Delicious Living Blog

How to open and use fresh young coconut

You've likely seen those pointy, plastic-wrapped fresh young coconuts in your natural foods market ... but have you been too intimidated to try one? Here's your step-by-step guide to opening a young fresh coconut and extracting the supernutritious, clear coconut water (called agua de pipa in Latin America -- and not to be confused with thick, white coconut milk), as well as the extremely tender fresh coconut meat.

1. Discard the plastic wrap. Get a STURDY cutting board (or put a damp towel beneath your cutting board so it won't slip) and the biggest, heaviest knife you have -- a cleaver or heavy chef's knife.

coconut-1.JPG

2. Turn the coconut on its side and hack near the pointed end until you create a small opening. (Stand back and leave your fingers out of it! You don't have to hit the exact same point every time; eventually you'll get through the shell.) Turn upright and, if necessary, use a sturdy can opener to pry the opening wide enough so you can pour out the water. Pour into a large measuring cup. (See photo, below right.) One coconut will yield 1 to 1.5 cups of coconut water. This highly nutritious, clear liquid is full of natural electrolytes and potassium.

coconut-2.JPG

3. Once all the water is drained, hack the coconut (either in the location you started near the pointed end or, if easier, right in the center; see photo below) until broken enough to pry in half. You may have to lodge the knife in the coconut and bang it on the cutting board -- kind of like splitting wood.

coconut-3.JPG

4. Pry open the coconut shell to reveal the creamy white flesh inside (photo below, right).

coconut-4.JPG

5. Use a sturdy spoon to scrape out the coconut meat. You'll likely get about 1 cup. Scrape off any residual wood that clings to the meat. Compost the shell.

6. Now you've got some truly luscious, fresh young coconut meat to puree into smoothies or a Thai-flavored soup, or to chop and add to cookie or quick-bread batter.

coconut-5.JPG

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish