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What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like? Find The Detailed Answer Here

Are you looking to add a tropical taste to your dish? Look no further than coconut milk. What does coconut milk taste like?

This food guide will tell you everything you need to know about coconut milk. We’ll also share some recipes that use this milk so you can try them yourself.

Glass filled with coconut milk, half open coconut next to it.

What Is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk comes from the meat of the mature coconut.

Unlike young coconuts that have lots of water, mature coconuts have more meat.

For this reason, they are the best coconuts to use in making coconut milk.

How to make coconut milk

To make coconut milk, add water to freshly grated coconut meat.

Then, blend these ingredients using a food processor.

Run and press the mixture through a cheesecloth.

This first extract is thick and creamy; fittingly, people call it thick coconut milk.

There’s a second type, the thin milk. To make it, you’ll use the grated coconut milk in the cheesecloth and repeat the blending process.

You’ll get a thinner, less rich milk, hence the name.

Coconut Milk Vs. Coconut Water

Note that coconut milk is not the same as coconut water.

Coconut water is the liquid you can find inside young coconuts. It is clear and sweet, so you can drink it as-is.

Where to find coconut milk

You can find canned coconut milk in grocery stores and online retailers.

You can make fresh coconut milk at home if you have access to fresh coconuts.

You may find coconut milk in cartons similar to cow’s milk.

Coconut milk in cartons is an alternative to dairy milk.

This kind of coconut milk has more water and can have additives to help extend its shelf life.

People use it to replace regular milk in smoothies and coffee.

More often than not, when a recipe calls for coconut milk, it requires the canned version.

If you cannot find coconut milk, use coconut cream instead. It is a more concentrated version, boasting a higher coconut content.

Thin it out with water, and you’ll get coconut milk.

What Does Coconut Milk Taste Like?

Because coconut milk comes directly from coconut meat, it has the same flavor profile.

So, coconut milk tastes like coconuts.

It has a rich, sweet, and nutty flavor. Coconut milk also has hints of saltiness.

For this reason, coconut milk’s flavor goes well with sweet and savory dishes.

Its tropical taste adds richness to food; some recipes will not be complete without it.

Coconut Milk Benefits

Coconut milk can give your dishes the rich taste you’ll get from regular milk but without lactose.

For this reason, it is a great dairy-free alternative to milk in cooking.

Aside from that, coconut milk also boasts potassium, iron, and selenium.

You’ll also get copper, folate, and magnesium from consuming this milk.

Lastly, coconut milk contains vitamins C and E, fiber, and manganese as well.

How To Use Coconut Milk?

1. Coconut Rice

One of the best ways to enjoy coconut milk is to use it in cooking rice. All you need to do is replace some of the water you’ll use in cooking the rice with an equal amount of coconut milk.

Cook the rice as you would in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker. Doing so will give your rice a unique twist, as the coconut milk will make it nutty and sweet. Pair it with grilled meat or fish, and you’ll have a delicious meal.

2. Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

When it comes to Thai curry, coconut milk is just irreplaceable. It is the main ingredient that gives this dish its signature flavor.

This recipe here uses a mix of coconut oil, coconut milk, and Thai red curry paste to make a great chicken curry dish.

It only takes 30 minutes and makes 6 servings.

3. Vegan Alfredo

Make a vegan version with coconut milk if you cannot enjoy the traditional Alfredo sauce.

This easy recipe uses nutritional yeast for flavor, coconut milk as a base, and tapioca starch as a thickener.

4. Coconut Milk Popsicles

As mentioned, coconut milk not only works in savory dishes.

It also tastes great in sweet recipes; case in point: coconut milk popsicles.

It’s easy to make and is a perfect summer snack.

Here’s how:

  1. Heat unsweetened coconut milk over medium heat. This process is necessary to eliminate lumps and other solid particles. Let cool.
  2. Mix coconut milk, granulated sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract in a bowl.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and some sweetened shredded coconut.
  4. Do a taste test and add more sugar if necessary.
  5. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze.
Is Coconut Milk Sweet?

Yes, coconut milk is naturally sweet, like coconut meat. But coconut milk does possess other flavors. It is also salty and nutty. These additional flavors, along with the sweet taste, make coconut milk a unique ingredient.

Does Coconut Milk Taste Like Coconut?

Yes, coconut milk tastes like coconut. After all, this kind of milk comes from coconut meat. Coconut milk ingredients only include grated coconut meat and water. So, there is no difference in flavor compared to the coconut itself.

Is Coconut Milk Tastier Than Almond Milk?

Coconut milk tastes like coconut, so it is rich and creamy. Meanwhile, almond milk is less creamy and has hints of the almond flavor. But both coconut milk and almond milk are great dairy milk alternatives. And the question of which is tastier greatly depends on individual preference.


Coconut milk is a key ingredient in Thai curries; people also use it to give classic rice a unique twist. But what does coconut milk taste like? Does it taste like cow’s milk? No.

This milk comes from the extract of coconut meat, so it has a distinct coconut flavor as well. It is creamy, sweet, and nutty with just the slightest hint of saltiness. The flavor profile of coconut milk makes it a versatile ingredient, making it work for sweet and savory dishes.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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