COCONUT MILK: Everything You Need to Know – Hot Thai Kitchen

COCONUT MILK: Everything You Need to Know – Hot Thai Kitchen

July 29, 2019 100 By William Morgan


(light music)
– Sawaddee Ka.
Welcome to Hot Thai Kitchen.
Today I am doing a video
to hopefully answer all the questions
you have about coconut milk.
It’s a crucial ingredient in Thai cooking,
and I get a ton of questions about it.
And I’m going to be doing videos like this
on other ingredients as well.
So if you wanna learn more
about Thai ingredients,
make sure you subscribe,
so you don’t miss them
when I make them.
And i will put them all in a playlist.
I’ll put the link to that playlist
in the description below,
and also right up here.
So, let’s get started.
What is coconut milk?
A lot of people cook with it,
but never really thought
about where it comes from.
It is quite literally the juice
that is pressed out of the meat
of a mature coconut, okay.
And if you really wanna
see how it gets made,
I have a video of me
making it from scratch,
the old school way.
It’s a pretty cool video.
I’ll make sure I’ll put
the link right up here,
and then you’ll really understand
what this white stuff is.
In Thai, by the way,
coconut milk is called gati.
So what is the difference
between coconut milk,
and coconut cream?
So, technically, the coconut cream
is fattier, and thicker,
and has less water.
So, in the same way
that dairy milk and dairy
cream differ, right?
But I will never call, in my
recipes, for coconut cream,
because I find that different brands
have very different amounts of fat.
Whereas coconut milk, if
it’s labeled coconut milk,
the amount of fat and richness
tends to be more similar
between brands, okay?
And in Thailand, we don’t actually
have coconut cream, per se.
We have first press and second press.
And first press is pure coconut milk,
and second press has
some water mixed into it.
So, just know that for my recipes,
don’t use cream, unless
you actually want something
that’s richer than what I am making.
What is not coconut milk?
And this is very important.
Recently there’s been a
product such as this one,
that people are generally
referring to as coconut milk.
But this is actually
coconut beverage, okay?
This is very thin.
It’s a drink.
You don’t want to drink coconut milk.
That’s very fatty stuff.
This has had all the coconut fat,
well most of it anyway,
taken out of it, and it doesn’t
taste anything like coconut.
So the point of this is so that people
who are lactose intolerant
can drink it, right?
So if you wanna see the
texture, look at this.
Look how thin it is, right?
And you know, coffee shops
will use this in their lattes
for a vegan latte and whatnot.
It is so thin, you cannot
use this to cook with, okay?
I’m gonna give it a taste for you.
First of all, it doesn’t
smell like anything.
No coconut whatsoever.
It also doesn’t taste like anything.
It’s so thin, and it just tastes like
a little bit thicker water,
which is, I’m not a fan of this stuff.
But anyway, don’t use that.
(laughs)
And, coconut water is a
completely different ingredient.
Not substitutable in
any way, shape, or form.
Adam just told me he used
to think coconut water
was like the more diluted
version of coconut milk.
That is not the case, okay.
This is a liquid inside a coconut.
That is liquid that is pressed
out of a coconut meat, okay?
Two very different things.
The million dollar question:
which coconut milk do I recommend?
So I, if you watch the show,
always recommend this one.
And by the way, this is
not a sponsored video.
I am not being paid by
any of these people.
So this is UHT.
Ultra High Temperature pasteurized.
It’s 100% coconut milk.
No preservatives, no nothing in it.
This is actually the most popular
pre-packaged coconut milk in Thailand.
I had never actually seen
the canned coconut milk
until I came to Canada.
And it tastes better than the canned one.
However, the can seems to
be more widely available,
and it is okay, you can use it.
Just one thing to point out though.
See these two?
This one’s just coconut milk,
and then this one says
coconut milk for dessert.
There is no difference that I can detect
between these two things.
In the ingredient list,
it’s exactly the same.
I think they just label it like this
so if people are making
dessert, they feel better.
Oh, this is the one I want.
But, just FYI.
They’re pretty much interchangeable.
Now, I want to show you
sort of the difference
between texture and flavor.
Well I can’t show you the
flavor, but the texture,
of canned versus carton coconut milk.
And it’s always a little
bit gloopier, and thicker.
And, when I make curries, I can’t actually
get this to separate.
Meaning I can’t get the coconut oil
to separate from the coconut milk,
because I believe it’s been homogenized.
The other one …
By the way, you always wanna
give coconut milk a shake
before you use it,
because the fat over time
will rise to the top.
So just look at that difference.
