How to Make Latik or Toasted Coconut Curds? First, what is Latik? Latik are curds that form when coconut cream or milk is cooked, reduced and toasted until golden brown. Also, these are the solids that form during coconut oil production. Latik is widely used in the Philippines as garnishment to our favorite Filipino desserts also known as kakanin like ube halaya, biko, sapin sapin, cassava suman and many more.
To make latik, a matured coconut is used. When crack opened a container is ready to catch the coconut water if they want to save it. The coconut meat is grated and squeezed with both hands. The liquid extracted from squeezing the coconut meat is called coconut cream or kakang gata in Tagalog. This is what we use to make Latik.
In the US matured coconuts are becoming widely available not just in Asian stores. If you want to learn how to grate fresh coconut click the link. The other option is to use coconut cream or coconut milk in can which I prefer.
How to Make Latik (Toasted Coconut Curds)
The first time I use canned coconut cream to make latik I was not successful. So I called my mom and asked. My mistake was stirring it constantly at the beginning and she was right. When I made it again I had it in low fire. When it started producing oil that's when I started stirring to cook it evenly. It doesn't produce much oil when using canned coconut milk so it is ok to add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to help toast the coconut curds.
I like making extra servings of latik since it can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for a few months. It saves me time cooking when I have these extra servings. Same with toasted garlic I always have extra servings available when needed.
Latik adds a crunchy coconut flavor to desserts but I always use less not to over power the dessert. I always have it on the side if people wants more.
How To Make Latik
- 2 cans 13.5 fl oz Coconut Milk or Cream
- Put coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.
- Lower heat to medium-low and simmer coconut milk until it reduces to a thick cream.
- Once it forms the thick cream stir the mixture to cook evenly.
- It will separate into coconut oil and latik (toasted coconut curds).
- Continue cooking the latik or coconut curds until golden brown.
- This process will take at least an hour or so.
- Once golden brown turn off heat.
- Drain the coconut oil and use it for cooking.
- Let the latik cool down and place in an air tight container.
- Store it in the fridge to last for months.
- If you often use latik make extra servings and place it in the fridge.
- You may adjust this recipe to 1 can of coconut milk if you’re using it only for one dessert.
- If coconut milk doesn't produce enough oil to help toast the curds or latik add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.