Preparing a coconut
How to prepare a coconut
This is easier than you would think. Don't bother drilling out the little `bungs' unless you want to drink the coconut juice with a straw first!
If you need to reserve the juice, break it over a bowl, if not then just do it over the sink.
The citrus zester shown here is identical to tools sold specifically for scraping a coconut. It scraped a coconut clean in 3 minutes, leaving a neat pile of coconut `spaghetti'. However, as shown here, you can improvise with an ice-cream scoop, a mandoline, a knife and probably many other ways.
If your recipe requires toasted coconut, once you have the flesh grated, roast in a dry wok until it's golden brown.
Step by step
- Pull off any loose matting from the outside of the coconut.
- Rinse the coconut under warm running water to remove any grit and dust that might contaminate the coconut flesh that is being removed.
- Hold the coconut in the palm of your hand.
- Sharply tap the middle of the coconut with the blunt side of a cleaver.
- Rotate it a little and tap it again.
- Repeat until it cracks.
- When it cracks, quite often the juice won't escape immediately as the flesh tends to hold the juice until you prise the two halves apart.
- Scoop out the flesh with a coconut scraper.
- Hang the used coconut halves outside for the birds, they love them.
How to completely remove the meat/flesh of a coconut
- Split the coconut into two halves by giving it a few taps around the middle.
- Place in a preheated oven [200°C (400°F)] for a few minutes.
- The coconut meat will simply separate from the shell.
- You will however still have to separate the coconut flesh from the thin brown membrane that surrounds it.
So you don't waste time on a bad coconut, once you have the coconut open, take a little nibble, just to make sure it's not turned rancid.