Look how much more liquid it is.
That’s what fresh coconut milk looks like.
It should run freely.
It shouldn’t be this sort
of like thick, gloopy,
almost like, it looks almost
like it’s been thickened
with flour, but it’s not.
But the flavor …
Already the smell is different.
It’s fine for general cooking,
but is not very similar to
freshly made coconut milk
if you’ve ever had it.
So the other one …
It’s so much closer.
I wish I could just show
this to you right now.
The difference is pretty drastic.
Now, before you freak out.
I know a lot of you cannot get this.
If you’re making savory dishes,
the canned ones will be just fine, okay?
Because you’re gonna have
a lot of competing flavors,
a lot of herbs and spices.
You won’t taste too much of a difference.
But if you are making dessert,
where coconut flavor is
key, it will actually show.
So if you can, get this one.
You can buy it online, so
check online sources as well.
Now, if canned is the
only kind you can get,
just make sure you look
at the ingredient list,
and pick one with the least amount
of ingredients in it.
Because some of them, like this one,
has Coconut Extract,
Water, Monoglycerides,
Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60,
Cellulose Gum, and so on and so forth.
I mean, that’s nuts, right?
Coconut milk should just be coconut
with maybe some water.
So, for example, this one is canned,
but it only has coconut extract and water.
No preservatives, no
thickeners, no nothing.
That’s what you wanna go for.
And by the way, the reason why
the carton tastes better than the can,
is because this is treated
with higher temperature, but
a shorter amount of time.
This is low temp treated,
but longer period of time,
so the quality of the
product deteriorates more.
So that’s why you wanna go
with this one if possible.
Yes, there is something
called powdered coconut.
Under no circumstance should you use this,
unless you are going camping
and you wanna take some
light food with you.
This actually has a ton of
ingredients you don’t want.
Glucose Syrup, so it’s gonna
have sweetness you don’t want.
It’s got Sodium Casseinate,
which is a milk protein.
And that’s actually something important,
because if you make
food with coconut milk,
people are gonna assume it’s dairy free.
And if you’ve got people
who are allergic to milk,
it could cause some big issues.
So, camping food only.
If you are in Thailand,
there’s another kind
of coconut milk you can get,
and that is the ones in bags.
So pasteurized bags.
It will be in the refrigerated section.
It’s highly perishable.
However, it is the better one
of all of these, because it is
heat treated the least, okay?
And it’s in bags, like
those old-school milk bags.
Does anyone know what I’m talking about?
Milk bags?
Let me know in the comments.
I’m not crazy, right?
Storage.
I have found that coconut milk
that comes from either the can or this
will last for one to
two weeks in the fridge.
You wanna make sure that you put it
in a clean container, close it tight,
and if you’re not planning to use it soon,
push it to the back of your fridge,
where it’s coldest.
It tends to last longer.
And I also like to put
it in a clear container,
because here, if it’s starts getting mold,
you can’t see it, right?
And you don’t want to
pour moldy coconut milk
into your food.
If it’s in a clear container,
it’ll be very obvious it’s gross.
So, freezing.
You can freeze coconut milk,
however, I find that when it thaws,
it becomes a little grainy,
so the texture is a little different.
So, if you’re gonna use it in a curry,
or a little bit in a stir
fry, it’s totally fine.
But in a dessert, maybe not.
Substituting coconut milk.
It’s actually hard to substitute,
because there’s nothing else out there
that tastes like coconut milk.
So in desserts, where the flavor
of coconut milk needs to come out,
it’s a bit of a challenge.
However, in savory dishes,
where you’ve got lots
of other flavors going,
you can go with evaporated milk,
or a combination of milk and cream as well
if you’ve got those in the fridge already.
I have had success also making curry
for someone who’s allergic using soy milk,
because the flavor of
the curry is so strong,
that it didn’t affect
the end result that much.
Obviously it was different,
but it was still delicious.
So if that’s the case, give it a go.
And that is it.
If you’ve got more questions
about coconut milk,
which I’m sure you do,
reach out to me on Facebook,
Twitter, or Instagram,
or through my website, HotThaiKitchen.com.
And if you have tips and tricks
related to coconut milk, share it
with us in the comments below.
I’m sure lots of people
will find that useful.
If you haven’t subscribed to the show,
make sure that you do,
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when I post a new video.
And look out for more of
these ingredient basics video.
Don’t forget the link to that playlist
in the description below.
And I will see you next time.
Sawaddee Ka.