A Hard Nut To Crack: A Guide To Preparing Coconut

Everyone loves coconut, but a lot of people can be intimidated when preparing it. The tough, fibrous shell can be hard to crack, but the meat and water waiting inside are true treasures. To help save time and maximize your output, consider these tips when preparing fresh coconut.

A Refreshing Start

Popular with both the trendy and health-conscious crowds, coconut water is an easy to prepare tasty beverage. To get the most water from your fruit, first find the “holes” near the stem. Then use a flathead screwdriver to determine which one has the most give. Piece the softest hole first, then drain the water into a bowl. After repeating the process with the other two holes, strain and serve the water!

Cracking the Case

When it comes to actually cracking the coconut, there are a few ways you can go about it. Here are a few techniques to consider.

  • The Clever Method: Using the backside of a cleaver, tap the coconut along the center. Slowly turn the coconut as you continue to tap it until you see a crack. Then pry the pieces apart.
  • The Hammer Method: For a speedier, but messier technique, wrap your coconut in a small towel and repeatedly hit the same spot with a hammer.
  • The Last Resort: Requiring no tools and being potentially the most fun method, this technique involves wrapping your coconut in a towel, and then swinging it against a concrete surface. Only suited for home cooking, it’s indubitably entertaining. Be aware that your coconut will most likely break into numerous large chunks.

A Hot Tip

No matter the method you used, the prize of coconut meat should now be in plain sight. If you’re struggling to remove the meat from the shell, place your coconut halves in the oven at 400°F for 20 minutes. Once the shell has cooled, use a flathead screwdriver to pry the meat from the shell. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, and you’ll have meal ready coconut!

  • Note that if your coconut broke into more than two pieces, you can simply use a flathead screwdriver to pry bigger chunks from the shell.