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Coconut milk vs. coconut cream vs. coconut water


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I'm with SuzySushi: milk for cooking, water for drinking. Good, fresh, (young) coconut water is my absolute favourite thing to drink. It's light, refreshing, slightly sweet with a certain je ne sais quoi. It's also terrific as a hangover cure, lots of electrolytes. I've never heard of coconut cream, so I can't really comment on it, though from what I'm reading it seems like it's coconut milk with additives, so I wouldn't see the point.

Edited by AndreaReina (log)
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Was just in the Asian markets looking at coconut milk and I grabbed the (second) can of Arroy D that I had found, since it had a higher CF% (same as listed in Darienne's list). So there are variances between the same brand as well.

And yep, water for drinking. Milk for cooking. So it is in my family!

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I always keep a few cans of coconut milk on hand for use in curries or baking, and I regularly have it frozen in ice cube trays for use in my morning smoothies. I also quite often buy coconut water, also for use in smoothies (in lieu of juice).

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I regularly have it frozen in ice cube trays for use in my morning smoothies. I also quite often buy coconut water, also for use in smoothies (in lieu of juice).

Hmmmm...now that's a brilliant idea, freezing the coconut milk. I have been using it in a variety of ways recently, including ice cream. Put it into a creamed red bell pepper soup a couple of nights ago.

Am still going to collect more varieties of cream and milk. Found another one in our bulk food store, but its brand name...already forgotten...put me off bothering. Not to mention that it was 3x the price I usually pay. ...might go back and get it next time anyway...

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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For whatever reason, I feel like it would just sit on top of the milk. You wouldn't be able to homogenize the mixture. Like the curries you see with its orange pools of chili oil on top.

But... there's one way to find out...!

Gotcha. I'll be back...

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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  • 3 weeks later...

Completely forgot about the mixing of coconut butter with coconut milk. Will try it soon.

However, today I made coconut milk using fresh coconut meat. It may be my imagination, but I think it has a fresher taste than any canned stuff I have ever tasted. We are on a very deep well on the farm and the cold water is completely untouched by any chemicals. Lovely stuff. :wub:

Darienne

 

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Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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Oops. Prep? I was supposed to prep it?

Ed opened the coconut for me and took all the shell off. I cut all the brown stuff off the meat, cut it into small bits, put it in the blender, added very hot water (from the kettle) and buzzed it on high for a while. Poured the stuff into a small piece of fine curtaining which I use for all sorts of things and tightened the piece and watched all the lovely 'milk' come out.

What else was I supposed to do??? :huh:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Oops. Prep? I was supposed to prep it?

Ed opened the coconut for me and took all the shell off. I cut all the brown stuff off the meat, cut it into small bits, put it in the blender, added very hot water (from the kettle) and buzzed it on high for a while. Poured the stuff into a small piece of fine curtaining which I use for all sorts of things and tightened the piece and watched all the lovely 'milk' come out.

What else was I supposed to do??? :huh:

That is exactly what I do using a fine sieve versus curtaining. Always interested in other's techniques. Some go for a second round depending on how rich the first press was.

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When we were in Moab, furnishing our rental a la secondhand and yard sale, I was given more curtaining than we could use on the windows. Moab is very ant infested and everything had to be covered big time. I found the extra curtains perfect for covering candied this and that. Brought the pieces home with me and have been finding uses for them ever since...including wrapping and twisting pulverized coconut meat.

Darienne

 

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Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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  • 11 months later...

If you can find the Mae Ploy brand of coconut milk, those cans tend to have a generous amt of coconut cream on top. I prefer the taste of Mae Ploy or Chaokoh, and I think Chaokoh is better, with a rounder, almost sweet taste. Asian mkts will also sell various brands of frozen coconut milk, which may taste good.

Be aware that there's a knockoff of Chaokoh around, with a similar sounding name and lookalike label. I last saw it in a market over a year ago, and I don't know if the brand has been prohibited since then. My Thai cooking teacher gave us a sample of the knockoff in class, and it was one of the worst coconut milks I've ever tasted. Lesson learned, be sure you know how to spell Chaokoh when you go shopping.

I think I may have just bought that horrible coconut milk that Djyee100 spoke of. :raz:

For general concern: This was Kokosmilch. All the usual information, but the worst coconut milk I have ever tasted. Straight down the drain. Horrible.

ps. Just wrote the company. They also manufacture Arroy-D which I have used and is OK. And the brand name on this awful stuff is Globe Brand. Missed it the first time round.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

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Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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I buy fresh coconuts and crack them. Cut up the flesh, pulse them in the food processor with some warm water, and milk the flesh 89 times then strain it. The resulting coconut cream and milk is a different universe from the Mae Ploy and Chaokoh canned stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a coconut milk emergency and the closest market was the local Japanese market Nijiya. They only had Native Forest organic coconut milk. Bit pricier than the usual Chaokah - this was $2.50. Wow- the smell upon opening the can was much more like when I used to crack and blend my own and did not have that chemical extract coconut smell. The cream was luscious. I scooped out a good bit of it and froze it in a zip lock bag to break off and use as the fat for starting a saute. There was still lots of creaminess to the balance of the can. I should do a side by side comparison.

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I had a coconut milk emergency ...

