How To

How To & Comparison: Using Fresh & Leftover Grated Coconut For Making Toasted Coconut

Hi all, here’s wishing you a very Happy Chinese New Year! Wellness and prosperity always. 💕

I’ve always known I can make toasted grated coconut easily, and yet my ego always gets the better of me. It tells me to just forget it. LOL. These days (well, since last year), I’m all about learning and finding ways to reduce waste as much as possible. When it comes to food waste, it’s certainly a very big concern. We can definitely reduce food wastage with the right mindset and ideas. Using all parts of an ingredient is the first step, and cooking food just enough for the right amount of people, or/and keep the leftovers for next day consumption are the next best moves.

Homemade Toasted Grated Coconut
Homemade toasted grated coconut.

Throwback to 3 weeks before 2018 CNY, sis and me made kuih kapit following my grandma’s recipe after 9 long years. Kuih kapit (love letters) uses lots of santan (coconut milk), and if I’m my old self, I would have discarded the used grated coconut after squeezing all the juice out. The new me put the leftover grated coconut in a bowl and freeze it (as we’re busy making kuih kapit that day), intending to make toasted coconut when I’m freer. Click to read my kuih kapit making experience, recipe and tips (both are old posts).

This isn’t my first time making toasted grated coconut from used/leftover grated coconut. I made it once last year, and have been using it for smoothies and salad toppings, as well as on eggs and toast.

However, I’m also curious about the flavor of toasted grated coconut when using fresh coconut to make. Hence, I decided to address this issue as well. This post contains two parts. Part 1 is about how to toast grated coconut, and part 2 is the comparison between using fresh and leftover grated coconut (coconut pulp) for making toasted coconut.

Toasted Grated Coconut From Leftover Coconut Pulp
My first time toasting grated coconut from leftover coconut.

Part 1: How to make toasted grated coconut.

Like nuts, I toast grated coconut on stove top because this way I will have better control of everything. The method is the same whether you’re using leftover or freshly grated coconut. You can also toast shredded and flaked coconut the same way.

If you have leftover grated coconut from making coconut cream or milk, you can toast it right away, or keep in the fridge or freeze it for later. I always freeze it because I can never predict when I’m free to do the toasting. That way they last longer.

Frozen Leftover Grated Coconut
A large bowl of frozen grated coconut from 3 old coconuts. This is the leftover from making kuih kapit.

1. Heat a skillet/pan on medium low heat.

2. Place leftover or freshly grated coconut on the skillet. If using frozen leftover or frozen fresh coconut, you can put straight into the skillet. No waiting.

Frozen Leftover Grated Coconut
See the large chunk and smaller ones? Yup, they’re frozen. As the coconut thaws, the chunks will separate out.

3. Continuously stir the grated coconut with a spatula/wok turner to ensure even toasting. As the coconut gets heated and toasted, it becomes lighter in weight. Takes about 15-35 minutes from 1 to 3 coconuts.

Toasting Leftover Grated Coconut
20 minutes later. It takes longer because I’m using frozen grated coconut.

Toasting Leftover Grated Coconut
Then about 14 minutes later.

4. Remove from heat once it has reached mostly golden brown. If using fresh coconut, you can toast until mostly golden brown. If using leftover coconut, toast until light golden brown because once it reaches golden brown, it will taste burnt and goes rancid faster. Transfer to a plate to let it cool down.

Toasted Grated Coconut From Leftover Coconut Pulp
Homemade toasted grated coconut from leftover coconut. I sort of over-toasted this one. It looks pretty nice in color but taste a little burnt. Ohh and it turns rancid pretty fast.

5. Store in an air-tight container away from sunlight and heat for 1 month. It’s best to consume within 1-2 weeks, therefore making small batches is better. I’ve tried storing mine for 2 months and the coconut aroma has a rancid smell. Option: You can also store toasted coconut in the freezer but you would have to re-toast it.

Toasted Grated Coconut From Leftover Coconut Pulp
I store the toasted coconut in a used coconut oil glass jar.

Note 1: As leftover grated coconut is being stripped most of its sweetness, oil and water contents, its size is much smaller compared to freshly grated coconut. Hence, cooking time is different, and so is its flavor profile. More at the comparison table below.

Note 2: Because not all grated coconut are made the same size, achieving the perfect all golden color is quite difficult but not unachievable. However, it’s better not to over toast coconut as heat will make coconut goes rancid faster.

Part 2: Toasted grated coconut comparison using fresh and leftover grated coconut.

Toasted grated coconut made using freshly grated coconut Toasted grated coconut made using used/leftovers grated coconut
Photo Toasted Coconut Made From Fresh Grated Coconut Toasted Coconut Made From Leftover Grated Coconut
Color white to golden brown (depends on cooking time) white to light brown (depends on cooking time)
Smell very fragrant, fresh and nutty coconut aroma heavy toasted coconut aroma
Taste nutty and subtle sweetness tasteless and a little nutty, if over-toasted will taste bitter and/or burnt and gets rancid very quickly
Appearance & Mass large surface area and heavier small surface area and lighter (as they’ve been stripped off most of their sweetness, oil and water contents)
Usage first step to making kerisik (coconut paste/coconut butter for many Malaysian traditional dishes), coconut macaroon, as garnish/topping for smoothies, salad, open-faced sandwiches, egg dishes, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, energy balls as garnish/topping for smoothies, salad, open-faced sandwiches, egg dishes, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, energy balls

For more application, check out these ideas from my Instagram:
1. Banana yogurt bowl
2. Homemade white kimchi and toasted grated coconut in omelette
3. Lingonberry jam, mint, toasted grated coconut on ghee toasted marbled rye bread
4. Toasted grated coconut on basil pesto and Japanese noodles
5. Fried egg with toasted coconut

Comparison Between Fresh & Leftover Grated Coconut For Making Toasted Coconut
Which would I choose to make toasted grated coconut? It depends on what I want to use it for. If I’m making coconut macaroon or kerisik, I would go for the fresh version as they are the primary ingredient. For topping, garnish, and as side ingredient, using leftover would do.

If in any case you decided not to keep the used/leftover grated coconut, you can feed it to the pigeons and chickens. I bet they’ll appreciate it.

Do you make your own toasted coconut? Share with everyone what you use it for.

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