So you’ve decided to purchase a coconut, but have no idea what to do with the hairy thing? My first time I didn’t know what to do either-I hadn’t thought about what I would do with it once I got it home. So that’s why I’m going to show you a simple way to open your coconut and remove the flesh. It takes some dedication to the task, but if I can do it, any idiot can 😉
I’m using a mature coconut, as shown:
The first thing you need to do is locate the three “eyes” on your coconut. Using a knife, poke each one to find the softest. You’re going to then puncture this hole with the knife (or with the end of a meat thermometer) to allow the water to come out.
Once the eye is punctured and the water is flowing out, I like to set it on top of a glass to let it drain completely. This may take a few minutes, but you can help it along by shaking it out over the sink.
When the coconut is drained, you’re going to need a hammer, a sharp knife or flathead screwdriver, and a cutting board. Then, locate the line that goes around the circumference of the coconut.
Gently press the knife or screwdriver into the line, and hit the top of the knife with your hammer. Do this all the way around the line. You should start to notice the tip of the knife or screwdriver wedging its way into the shell. Once you’ve gone all the way around, find where the shell is starting to crack, or where the line is the widest, and begin hammering the knife in. The shell should slowly start to open. Very carefully use the knife or screwdriver to pry it open the rest of the way.
Now, if you were to try to cut out the flesh from the shell, you’d notice that it’s very tough. That’s why you need to warm it in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350 F, and place the coconut facedown on a cookie sheet. Cook it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Once the time is up, let it cool for a minute or two before using the screwdriver or a butter knife to wedge in between the shell and the meat.
This part can be a bit tricky. If it’s still really tough, you can stick the coconut back in the oven for a few more minutes. Otherwise, use your knife to separate the meat from the shell. It usually comes off in a couple big chunks, with some skin still attached. You can use a vegetable peeler to peel it off.
Once you’ve done this with both halves, it should look like this:
It takes some practice, but eventually you’ll master opening up a coconut!