Not something you hear too often. Only on eGullet. :raz:

I've never heard of this brand, but if it can get HeidiH excited, then it must be good indeed.

We pay just over $2.60 for a can of Mae Ploy. Is it that expensive Stateside? Plus in Peterpatch it has only recently appeared for sale.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

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Recently, I've made some fairly simple coconut milk & sweet rice filipino treats, biko & suman w/latik, and have used the Chaokah, Whole Foods 365 & Thai Kitchen brands. I noticed some acidic flavor with the Chaokah that I did not get with the other two. I usually use the Thai Kitchen which has a similar ingredient list to the native forest one you linked above - coconut milk & guar gum. But I liked the 365 brand too (also coconut & guar gum) which is a little cheaper so maybe I'll switch to that. Also, I can't remember exactly but Chaokah has other preservatives and maybe that is what I was detecting. I've never made them with fresh coconut milk but purchased some frozen coconut milk last week and will be trying that out soon to see if it is worth the extra expense. Perhaps one day I will be ambitious enough to try from scratch.

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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HOW TO MILK A COCONUT Information from Trader vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook,1968

Remove the meat fom a coconut and grate it in a food processor. A large coconut should yield 2 cups of coconut meat.

To milk a coconut, pour two cups boiling water over 4 cups grated coconut meat. Let stand for 20 minutes. Strain through double thickness of cheese cloth, squeezing to remove all liquid. Store this liquid in the refrigerator. If it is to be heated, bring just to the boiling point. Otherwise it is apt to curdle. Makes 2 cups of Coconut Milk

Coconut Cream

To make 2 cups of Coconut Cream you will need 6 cups of grated coconut meat to 2 cups of boiling water. Proceed the same as for coconut milk. Let the liquid chill for a couple of hours., The cream substance that rises to the top is skimmed off. This is called Coconut Cream.. It may be served as a sauce or it may be whipped. Be careful about whipping, however, or you could end up with cocoa butter.

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  • 1 month later...

An email missive from ChefShop.com contained this bit about their coconut milk testing and selecting the canned product. Since there has been obvious interest in the topic in recent months, here it is.

Coconut Milk

We tasted and tasted today, but this story started three years ago. We needed coconut milk to use in a recipe for a dish that we ate in Hawaii. At the same time, we were looking into the health benefits of the coconut. What we found was not so interesting; the coconut milks we tested were full of non-coconut ingredients, and had less than appealing tastes.

Francine P. on FaceBook says, "The only really good coconut milk takes elbow grease and a coconut shredder. Split the brown nuts and grate the meat, squeeze out the milk, and use it for cooking. You just cannot can heaven."

That is a true statement for so many things. However, if you are short a coconut and want to make a good Thai dish, then you need to use the next best thing; coconut milk in a can.

The first thing you need to know is that Coconut Milk doesn't look like milk. A misnomer at best. It's more like a glop of white stuff. Second, it doesn't always taste much like coconut. Two of the samples both looked and tasted more like crisco; a pure white and almost flavorless paste and, once mixed up, the texture didn't change at all. Four of the samples we tasted had guar gum added as a thickener; the one "light" version did look more like milk, but had no taste. After a spoonful, they all produced the same exclamation from the crew, "Yukk!!"

The one that we liked best, and which will do what we need it to do, was not like the others; it was made of 82% coconut kernel and 18% water . None of the others told us how much coconut is actually inside the can. The taste and consistency brought back a food memory from childhood that I can't quite remember. Not weirdly smooth and a real coconut flavor. Actually felt like we were eating something real.

These are also smaller cans than the usual 13.5 ounce and for me that is an advantage.

Many of my recipes call for 250 ml of coconut milk so I often have a third of a can sitting in the fridge until it acquires unwanted visitors.

This 9 ounce can (270 ml) is just about perfect for me, cooking for one.

If the product is superior, I don't mind paying a premium price.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie - Will you be trying it out? Would be very interested to find out if the canned product lives up to its promise. I have had nothing but good experiences with Chefshop so I expect it should.

I happened to make sticky rice with the frozen coconut milk and it was pretty great! Just the pure coconut flavor came through. I think the brand at the market has a slightly higher fat content but my math could be off (57.5g/50g from fat). I stocked up on a few packs the last time I was there and if I recall correctly the price was $3.59 or $3.79 per 16 oz pkg.

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Edited by natasha1270 (log)
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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I am going to be ordering some when I use some of my current supply (note hoarding topic).

I also am waiting for some other seasonal items so I can group things in one order.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 9 years later...

I'm getting back into cooking curries again. I went shopping (brick and mortar) and it seems like now there are more canned coconut "creams" (vs. "milk") on the shelves. I bought two different brands of coconut "cream," just to try. I noticed that the calorie counts (per fl. oz. or mL) for the creams are about the same as for coconut "milk." I was thinking the creams would be richer than the milks. Do you guys think this is just marketing, calling this stuff "cream" now instead of "milk"? Sorry, I haven't opened up these cans yet b/c I don't have all the ingredients I need yet to make some curry.

 

In another thread, @KennethT recommended the Aroy-D 100% coconut milk, which I think I will have to order from Amazon. On Amazon, there's also an Aroy-D coconut "cream." Has anybody tried that?

 

TIA!

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