How to open a Coconut
Coconuts are a tropical fruit comprised of three layers; outermost, outer and inner layer. The outermost layer/husk is most often removed when fresh coconuts are purchased, thereby leaving the outer hairy layer/shell and the inner layer. The coconut, while a fruit, is not a nut, but a drupe.
If you’ve watched movies set in the Caribbean, when the coconuts are plucked straight from the tree, they still have the outermost layer, which is partially shaved off, so you drink the juice from a straw. Fresh coconuts can be notoriously difficult to crack if you’re not all too sure where to begin. It is very possible to hurt yourself in the process, so you have to ensure your safety by using items you can handle.
I’m not a huge fan of eating fresh coconut meat, it just makes me cough unnecessarily, so I tend to avoid it, same thing with roast corn. Boo, I know!
To learn how to break open a coconut, here’s what you’ll need:
|Recipe Cost: $5.99||Prep: 5 mins||Total: 15 mins||Difficulty: Easy||Serves: 3-6|
- 1 m/l fresh coconut
- Table knife
- Wooden chopping board
- Old t-shirt/sweater/towel
- 1 tall drinking glass
1. Wash and rinse coconut; pat dry with paper towel
2. One end of coconut should have 2 or 3 dark indentations/pores
3. Lay coconut on folded shirt/towel, place table knife over one of the ‘eyes,’ it might go in with some pressure. If not, use chopping board to hit knife, so it goes in
4. Drive knife into coconut ‘eye’ as far as you can go, twist the knife around if you have to
5. Position open hole over drinking glass to drain out coconut water
6. The drained coconut water will inevitably have bits of coconut and sediments
7. Using a sieve, drain coconut water to rid it of sediments
8. Lay drained coconut on paper towel
9. Tie neck of shirt, put coconut on paper towel and put inside shirt
10. Pull shirt over coconut, fold sleeves over
11. Hit/slam coconut on the floor three times till you feel it and it’s cracked
12. Take out coconut from shirt
13. Separate coconut meat from shell (discard shell); for coconut meat stuck to shell, use table knife to gently meat pry off
14. Transfer coconut meat to a bowl
15. Rinse coconut meat thoroughly with cool water
16. And you’re done! Crunch away!
- I used an old turtleneck sweater to break the coconut open. Be sure to tie the neck, so there is no possibility of flying coconut bits!
- Three good whacks did the trick for me, so don’t get overzealous and keep whacking away! It won’t do too much harm, but its unnecessary.
- Fresh coconut water is extremely refreshing! Omg, I love it so! You can choose to drain and chill it to drink later or use it in cooking something else.
- Once you’ve removed the shell from the coconut, you’ll start to notice that the coconut pulp (on the back of the coconut meat) is a bit oily. Coconut oil is very moisturizing and this is your first sample of it, at least if you’ve never used coconut oil on your body before! It’s a must try, moreso if you have dry skin!
- You don’t have to scrape the brown bits of the back of the coconut meat once you’ve removed the shell. It won’t harm you and it adds more depth of flavor to the coconut.
- Please and please, do not use any sharp knives! You can use a nail and hammer, or basically any relatively sharp object and a heavier object to use in hitting.
- You don’t have to open all two or three ‘eyes,’ one is usually enough and you can leave it to drain for a few minutes and return to it.
The Recipe Cost of $5.99 is approximate for me in US dollars, but should be used an estimate only. Please keep price fluctuations & exchange rates in mind. If you’re based in the US, the grocery store(s) you frequent might have the same items cheaper or more expensive than what I purchased.
If you’re international, please keep in mind that exchange rates vary constantly. I recommend using this site to convert it from US dollars to your local currency. You might also have some of the ingredients at home already, thereby reducing the cost.
If you’d prefer to see an individual ingredient cost breakdown, let me know!