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Coconut Milk: From Curries to Piña Coladas
Coconut milk is often used as a base for curries and other dishes. We’ll bust open this enigmatic ingredient and drink its secrets.
Though the coconut’s usage is often thought to be limited to sweet desserts, around the world, coconut milk is a staple of savory dishes. To make the milk, cooks grate coconut meat, soak it in hot water, and squeeze out the thick liquid, which makes an ideal base for stews and curries. Repeating the pressing process yields an even more viscous milk, but when selecting coconut milk in a store, patrons should be wary of those that contain artificial thickening agents.
It is also important not to confuse coconut milk with coconut water, the sweet, clear juice of a young coconut, or cream of coconut, which is generally thicker and sweeter than coconut milk. Coconut milk, which is an excellent substitute for dairy in a vegan diet, lends its richness to a wide range of dishes. Mussels grow soft in steaming pots of the stuff, and lemon and peppers might brighten the thick broth of a Thai curry.