How To Open A Coconut
Knowing how to open a coconut may seem like a mystery if you have never experienced fresh coconut. Even the look of coconut in its natural shell can seem intimidating at first, but it is very easy to open and well worth the effort. Inside a coconut shell is two to four ounces of sweet, rich coconut milk floating in a womb of fresh, pure white coconut meat. The rule with coconut opening is "if you do the work, you get the milk." What a sweet treat.
To open a coconut, you will need:
- Two- to three-inch nail
- Dish towel
- Paring knife
- Choose the perfect coconut. Inspect the outside of the coconut shell for signs of mildew or mold, especially around the three eyes of the coconut. Look for tiny black spots on the outer shell. Inspect the coconut for cracks in the shell. The most important thing is to shake the coconut gently to make sure there is coconut milk inside. A perfect coconut will have no outer damage like cracks, mold or mildew, no black spots on the shell and have coconut milk inside.
- Wash the nail in hot soapy water and rinse well. You never want to send a dirty nail inside a coconut to contaminate the meat and milk with bacteria.
- Drain the coconut milk. Nest the coconut in a folded dish towel to hold it in place with the three eyes facing upward. Drive a nail into the eye that is not perfectly symmetrical; it will be the softest of the three eyes. Drive the nail into a second eye to make an air hole. Before you can open a coconut, the coconut milk must be drained. Place a glass over the three eyes and turn the glass and coconut upside down with the coconut resting on the glass and drain the coconut milk. If you have never had fresh coconut milk, prepare yourself for a delightful experience.
- Open the coconut. Spread the dish towel on a flat surface. Note: Using the kitchen counter top is not recommended; try the floor. Place the drained coconut lengthwise in the center of the dish towel. Fold the clean dish towel around the coconut to completely cover it. Strike the middle of the coconut with the hammer. The first strike should crack the coconut in half. However, it is easier to remove the coconut meat when the shell is broken into a few smaller pieces. Strike the coconut shell with the hammer until the pieces are the desired size.
- Remove the coconut meat. Use a small paring knife to pry the coconut meat off the shell and place in a bowl. Enjoy the pure white coconut meat or freeze it up to three months.
Tips & Warnings:
- To make a larger hole in the eye of the coconut, use a drill bit and turn it by hand, not by machine. Make sure to wash the drill bit in hot soapy before using it on a coconut.
- Use caution when separating coconut meat from the shell because it is very easy to cut your finger doing this.