How to Open & Clean out a Young Thai Coconut

Hi Everyone, so my best friend in the whole world Gina told me she had no clue how to open a coconut… what?!!! I definately gotta change that!

Its a lot easier than you might think, or easier than previous ways you’ve tried in the past. This is what you’ll need:

Cutting board, thick and preferably made out of wood
Butchers Knife/Cleaver – Doesn’t have to be sharp
Bowl or Cup (or 2*)
Fruit scoop or spoon or ice cream scooper
Young Thai Coconut (obviously!)

First thing worth mentioning is when you buy a young thai coconut you want to make sure its good, but how do you do that? Look for mold spots, they can be brown, purple, or green. Secondly, flip the coconut over and press your thumb on the bottom spongy part, it should sink in just a little bit but should pop back up most of the way. If your thumb goes into the coconut or it doesn’t spring back trying a different one. Look out for deep cracks or holes. Minor surface holes are okay (as shown in the video) but anything bigger, I would definitely afford. Last tip is probably the one most people forget, SMELL IT! You have a nose for a reason, its to help you make sure something is edible. If the coconut smells weird, obviously don’t buy it.

So now you’re pretty sure your coconut is a good coconut. Great, now get all your materials together, this will make it go much quicker. Take the coconut on your cutting board and tip it on its side, leaving it in the plastic wrap. You want to start shaving off the white husk just a little bit away from the top edge. (As shown in video) Do this step until the top is fairly clean, it will make the opening process MUCH easier.

Now take notice of where the three “veins” or lines on-top of the coconut are. Take the butt end of the knife and in a quick but precise strike hit the edge of the coconut near one of the veins, try not to hit the white husk like I did in the beginning of the video or you risk having your coconut chip. (true story: until I made this video I’ve never had a problem opening a coconut! Dunno what happened, wasn’t nervous or anything)

If  your knife stands up on its own, you went down far enough, if not try to lightly tap it into the coconut or if you’re feeling brave, try to hit the coconut in the same spot again. Tip the knife down horizontally with the coconut sitting on its butt. It should open almost like a soup can at this point. You’ll notice it cracks in a complete circle where you scrapped off the husk at. The more husk on-top you scrap off the better, this gives you a larger area to scoop out the meat!

If you notice on my second coconut the meat was purple colored. When I first starting eating young thai coconuts, I would encounter this purple meat and throw it out thinking it was bad. I hate to thing how many I wasted thinking it was bad, BUT I want to make it clear to you: purple is fine to eat! However I would still take a couple extra measures just to be safe.

If you notice the meat is purple, poor out and examine the water. Is it cloud or weird colored (slight yellow is fine)? Discard. Does the liquid or the inside of the coconut smell bad? Discard. If you get through all this, give the water a quick taste. If it tastes fine, then chances are you’ll live to see another day.

Now you have coconut water, and an open coconut but how do you get the meat out? This can be easy or big pain in your behind depending on several things: how big the hole is, what kind of tool you’re using, and how old the coconut is.  Purple meat is almost like Jell-o (definitely not a product placement) and comes out without effort. The regular white meat is still easy to remove but does take a bit more pressure and that’s where a fruit scoop would come in hand. If you google “progressive fruit scoop” you’ll figure out where I bought them. They come in a pack of three and it was an awesome investment for my coconut opening! Its hard to explain how to scoop a coconut, so I’d just suggest watching the video, that’s the easiest way to explain it.

Congratulations you just opened a coconut!!

I’ll be posting a recipe for sweet and salty coconut jerky in a few days, and in the future I might post a video on making raw coconut milk. In the meantime, enjoy your coconuts. They are fantastic eaten as is, just clean off any brown bits and chew.