My friend’s yaya knows how to make coconut oil and I was just about to send my new yaya down for a tutorial when she told me she already knows how to make it! Love her! Here’s how you do it:
1. Find a mature coconut. It must be the kind that is brown and hard with the fibers hanging off of it. A young coconut won’t work. We bought ours from a local grocery store but in the US you can probably find one in your local Asian market.
2. Crack it open and drain out the coconut water (but do not throw it out). Now, the easiest way I have heard to do this is to look for the three holes and poke through one of them. My yaya just put the thing in her hand and hacked at it with a meat cleaver. I was so horrified and worried that she was going to cut off her hand that I had to leave the room while she did it (which is why I don’t have a picture of that step). She assured me she witnessed her mother doing it like that in the Province when she was growing up but it still scared me!
3. Save the coconut water in a bowl while you scoop out the coconut meat. It is not soft like the meat in a young coconut and will take some time to get it all out. In batches, add the meat and the coconut water into your blender and grind it to a pulp. I have Vitamix but I think other types of blenders should work just as well. The first time we made it I cut off every bit of brown skin before blending but my yaya insists that that is not necessary since it gets strained.
3. When it’s done blending it will look like this:
4. I don’t have a photo of the next step but you strain the coconut mixture to separate the milk from the meat. We just have a regular strainer. Not a nut bag or anything fancy. When the liquid is out it will look like the shredded coconut you buy from the store. You can use it to roll chicken or fish in to fry or for all kinds of desserts. It will last in the fridge a few days. The milk you could cook with or use for smoothies but we needed it for the oil.
5. Pour the liquid into a pan and stir over high heat.
6. After awhile the milk will start to cook and form delightful little crumbles of coconut which will sink while the oil rises to the top. Skim off the oil and reserve.
Fresh coconut oil has a lovely coconutty smell and tastes wonderful! Next we are going to try making cold pressed Virgin coconut oil! I hear it’s basically the same process except you put the ground coconut mixture into your refrigerator and in a few days the oil will separate out. I can’t wait to try it that way! I’ll let you know how it goes.