Coconut Love Sequence – 1. How to open a coconut 

It seems like coconut and its products have become very popular food ingredient. Chosen for the leading role in certain diets, they appear to be a sort of icon of healthy eating. 

The problem I noticed is that most people tend to buy packaged store products. Other than being more expensive, these products imply a lot of waste (plastic, cans, energy) and can often contain other unnecessary ingredients and chemicals.

The main reason I’ve heard behind this is the belief that anything else would be too complicated and time consuming. Well, yes, it will definitely take you a bit more than just getting a can or a plastic box from a supermarket shelf, but it’s much easier and faster than you think. Not to mention how much tastier and rewarding it is as well. I think the few extra minutes are a good trade off for less waste and healthier food.

Now, to be able to make our own coconut cream, milk or flour, we have to start by opening a real coconut in a quick and easy way.

I can’t tell when was the first time I bought a real coconut, but I can perfectly remember that once I arrived home I realised that I’d never thought about how I was going to open it.

So, I did some basic research on the internet. For some reason, most of the instructions I found required the use of tools or a preheated oven. I instantly thought ‘I did not give up buying coconut milk cans to now go on wasting energy to preheat the oven just to open a real coconut’. 

I’m lucky enough to have friends all over the world so my first offline resource was Joani, a close friend who happens to be from Salvador de Bahia. She taught me what I consider the easiest way to open a coconut. I’ve noticed that most people get surprised when they see me applying this coconut-opening trick. I was shocked myself when, expecting a sophisticated technique, she only told me to throw it to the floor. The best thing about it is that it has added value: it can be a fun, stress-relieving exercise 😉

Step 1  Find the softest of the three dots on the coconut by pressing on them.

Step 2  Make an opening through the shell by removing the flesh inside the softest dot until you make the hole through the full fleshy part. You can use a knife or a wine opener.

Step 3  Drain the coconut water. Shake the coconut a few times and make sure to get all the water out.

Step 4  Throw it to the floor! Some coconuts are really resistant and like to bounce back instead of breaking. In that case, I found that the best way is to aim for the part with the hole to hit the floor directly.

Step 5  If the coconut did not open but just cracked, repeat Step 4 a few more times.

Step 6  Separate the shell from the flesh. If it doesn’t come out easily, you can insert a knife in between and use it as a lever.

Step 7  Rinse the coconut flesh with clean water.

Congrats 🙂 Your coconut is ready. You can eat it just like that or you can use it to make food. 

This are the best videos that I’ve seen on Youtube for how to open a coconut:

50 People Try to Crack Open a Coconut, by Epicurious

A funny video that illustrates great my own previous experience when first tried to crack a coconut :). Than the issue is resolved with a chef’s demonstration of how to do it. He uses hammer, though. I’ve tried that one, still find my technique simpler.  click here for the video 

How to Open Coconut Without Tools, by The King of Random 

This video is very explanatory if you find yourself on a desert island 🙂 Applied to coconut with a husk. Still useful info, some of which could serve you at home cracking. click here for the video 

video by Mili