Coconut Milk

Coconut MilkCoconut Milk & Cream are essentially the same thing. The cream is thick and will rise to the top, similar to un-homogenized milk. It also has more fat than the milk. Homemade coconut milk/cream has the best flavor. A good substitute is canned coconut milk from Thailand. Good brands are: Chao Koh (Island People) and Mae Ploy. If you buy canned it’s best not to shake the can like they suggest. Instead, open it and use the ‘head’ (cream) to fry the curry paste in. The coconut fat really brings out the flavor! There are bags of frozen coconut milk available in some Asian groceries. While the flavor is better than canned, it separates and gets chunky when you heat it. I’m not sure why freezing does this to coconut milk. I’ve experimented with freezing my own homemade fresh-pressed coconut milk, and the same thing happens. The flavor is OK, but the consistency is quite odd. So, I recommend canned. If you are lucky enough to find Chao Koh brand coconut milk in a paper carton, this is even better.

Storage: Fresh coconut milk goes bad very very fast, and should be used the same day as pressing. Canned also spoils quickly, and should be used within a few days of opening.