I heart coconut milk. In just about everything. I can eat it straight out of the can, and have been known to slice my finger when swiping the top of the can after I’ve opened it. Have I ever been known to lick the lid clean? Wouldn’t tell you if I had! Moving right along …
Coconut milk is very good for you, and turns many soups and stir-fries from ok to fabulous. Every time. It’s warming, hearty, and turns thin broth into gold. If you add the beautiful trio of garlic/ginger/lime to the mix, you’ve got a winner for sure! Want to make it Thai? Add fish sauce and red curry paste, and you’re done!
If you’re hesitant, just take any basic chicken soup, and try adding a can of coconut milk to it (or a pgk of creamed coconut if that’s easier to find). Want an actual recipe for Thai Coconut Soup? I’ve used this one and love it, and this one too (though I’m not picky about amounts, will add any handy greens, and sub in whatever meat I can find.). Soup recipes are guidelines aren’t they? It’s more about using up stuff I have in the fridge most of the time.
You can also stir fry some veggies and meat together with the spice of your choice, pour a can of coconut milk over it, add some lime juice and toasted nuts, and it’s ready to be the star of your meal. If you add some red curry paste and fish sauce, you’ve got yourself a Thai Curry too!
My kids love coconut milk, partly thanks to it’s natural sweetness, and they beg for “that chicken soup” often. I usually serve it with steamed rice and call it a meal. Most of us dump the rice in the soup, let it soak up the coconutty goodness, and mmmmmmm our way through. There are about 5 brands to choose from in my local grocery, but I’ve never met a brand that I didn’t like. Some are richer tasting, but we’re content enough with the 99-cent version on any given week, like the Coco Lopez pictured above. The best tasting I’ve found though is the Thai Kitchen Organic one, if it’s in the budget. Please don’t go low fat though, ok? Not worth it, and not bad for you either, remember?
Did I mention it’s great over roast chicken too? It makes for a really moist cut if you pour a can over the bird before popping it in the oven. Add some onions/garlic/curry powder, and it gets even better! Somehow it’s that time of year for me … roasts, soups, and lots of flavorful stir-fries over rice. I just had a bowl of yesterday’s leftovers to tide me over until supper.
Do you use the stuff? Any recipes I should try? Love to hear about ‘em!