How to open a coconut and how to grate fresh coconut are the 2 questions people ask when they see a coconut for the first time. Watch my video “How to Grate Fresh Coconut” and I will show you how to crack open a coconut, drain the coconut water and how to grate a fresh coconut.
Honestly, it was only 3 years ago I learned to do this. My Dad and Mom were the ones doing it. I was even surprise that my Dad knew how to do it.
Grated coconut is an ingredient used in many dishes, desserts and drinks. Asian stores sell frozen grated coconut. If you are looking for a desiccated coconut you can easily find it in grocery stores.
Types of Coconut
There are 2 kinds of coconut – young and mature coconut. A young coconut is the type of coconut served when you want fresh coconut water. Young coconut usually have 10 ounces of fresh coconut water. To get to the coconut water chop the top of the coconut and insert a straw.
One of these days, I will have a post on how to do this.
The other way is to transfer the coconut water in a container. When no more coconut water is dripping, use a butcher knife to crack open the coconut and scrape the soft white flesh using a coconut meat removal knife.
In the Philippines, the coconut water and white meat are combined with sugar or simple syrup. It is transferred into long narrow plastic bags that are sealed and frozen. These frozen treats are called ice candy. It is so good and refreshing especially on a day with sweltering heat.
Street hawkers lined up near public transportation to sell these treats and other stuff. Coconut is abundant in Asia and the white meat are used in cakes, pies and fruit salad.
The other type is the mature coconut with a hard flesh. I will admit, I am not a fan of grating a mature coconut but it is tastier than frozen grated coconut bought from the store.
Also, another advantage of grating your own coconut you get a more concentrated coconut milk compared to frozen or canned coconut milk that is diluted with water. But I will admit, I prefer to buy canned coconut milk since it is more convenient to use.
If a recipe calls for fresh grated coconut then I make my own. In fact, I am making palitaw today so I'll be using some of this grated coconut.
How to Grate Fresh Coconut
On my video, I will show you two ways of grating a coconut. Let's get started.
If you ask me which way I prefer. None! Either way is not easy for me. In my video, my mom is my model. Don't worry, I did not make her grate the coconut. I have a hard time myself so it would be harder for my mom. Guess what, I was pressing too hard that I broke the grater.
During the holidays my family made palitaw and grated coconut using a food processor. Glad they showed me how to do it.
Coconut grated manually is coarser while coconut grated using a food processor is finer. So it's up to you which way to use.
How to Grate Fresh Coconut
- 1 matured coconut
- coconut water reserve or discard
How to Crack Open a Coconut
- When buying a mature coconut, husk is usually removed. If not, remove and clean it with a knife.
- Hit coconut with the back of a butcher knife. Some people use a hammer.
- Rotate the coconut while hitting it with the back of knife.
- Get a bowl if you want to save the coconut water.
- When it cracks, coconut water will drip. Drain the coconut water.
- To cut the coconut in half insert a knife on the crack and use it to pry open the coconut.
Using a Coconut Grater or Shredder
- Place the coconut grater on a chair with the grater protruding. Place a bowl below the grater to catch the grated coconut.
- Rotate the coconut to grate it evenly. Look at the inside of the coconut to make sure you are not close to grating the brown covering of the coconut meat.
- Put the grated coconut in the fridge if not using right away.
- If you have grated coconut left over, place it in a zip lock or container and store it in the freezer.
Using a Food Processor
- Cut and pry the white meat from the coconut using a knife and spoon.
- Remove the dark brown skin at the back of the coconut meat with a knife.
- Put coconut meat in a food processor. Pulsing, grate or grind for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Transfer grated coconut to a bowl. It is ready to use.
- Use the back of a butcher knife when trying to crack open a coconut. Be careful not to loose a finger or hand.