipped. The coconut fat curdles into little bits. I tasted it. Flavorless white chocolate…

Hi Tri2Cook-

The CM powder I found has other additives, I wonder if that would alter the tastes much…

Yes, when cooked alone to concentrate(and later add to the CM), coconut water would caramelize and turned into a brownish color, doesn’t taste freshly-sweet anymore, just a matured-sweet.

Hi pastrygirl-

Tea, when soaked in just-boiled water, release a much stronger flavor than when soaked in cold liquid(don’t have proof though). Or maybe an overnight soak-in would help?

Hi KKLL00b-

Whippable coconut heavy cream? Like in a cake, or ice cream even? How did it taste and what’s the texture like(e.g. would it be mouth-coating)?

Btw, I tried the filtering method and it didn’t work out. There were tiny coconut fats clinging to the filter wall, but still most of the CM soaked right through.

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Hi pastrygirl-

Tea, when soaked in just-boiled water, release a much stronger flavor than when soaked in cold liquid(don’t have proof though). Or maybe an overnight soak-in would help?

I can't speak of cold infusions, maybe someone else can. I know coconut does funny things when heated directly, maybe heating it in a bain marie and adding your infusions would be more gentle on the coconut milk. I think it's almost time to break out the home-made still to get the water out and leave coconut hooch!

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