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

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

(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, 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, and click on that little bell icon to make sure you get a notification 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.

100 thoughts on “COCONUT MILK: Everything You Need to Know – Hot Thai Kitchen

  1. Hi Pailin, Love your video and style. I understand that when you add coconut milk to the Tom Yum soup, you should add it at the end and stir in only one direction as to nut curdle. I tried it and it worked for me. Hope this is helpful. 🙂

  2. I love that aroy-d box brand use it a lot here in the Caribbean ……..I also still use the actual brown coconut, grater it add hot water and strain off the milk and store the meat…. long process I need a good quality blender 😒😞

  3. Hi, I stay in Singapore and here I get a brand named Ampawa from Thailand.
    Have u seen or used that brand when u were in Thailand. Please help me

  4. I’m currently trying to switch cow’s milk to coconut(cause i like it more than almond or soy) Is the regular Alpro brand safe? If not i have to do more research 🤓

  5. You can easily find coconut milk in Brazilian food stores (often in a glass bottle). It's commonly used in Brazilian food.

  6. In the future I hope you will look into which coconut milk is healthier. Specifically, the tetra-pak you recommend probably is the best. However, for most of us we find it in the can and cans are also frequently lined with a coating that contains BPA. Which is especially bad when it comes into contact with fatty foods like coconut milk because it is fat soluble. Thx.

  7. Hi, how do you prevent coconut cream/milk from curdling during cooking? or even after the dish cooled down? I always mess up

  8. hi everyone ,if anyone else is searching for benefits for eating healthy try Corbandy Coconut Crusher (do a search on google ) ? Ive heard some awesome things about it and my work buddy got great results with it.

  9. อยากให้คุณสอนวิธีทำ โคโคนัทโยเกิร์ต ด้วยค่ะ

  10. Hmm…I generally prefer Chaokoh brand for coconut milk, but I will see about ordering some of the UHT coconut milk from Amazon if I can't find it at my local Asian grocery store (BTW, if ever you come visit Dallas, TX, Super H-Mart is a very cool Korean grocery store that I frequently go to!)…

  11. Hi Pai, we're in Chiang Mai right now and want to find a cheap coconut milk for our smoothies! Is there something you can recommend as well as a place for us to buy it? Thank you so much!

  12. Heck yes I know those milk bags! I haven't heard about that since the 90's. We used to get those in elementary school for lunch : )

  13. เคยซื้อแบบกระป๋องจาก Tesco กับ Sainsbury’s มาทำแกง มันถูกดีและเขียนว่า Product from Thailand แต่รสชาดแย่มาก ไม่มีกลิ่นกะทิเลย กลิ่นหืนเหมือนกินสารเคมีแปลกปลอม ไม่เอาอีกเลย พอกินไปตอนเย็น พอเข้านอนแล้วเหมือนมีกรดไหลย้อนขึ้นมาที่หน้าออก

  14. Of these alternatives I tried the first, shredded coconut (brand was Baker's) processed in a blender with water and strained. After a while in the refrigerator a distinct layer formed on top which I presume was coconut cream; it was definitely thicker and had a 'richer' taste. If that can be widely and predictably replicated perhaps you could include coconut cream in your recipes.

  15. Where do you buy the coconut milk in the green box in Canada? I was living in Thailand and Malaysia the last years and always use exactly that brand and love it. Now we live in mexico and dont get it only some crazy stuff with a lot of extra sugar 😱.
    Hope to find this brand in canada when we move there at march.

    Love your videos we miss a lot of the Thai food and try to cook it at home.

  16. Love this! And about the milk bags lol I totally get what you are talking about you aren't crazy!
    Awesome respectable tone and welcome expression into this video. This should get more likes

  17. I love your videos – way more informative than I expected. I am trying to maintain a vegan diet and curry is one of my staples.

  18. Hi,thank you for the Video! I have a question, I have seen some instant pure coconut powder in the market, and the ingredients shows that they contains nothing but pure coconut milk. Is that healthy? Cause it’s really convenient to use at office. Thanks!

  19. "Sulphites" Why? Oh why?.
    Can't they add something else. My God, "Sulphites"?
    Ruin everything.

  20. outstanding video … thank you … if you had to pick between Krabi, Phi Phi Island or Phuket … which would you choose for a layed back vacation … not into the party scene, just great food and chill

  21. thank you for your information. I am in west coast of Canada, but can not find the package-500 you are showing in 3:50 here. I have bought cans the same you have. Is there any way I can buy the " nn 100% " anywhere?

