Simple question. I like the coconut meat just raw, right after I hammered the shell, but can you do something else with it? Maybe making it a bit softer and less dry to chew on (the kids don't like it raw)?
My exhusband's sister and mother taught me how to make it Malaysian style:- In Borneo in East Malaysia they use a metal scraper shaped like a flat spoon with ^^^ shaped teeth. The implement is hammered into to a wooden block from the handle that has a claw like end. The cook places this onto a small sitting stool and using their body weight to keep it firmly in place ie one foot on the stool and you crouch or you sit one thigh on to it and balance. The coconut is then evenly scraped into a bowl being careful not to include the brown shell. You just work around it in quick downward but slightly rounded strokes towards the bowl. The scrapings pile up. This is yummy in itself but this is only stage one. Stage 2 you add water (I don't remember if my mother in law used hot or cold sorry) but then you squeeze the shredded matter hard in your fists to exclude the water and that first squeeze is coconut cream. The dry lumps are placed in a second bowl and then a fresh batch of water is added. This is stage 3 and is called coconut milk as it is more diluted. My mother in law fed the dry lumps to the chickens but it looked pretty yummy even though her old hands had been all over it. If she laid it out on one of her woven bamboo trays in the sun (provided the monkeys/chickens etc didn't tamper with it), I am confident that it would have made lovely dried shredded coconut. I was so fascinated with this seemingly mundane household object the sister went to the market in Kota Kinnabalu and bought me one which I still have.
The other day I was in our local Indian spice goods shop and was amazed to see an Indian version invented obviously to do the same job only it was constructed completely differently. The one they used attached to the bench just like mums old fashioned hand turned carrot grater. The sharp end was similar to the one I described above having a ^^^ edge but in this case the thing was 4 sided and looked like a lemon juicer.
Now I love my food processor dearly and would be reluctant to give it up over daily usage of either of these two methods but I must say that there is something extremely satisfying and empowering to have the knowledge of how to get around a coconut without the use of power and plastic. The other important point here is I think the tool is actually bruising the pulp rather than cutting it. That may be the difference between a blade slicing and a scraper crushing. Ask yourself do some recipes call for crushed garlic or chopped? Hmm. That being said, in a pinch if I needed to, I suppose I could substitute any of these man made implements for a sturdy but evenly ribbed sea shell that fit comfortably into the palm of my hand.
I live in Australia and used to work as a cook in a tourist kiosk in a national park on the waterways near the ocean. I have seen with my own eyes shells in the rubbish middens all along the edges of the river and inside the caves. One shell I saw had even been sanded down to make a round fish hook. I have no doubt that this is the sort of tool that could have been used for this purpose. The only sad part is I am not an anthropologist to say for sure what I saw was for the purpose I supposed it could be for. The original Aboriginal people who lived in the area I worked in had been totally wiped out 200 years earlier and the only evidence today is the middens and the engravings on the rocks.
Stick it in te oven for a while.. Then shred it on a cheese grater, then toast the shreddings in the oven. Now you've got shredded toasted coconut.. Can use in salads and lots of other things
Coconut mint chutney!
Fresh coconut, fresh mint leaves, fresh coriander, garlic, fresh ginger, hot pepper, lemon coconut milk or cream.
Blend it all up. Yum!
I usually shred it and add it to curry dishes, use it as a "crust" for baked shrimp, or cut it into thin strips and heat it in a skillet (over low heat) to make coconut toast. I use coconut toast as a dipper for coconut chutney. Yum!
I might be way off here, but can't you put the coconut meat in water, let it sit and you'll have coconut milk? Similar to how one would make almond milk? I often see Coconut Meat in Syrup at ethnic grocery stores, but that's not Paleo. You could always blend it into smoothie or add to a Paleo pancake?
@Cara, I've made my own coconut milk by putting the coconut meat in a blender with some coconut water... blend it all up and its really good. Some people need to add a sweetener, but it tastes fine as is for me.
Tear it into pieces, rub it in a coconut aminos, and throw it in a dehydrator or the oven as low as it will go. It becomes coconut jerky, and it's amazing! The white coconuts have to be used for this - especially the ones with thicker meat.
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