In the past, every Thai kitchen had a coconut grater (mah koot maprow in Thai) as required cooking equipment. The most popular style of grater was this seated type, in which the grater sits astride the bench and grates the fresh white coconut meat direclty from the brown hard coconut shell using the sharp metal teeth of the attached grater. The brown shell protects the hands, but care must be taken to not come in contact with the sharp teeth of the metal blade.
The shredded coconut meat drops into an awaiting bowl, positioned below the front end of the grater. Even today many Thai kitchens employ this old-fashioned method of preparing the coconut milk, but more and more Thais are buying their coconut milk ready made from a professional in the marketplace who specializes in coconut milk (and usually freshly made curry pastes). A high powdered stainless steel machine does all the work of grating and pressing the flesh and the cost is just pennies per bag.
To prepare freshly grated coconut, hit the coconut at the mid-section with the back of a heavy cleaver to split it around the equator into two equal sized halves (upper and lower). Grate the coconut using a rotating motion to move around the entire half of the coconut, starting at the outside and working towards the inside. A Thai person can easily grate a coconut in 5 minutes, after years of daily practice. Pour over water just to cover the resulting meat by about 1/4-1/2 inch (less water is usually better, but it depends on how rich of a coconut milk your recipe requires). Squeeze the meat repeatly with your clean hands for about 3-5minutes to extract the cococnut milk. Once you are satisfied, strain the resulting liquid through a fine sieve into a bowl. If you like you may repeat the process to get out as much milk as possilble but use less water the second time.
Your coconut milk is now ready to be used in various Thai recipes such as curry, desserts and Tom Kah. After all this effort we do not recommend storing fragile fresh coconut milk, use it within the same day for best results.
See our recipes section for more details about Homemade Coconut Milk and links to recipes using coconut milk.
Materials: Rubberwood and metal blade. Dimensions : 17.5 x 6 x 5 inches. Product of Thailand.
Availability: Ships in 2-3 business days