I should really save this post for the middle of summer, when it’s unbearably hot outside and the only thing you crave is a cool, refreshing drink. But you know how it is when you’ve just been introduced to something great – you want to share it with the world immediately!
So it is with coconut juice. The boyfriend picked up a young, green coconut on his last trip to the Asian market. I had seen them before, but never felt the urge to buy one, since 1) I didn’t know what to do with it and 2) whatever it was that you were supposed to do, it looked like a lot of work.
This is how the coconut came from the market – fortunately for us, with the hard green outer shell removed. The little tool below it is something that the boyfriend has had in his utensil drawer for years and years. I had always wondered what it was… and now I know that it’s a Thai coconut meat scraper.
In order to gain access to the coconut juice, you have to cut a hole in the top of the coconut. This is easiest done with a sharp chef’s knife inserted at a 60 degree angle to the top. Push the knife in (or if you need a little help, use a hammer to bang the knife in) about an inch, then pull out and repeat in a circle along the top of the coconut. It’s tedious work, but much better to go slow than to risk a finger!
Then you can pull off the top, insert a straw, and enjoy the delicious juice straight from the coconut! In fact, some stores sell the coconut juice just like this, with straw and all, in case you want to skip the labor-intensive steps above.
Once you’ve had a little sip, pour all of the juice into a container and use the Thai coconut scraper to get the meat out. Use the side with 5 holes to make grated flakes and the other side to make bigger curls. If you don’t happen to have a Thai boyfriend with one of these scrapers sitting in his utensil drawer, a spoon works pretty well…