How to Make Coconut Milk at Home

Making something that calls for coconut milk?

Making something that calls for coconut milk (gata)? Sure, canned and powdered ones are readily available, but freshly extracted milk gives better flavor. The good news? It's easy to do at home! To extract coconut cream (kakang gata), also known as the first press, take 43/4 cups freshly grated mature coconut (niyog), add 1/2 cup warm water, squeeze directly over a bowl to yield about 1 cup, then strain using a fine mesh strainer.

To extract coconut milk or the second press, pour 1 cup warm water over the squeezed coconut meat. Squeeze over a bowl to yield about 1 1/3 cups then strain. You can repeat for a third extraction.

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If you don't have a strainer, you can also use a piece of muslin or cheesecloth. Simply wrap the grated coconut with the cloth and squeeze to extract the cream or milk. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for 1 to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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