How To Extract Milk From A Coconut

  • 01 of 07


    How to extract milk from a coconut
    How to extract milk from a coconut. MAIKA 777/getty images

    Coconut milk is a very important ingredient for a lot of South-East Asia cooking. We don’t really use much in Chinese cooking but are you curious about how to extract coconut milk from a fresh coconut? This article will answer your question!

    When it comes to extracting coconut milk from a fresh coconut, a common misconception is that all you need to do is pierce the black “eyes” on the top of the coconut and the milk will come flowing out. Actually, extracting milk from a coconut takes a little bit more work than just piercing the black “eyes” but the results are worth it! The taste and the flavour of fresh coconut milk from a fresh coconut is amazing! It tastes so fresh and delicious.

    You can adjust the thickness of the coconut milk by how much water you put it in. I will always use the juice from the coconut meat as well and you can also adjust the amount of hot water you use.

    Here are easy step-by step instructions, with pictures, showing how to make your own coconut milk from the meat and juice of a coconut!

    Edited by Liv Wan.

    Tools you will need:

    1. A medium bowl
    2. Corkscrew to pierce the eyes
    3. Sharp implement for cracking the coconut
    4. A blender or smoothie machine
    5. Cheesecloth
    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Prepare the Coconut

    Rhonda Parkinson

    Pierce the three black eyes at the top of the coconut with a sharp instrument. 

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Drain the liquid

    Draining the clear liquid from a coconut
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Drain the watery juice out of the eyes. This is not the coconut milk. But we need to keep this watery juice for making the coconut milk. So please don’t discard it. 

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Open the Coconut

    Removing the white meat from a coconut
    Rhonda Parkinson

    Open the Coconut

    Tap around the middle of the coconut with a sharp instrument to crack it open. (In the photo the non-chopping side of a cleaver is being used). Please be very careful when you are doing this procedure. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Remove the Coconut Meat

    Removing the white meat from a coconut
    Rhonda Parkinson

    1. Remove the white meat from inside the two halves of the coconut.

    2. Taste a small piece of the meat. If it tastes bad, don’t proceed any further.

    3. Chop up any pieces of coconut meat that are noticeably larger than others. 

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Process the coconut meat in a blender

    Processing the coconut milk in a blender
    Rhonda Parkinson
    1. Place half the coconut meat in a blender with half of the coconut juice and 1 cup of hot water (Vary the amount of water to produce thicker or thinner milk). Use high speed to process for 3-5 minutes until the coconut meat turns really fine.
    2. Repeat this procedure with the other half of the meat and juice. 
    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Strain the Milk

    Coconut Milk Picture - Photo of How to Extract Milk From a Coconut. Rhonda Parkinson
    1. Place a few layers of cheesecloth over a bowl and strain the milk through the cloth.
    2. Lift up the cheesecloth and squeeze the milk out.

    This is how you extract the coconut milk from a fresh coconut! It takes a bit more work than just opening a tin but both the flavour and freshness are infinitely better and definitely worth all the hard work!