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Cooking With Coconut Milk

Get the facts on coconut milk―and discover how to use it in such recipes as corn chowder, ginger chicken, rice custard, noodles, and more.

By Sara Quessenberry
Coconut milkBeatriz da Costa

Coconut milk sometimes separates into a thick layer of coconut cream atop a watery liquid. To recombine the two, shake the can before opening it. If necessary, pour the contents into a bowl and break up any large chunks with a spoon.

Recipes

Glossary

  • Coconut milk is made from fresh shredded coconut that is simmered in water then strained to form a rich, creamy liquid.
  • Light coconut milk contains little if any coconut oil and therefore has less fat, fewer calories, and―alas―the lackluster flavor to prove it.
  • Cream of coconut is a mixture of coconut cream and sugar that's thicker and sweeter than coconut milk. The two can't be used interchangeably; save this for piña coladas.
  • Coconut juice (or water) is the electrolyte-rich liquid inside a fresh coconut.

 

 

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Quick Tip

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap in a drawer

The flan can be baked up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Unmold just before serving.