When you are cooking a dish, especially an Asian dish, sometimes the recipe requires either coconut milk or coconut cream. Such demand has confused quite a lot of people, especially the ones who are new in the world of cuisine. Are coconut milk and coconut cream actually the same?
Well, no, they are not. Coconut milk and coconut cream are two different things, so you should not use them interchangeably in your cooking – at least, not without the required preparation. So, what are the differences between coconut milk and coconut cream?
Contrary to coconut water, which is the somewhat clear and translucent juice inside a coconut, coconut milk is acquired by boiling the coconut meat in water. Usually, the ratio is roughly one part shredded coconut meat with one part water. The result is a liquid with a consistency similar to that of cow’s milk, with no or very little coconut odor.
Similar to coconut milk, coconut cream is made from coconut meat that is boiled in water. However, the amount of coconut meat used is higher, with the ratio of roughly four parts of shredded coconut meat with one part water. Also, the cream that rises to the top of coconut milk can be considered coconut cream as well. Coconut cream is typically thicker and richer, with a paste-like consistency and a mild non-sweet taste. There are also cream of coconut products on the market, which are sweetened coconut creams.
Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk
|Coconut Milk||Coconut cream|
|- Is a liquid with a consistency similar to cow’s milk||- Is thicker and richer, with a paste-like consistency|
|- Acquired by boiling one part coconut meat in one part water||- Acquired by boiling four parts coconut meat in one part water, or from the cream on top of coconut milk|
|- No or very little coconut odor||- Mild, non-sweet coconut taste|
So, coconut milk is a liquid similar to cow’s milk, featuring nearly no coconut odor. Meanwhile, coconut cream is paste-like, thicker and richer, with a more apparent coconut taste. Use the right one for your dish!