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Coconut Milk

Some of my recipes on my site use coconut milk. I fell in love with coconut base spicy sauces while visiting Bangkok in Thailand. Done right, it is a thing of beauty. Great coconut sauces cannot be rushed. They are rich and complex in flavour.

Used in my Wood Fired Smoked Thai Green Chicken Curry recipe - as featured on my Podcast.

You will be extracting coconut 'milk' from desiccated coconut - it is so worth the extra time involved. 

Traditionally, there are two stages in extracting the 'milk' from desiccated coconut.

Stage 1: The thick coconut milk = The first extraction. 

Coconut 'cream' can also be extracted from stage 1. This delightful layer rises to the top of the thick milk when it has been let to stand.

Stage 2: The thin coconut milk = The second or subsequent extractions

Different combinations of stage 1 and 2 coconut milk is often used in recipes.

Let' make some coconut milk! To speed up the process a little - I am using a kitchen food processor (blender).


  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 5-6 cups hot water
  • Muslin for straining

Yields about 4-5 cups of coconut milk


Stage 1: The thick coconut milk = The first extraction. 

Add the desiccated coconut to the blender along with 2.5 cups of hot water. Cover and blend for 40-50 seconds. Strain the milk through a piece of muslin. Make sure you squeeze hard to expel as much 'milk' as you can. Hopefully you will extract about 1-2 cups of thick coconut milk. Place into a container and place in the fridge. The very thick cream will rise to the surface once it cools down.

Stage 2: The thin coconut milk = The second or subsequent extractions

Repeat the process above - using 2.5 cups of fresh hot water, but using the same coconut you used in stage 1.

Keep in a container in the fridge until required.

If you want to make this entirely by hand, omit the food processor. Soak the desiccated coconut in the hot water until it cools and then squeeze through the muslin. More traditional way of doing it - just more work.