Coconut Milk

There are several methods for making coconut milk, but I opt for the method calling for cow’s milk, because I use it most often in custards, and homemade coconut milk made with water tends to be a bit too thin for that purpose. The following results in a thick, reliable coconut milk that will behave much like whole cow’s milk.


  • 1 coconut
  • about cups milk


Drain the coconut water, strain it through muslin or several thicknesses of cheesecloth, and reserve.

Crack open the coconut and grate all interior white flesh with a hand grater, with an Indian rotary grater, or in a food processor (follow the manufacturer’s instructions).

Add milk to the coconut water to make a pint of liquid. Bring this liquid to a boil and pour it over the grated coconut. Set aside to cool.

Strain the liquid from the coconut by twisting it tightly in a piece of muslin, squeezing all the liquid from the meat. Save the meat to use in recipes calling for shredded coconut.

Store the milk in the refrigerator and use within a week. The cream that rises to the surface can be scooped off and used to make coconut butter.