Beneath the hard shell of the coconut lies a refreshing nectar and rich meat well worth the trouble of cracking it open. Skip the canned stuff and make your own coconut milk from freshly grated coconut meat. Pro tip: Use the tools you already have in your kitchen to make it infinitely easier.
Coconut is used extensively in traditional Southeast Asian recipes: from curries to coconut rice, fresh coconut milk adds subtle sweetness and silkiness to dishes like no other. And while savory coconut recipes are delicious, you can't beat coconut desserts made with coconut milk. Our favorites range from steamed coconut-pandan cakes to coconut ice cream—here's how to make them.