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Coconut milk vs. coconut cream vs. coconut water


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I have not seen that cream v. milk in recent marketing. Chaokoh is the most common brand here. not going into PETA issues It usually has about a third or so solid layer on top. You are going to crack it anyway with the spice paste. I usually scoop the solid cream to heat with paste and add the liquid back in later, 

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I heard about the Chaokoh issue. The label of this Chef's Choice coconut milk can looks hokey, but IMO this brand of coconut milk actually tastes good. (It's a product of Thailand, according to the label.) It's not always available at the brick & mortar stores, though.

 

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I began with making my own pre mass availability. Even big brands vary. One can I can smell and smile, another maybe not. It is inexpensive - play. Let us know ;

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I found the Aroy-D in the box to taste and smell most like what I see freshly made in SE Asia. Beware there are several versions - you want the one that says 100% coconut milk - that one has no added stabilizers or gums. I used to use Chaokoh a long time ago (I stopped using it long before I heard their issues) - I stopped when I found a source of frozen coconut milk from Thailand. I don't bother getting cream and milk - I just reduce the milk a bit more before adding any pastes or anything else. And lately I reserve a bit of milk to add at the very end. - it adds the freshness I always felt like it missed.

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We have tried a number of brands ( I live in Ontario, Canada) and stick with Arroy-D only.  It tastes the best to us.   And I use either the cream or the milk...whatever Ed manages to buy for me. 

 

A good number of years ago there was a eG discussion...I can't recall what topic...about the mislabeling of the coconut milks/creams and how they made no sense.  We all just agreed at the time to let it go...

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15 hours ago, dcarch said:

You may want to check with your doctor about coconut water/milk use, if you have kidney issues (CKD).

 

dcarch

 

I don't have kidney issues ... yet.

 

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My recollection is that coconut cream is typically sugar-laden confectionary type stuff.  It was (unfortunately) not a suitable substitute for coconut milk at all.

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3 minutes ago, donk79 said:

My recollection is that coconut cream is typically sugar-laden confectionary type stuff.  It was (unfortunately) not a suitable substitute for coconut milk at all.

A quick bit of Google suggests that this was a very particular poor experience and not representative at all.

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48 minutes ago, donk79 said:

A quick bit of Google suggests that this was a very particular poor experience and not representative at all.

Yeah, what you're remembering is "creamed coconut," which is something entirely other.

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1 hour ago, donk79 said:

A quick bit of Google suggests that this was a very particular poor experience and not representative at all.

That was in the liquor aisle  "tropical drinks".

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In my area, the sweet stuff is called cream of coconut and like @heidih said is often found with cocktail or baking supplies.  Coco Lopez is a popular brand.  

As described here from thekitchn:

Quote

Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow’s milk and is made from simmering one part shredded coconut in one part water. Coconut milk is the basis of most Thai curries.

Coconut cream is much thicker and richer. It is made from simmering four parts shredded coconut in one part water. The cream that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk is also considered coconut cream.

Lastly, cream of coconut is a sweetened version of coconut cream, and is often used for desserts and mixed drinks. Because of the added sugar, it is usually not interchangeable with coconut cream.

 

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Not too many years ago if you were looking for coconut milk in our supermarkets you would find it in the “mixer” aisle near Rose’s Lime Juice. Apparently the shelf stockers could not distinguish between coconut milk and cream of coconut. 

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

In my area, the sweet stuff is called cream of coconut and like @heidih said is often found with cocktail or baking supplies.  Coco Lopez is a popular brand.  

As described here from thekitchn:

 

This description from thekitchn was definitely not written by anyone who's been to SE Asia and toured even 1 market.  There is no simmering involved in making eithre coconut milk or cream.  Coconut cream (sometimes called #1 milk) is what is obtained when you take freshly grated coconut and squeeze.  Coconut milk (sometimes called #2 milk) is when you take the once squeezed grated coconut, add water and squeeze again.

Edited by KennethT (log)
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Yeah, Coco Lopez I remember from my bar / restaurant days. That was for frozen piña coladas, etc. Definitely too sweet to be using for curries.

 

I'll report back after I try these canned coconut "creams" that I bought.

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On 3/27/2021 at 7:12 PM, blue_dolphin said:

In my area, the sweet stuff is called cream of coconut and like @heidih said is often found with cocktail or baking supplies.  Coco Lopez is a popular brand.  

As described here from thekitchn:

 

Cream of coconut is definitely what I had.  And it would have been in the baking aisle.  Probably where it prompted decent ideas and I'll results!  It took me a while to get passed that one and figure out that what I was looking for was available after all!

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I buy both coconut milk and coconut cream here. Imported from Thailand. Definitely different.

There is no way anyone should confuse coconut water with the other two!

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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On 3/28/2021 at 7:40 AM, KennethT said:

This description from thekitchn was definitely not written by anyone who's been to SE Asia and toured even 1 market.  There is no simmering involved in making eithre coconut milk or cream.  Coconut cream (sometimes called #1 milk) is what is obtained when you take freshly grated coconut and squeeze.  Coconut milk (sometimes called #2 milk) is when you take the once squeezed grated coconut, add water and squeeze again.

Finally, someone who knows what the difference is! There's too much overthinking here.

Edited by barista (log)
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