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Coconut Milk

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Recently I've come across a few recipes that I want to try that require coconut milk. Yesterday I bought a couple of cans of the stuff, and, never having tried it before, did a little coconut milk tasting this evening. The three brands I tried were pretty flat tasting and insipid. Not much coconut flavor at all. A couple of the recipes called for a specific brand of coconut milk - Chaokoh - but comments I've read recently suggest that it's not as good as it used to be.

Shouldn't coconut milk, regular or "lite," have a distinctive coconut flavor, and perhaps aroma? Maybe I've been spoiled an am expecting to much, having had lots of fresh coconut over the years, including coconut directly from the trees.

So, for those of you knowledgeable about such matters, what brands of coconut milk might you recommend, and what sort of taste/texture should I be looking for. If I can't find what I want, I'll just try making my own.

Shel (really getting tired of the prepared crap that is foisted upon us as food)
post #2 of 15
Which brands did you try?

I like Chef Something and Chao Something (sorry, I don't have either one right now). Sometimes I use Thai Kitchen, but only because they make a half-size can which is better when cooking for only two.

Kuan once posted a picture of his mother using a coconut grater, which would be great ( (;) ) to have if you want to make your own. Baring that, it can be done with a blender. Me, I just buy the brands I like and figure no one else will know the difference. :blush:
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Roland was one, and I'd have to dig through the recycling to get the other two brands. One I bought strictly on price as it was on sale an the Asia market.

Chao Koh (or Chaokoh) was recommended, but it has recently received some negative reviews. That won't stop me from trying it. Thai Kitchen and one other is next on the agenda.

I can get dried coconut, and maybe even frozen coconut, and there are plenty of places that have "fresh" coconuts here, so getting the needed raw materials for making the stuff at home would be simple enough.

Thanks

Shel
post #4 of 15
I usually use the chaokoh. The Asian grocer carries it much cheaper than the mainstream grocers, $0.69 or so and it's a decent coconut milk if not the best.

Phil
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 15
I can't remember the name of the brand I usually buy, but I get it in the Asian section of our local produce market. It has a full color picture of a split coconut on the can. I have used other brands as well, and really never noticed much difference. I figure if you go to a good Asian market, they'll carry the best brands so I just trust what they have on the shelves. I used to cook for Asian students at a boarding prep school. Very difficult as these were wealthy kids with private chefs at home, and here's me in the lutefisk capital of the U.S. trying to make something they like when I have no idea what the dish should taste like. Anyway, they liked a dish that was basically beef stew with curry powder and coconut milk added. The milk I used had some coconut flavor, but not really strong and it tended to fade way into the background when blended with other seasonings. I really like working with coconut milk because of the texture it gives. I have also substituted it for the milk in cream pie recipes with very good results. If you ever need to make a cream pie for someone who is lactose intolerant, this is the way to go. I guess just keep trying different brands until you find one you like.
post #6 of 15
Goya works pretty well although I have to admit I haven't done a "tasting" of it. I've only just poured it into my currys and run with it! <blush>
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I bought some Chaokoh today. Discovered that it, too, comes in a small can. Thanks for the tip - I'd not have looked for it had you not mentioned "small cans."

Shel
post #8 of 15

Maeploy brand...

Shel,
I usually use this brand "Maeploy". You can buy it at Asian Market named Mae Wah on Clement & 8th ave. This brand has more favor than Chaokoh and Aroy-D.
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks - that was another on my list to try It's been recommended in a few venues. I'm sure it can be found here in the east bay.

shel
post #10 of 15
You might want to try fresh coconut milk instead. Get the young coconuts from the Asian market, they're white, not the brown, fibrous type we see in the supermarkets. Yummy!
post #11 of 15
I would not recommend that you try green coconut. That's coconut water, you drink that and scoop the soft flesh out with a spoon. Delicious! Coconut milk is extracted from the brown coconuts. You grate the insides and put that in a muslin or cheesecloth. Then you use hot water and massage the milky stuff out of it. :)
post #12 of 15
GOYA! O BOY-A!
I think that maybey only a East Coast/New England brand!
But We've used that all my life in my family
Dont remember it being tasty until its in the food or pastry
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, The liquid inside the young coconuts is, indeed, delicious, especially when extracted from fresh coconuts right off the tree. We used to drink the juice, and enjoy the young flesh, in Central America. However, that's not coconut milk. The milk is extracted from the older coconuts by grating or pulverizing the white meat and extracting the "milk" with warm or hot water and pressing it out.

Shel
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm, OK, maybe what I'll do is just get another can of one of the recommended brands and use it in one or two dishes and see how it works.

Shel
post #15 of 15
It's actually a Texas brand I think! LOL, I think headquarters for Goya Foods is somewhere in Texas, maybe Houston?

And you're right, I have tasted it and it doesn't really taste overly coconutty but in my dishes the coconut flavor really comes out well. I've had no complaints. :D
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