  22. I have bought coconut milk in a very small package but inside is hard, when open I mix it with water, how is the quality of these little packages? Thank you

  23. Milk bag! Yes I know what you are talking about! Actually I was just talking about milk bag with another friend from another country about it a few days ago! So cool to hear about it again!

  24. Anyone know if the carton of 100 %, is the same as the link for Aror -D. And is that link for UHT ??? I'm confused. Am trying to purchase the recommended one ASAP. Thanks in advance !

  25. @8:04 I know what are you talking about…😂👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 love your helps me a lot to explain this to my friends here. People keep asking me " can I use coconut milk from a can? " …just because I always use UHT Aroy D. Thank you for your VDO.

  26. Yes, I did live throw that short period where milk came in a 1L bags of 4 to a package. It's good they don't sell them anymore. So much plastic to get rid to throw out!

  27. I once bought coconut milk expecting it to least have the coco scent but nada. It felt like a waste of my money. Being a person who has grown using cocos, these canned varieties are a disappointment, that they cannot grate the coco meat and milk it. I wonder why they need all these ingredients, just to make coco milk. There really is no substitute for it at all.

  28. แบบที่เขียนว่า สำหรับทำขนม คือเค้าอบควันเทียนมาแล้วรึเปล่าครับ เท่าที่เคยใช้

  29. Hi Pailin!! I'm totally with you on the milk in bags. We had it when I was in grade school. It was called milk in a pouch! You would poke a hole into the bag with your straw and that's how you drank it. The kids would sometimes squirt each other with milk through the straw though and I think that may have played a part in why the school did away with it, lol. But no, you aren't crazy! 😉

  30. Thanks for the info, I have always used the can coconut milk because I didn’t know the one you recommend, I will now buy the carton one

  31. In the Philippines we call it "Gata". Very close to "Gati". Love love love…Do you have a pasta dish with coconut milk?

  32. I used Aroy-D a lot! Great product, but in the Netherlands we have 'Go-Tan' which holds more extract and looks similar (based on the nutritional information of course). I am interest in your opinion.

  33. How about creamed coconut? I can find it in blocks and it says you can dissolve it to make milk and I made yogurt once, came out grainy but nice. It's 100% coconut on the packet and the block is separated into oil and coconut meat I guess.

  34. Hi Pai,
    Miss your videos but understand how busy you are. Hope you and your family are all doing very well. I was just re-watching this video and noticed the powdered coconut milk and your comments about only using it for camping. Do you have any good Thai inspired camping recipes?

  35. I use A Roi coconut milk in carton. We used to pop those little milk bags when we were done drinking.

  36. Very helpful. Thank you. I vacationed in Thailand about twenty-five years ago. Such a beautiful. country; great people. I remember that even the food from the street vendors was wonderful. Loved their fish soup.

  37. I’m 30 yr old I know exactly what your talking about when you referred to milk bag I didn’t like it back when I was a kid. Growing up I know I’m lactose intolerant that’s why. In Thailand, there is actually กะทิหอมควันเทียม with candle aroma can throw off savory food nakrub. But I think you know

  38. Love your videos. Didn't realise you had FB and Insta. Signed up now. Your abc videos of the thai dishes and well explained steps and insights are golden for a Scandinavian, loooooong time away from Thailand and those areas. Authentic Thai food can be found here, but most of it is augmented to fit the Danish taste tradition. Understandable, but also too bad for those who would like to get hit by the real tastes (and heat). So again, thank you 🙂

  39. i do not trust the canned stuff because it has preservatives which in this case is more than harmful. i usually use coarsely ground desiccated coconut which i add to nearly boiling water then blend then press through colander. what do you think is that ok

  40. Hi there Ms. Pai! Thank you always for your generosity of sharing your talent, and passion for the Thai cuisine to the world. I found this recipe in youtube but it is in Thai. I really would like to try it. Can you translate even just the ingredients, or better yet, why not Pailinize the recipe???😊 Thank you😊

  41. Hello! Aroy-D changed their formula from 100 % coconut to 70 % and added an emulsifier called E435. I am buying all the leftover packages I can at my Thai and Chinese grocery shops. Do you know if this happened everywhere or only here in Europe? Is there any other brand I could buy?

  42. Yes, buy the wonderful coconut milks and creams here in Thailand in the plastic bags. The product is the best but wish it was sold in a better container.. You must miss Thailand!

  43. I’m from Southeast Asia and the canned coconut milk is SO WEIRD LOL the texture is reminiscent of paint. That said coconuts are so common here my family always gets fresh coconut flesh from the supermarket and we squeeze the milk out of it our own. Of course there’s the carton version but I’ve never tried the canned version before, neither do I want to :X I agree that coconut milk cannot be substituted it is just so aromatic and fragrant

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