Monday, January 17, 2011

Coconutastrophe, Part II (Shrimp Masala)

So, something to do with your newly smashed up coconut? Well, you might consider something along these lines:


  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 2” piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1/3 c. of your just drained coconut milk
  • 2 bags frozen large shrimp, thawed, peeled, deveined
  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen sliced okra, thawed
  • vegetable oil
  • shallot, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 can coconut milk (you won’t have enough in the coconut)
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • basmati/jasmine rice

Pulse ginger, garlic, and coconut milk in a blender until it’s a paste.

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry shrimp for 3-4 minutes until mostly cooked. Remove shrimp from wok and set aside. Add a little more oil. Stir-fry okra for 2-3 minutes and set aside.

Add a little more oil. Stir-fry shallot & pepper for 1 minute. Add garlic paste and garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds. Add remaining coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute. Return shrimp to wok. Simmer for 1 minute. Return okra to wok and simmer for 1-2 minutes.


Meanwhile, make your rice. Serve masala over and top with cilantro and coconut:


Verdict? Pretty tasty.

That said, As much fun as it is to use household building tools in the kitchen, I’ll probably stick to getting my coconut pre-attacked. Some external labor is worth paying for.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coconutastrophe, part I

Ever seen a coconut at the store and thought, “You know, it’s just too much trouble. I have no idea how to even get into one of those things. How do you open a coconut?” Well, never fear. Got you covered. We received a coconut as a gift as the result of a recent Caribbean-themed dinner party and decided to make use of it, so here’s how we were able to get into this brown, furry potential weapon of destruction.

What you’ll need:

  • a coconut
  • a glass jar
  • a good sized nail
  • a hammer
  • a towel

As you can see, we’re ready to go:

IMG_1839If you look at the top of your coconut, you’ll see three dark indentations that resemble the holes in a bowling ball. This is your point of entry. Get your nail and drive it into the indentation. Remove the nail and repeat. When you do it, however, remember to keep your wine clear:

IMG_1840After you’ve driven the holes, invert the coconut over a jar of some kind to drain the tasty milk:


You’ve now got an empty coconut. Now is when the fun begins. Wrap the coconut in a towel, put the towel on a hard surface, take your hammer, and go to town:

   IMG_1845 IMG_1847

And there you have it. Get a sharp knife and slice the coconut meat from the shell. This process can take awhile, so I recommend at least having some music on in the background. You can also take some of the pieces, if they’re flat enough, and just shred the coconut.


What to do with all this coconutty goodness? More on that next time…