Coconut milk is surprisingly delicious and fairly healthful for you. That’s why we’ll use it to make a soup, a sauce and a mocktail!
Coconut milk has been around for a long time, but has seen its popularity wane over the years, especially as other “alternative milks” like soy milk and almond milk have entered the fray. However, with the recent popularity and healthy benefits of coconut water (which is the actual juice of the coconut), more people are turning back to coconut milk (which is a mixture of coconut water and coconut meat).
If that’s you or you would like to eat a little healthier, there are numerous ways to get more coconut in your diet, like this soup, sauce and non-alcoholic drink.
1. Soup: Coconut-tomato shrimp soup
Yields 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 onion, cut into 1/2-inch squares
- 1/2 green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch squares
- 2 tomatoes, cut into large pieces
- 4 inches lemongrass, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 16 (8-10 count) shrimp
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons tamarind
- Get the oil hot over medium-high heat, then add the onion and peppers with a pinch of salt.
- Cook the onion mixture 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook 3 minutes.
- Add the lemongrass and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the broth and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the shrimp, milk and tamarind.
- Continue cooking for 4 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and cooked all the way through.
2. Sauce: Savory coconut “gravy”
Yields 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot
- Pour the olive oil into a skillet and let it get hot over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the shallots, garlic and a healthy pinch of salt.
- Cook the shallots until soft, about 4 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, nutmeg and cayenne and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, take a few tablespoons and place into a bowl.
- Add the arrowroot to the bowl and stir well.
- Pour the arrowroot mixture back into the skillet and cook until the gravy thickens.
- Serve over beef, chicken, pork or anything needing a Thai or tropical sauce.
3. Cocktail: Thai summer
- 5 tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 inch lemongrass + 1 (4-inch) piece for garnish
- 2 kafir lime leaves
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ounce white chocolate sauce
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, 1 inch of lemongrass, lime leaves, lime juice and zest and sugar.
- Let the kafir and lemongrass steep in the cream for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Remove the leaves and lemongrass stalk and let the infused coconut milk cool.
- When cool, pour into a glass and add the white chocolate sauce.
- Serve with a lemongrass stick for garnish.