How to Cut Up Fresh Young Coconut

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Opening a coconut is potentially hazardous if not done correctly. It is a fast, simple and safe exercise when the correct procedure is employed. Verify the length of time the coconut was stored. A fresh coconut stored for less than seven days provides the best flavor and texture. Storage for beyond seven days may result in bitter tasting water and meat. The coconut should have its husk removed and be wrapped in plastic. In the center of the white outer cover of the de-husked coconut is a round brown nut. Inside the nut is where the meat and the coconut milk are stored.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-skid cutting board
  • Large sharp chef’s knife
  • Remove the plastic cover from the coconut.

  • Lay it on its side on a heavy non-skid cutting board with the flat end placed where it can be held with one hand and the conically-shaped end placed where you will use the knife to peel it with your dominant hand.

  • Peel the white cover off by holding the flat end in one hand and starting about one-third of the way down from the tip of the conical end. Push the knife at a 45 degree angle toward the conical tip of the coconut toward the cutting board. Do not try to take off too much at one time. Continue peeling the white cover off as though you are sharpening a pencil.

  • Uncover half of the nut of the coconut and continue to peel off the cover until the brown nut is clear.

  • Set the coconut on the flat end with the peeled nut standing up straight.

  • Inspect the top of the nut. There are three indentations, one of which is larger than the other two. Mentally mark a spot half-way down on the largest indentation and make certain the coconut is setting flat on a stable cutting board.

  • Place your non-dominant hand behind your back so there is no chance of cutting it. Hold the chef’s knife about shoulder high and chop down at a 45 degree angle to the designated spot on top of the nut. Your goal is to use the corner of the chef’s knife, just above your pointing finger, to penetrate into the spot on top of the nut. This blow does not require a great deal of force.

  • Insert the tip of the knife into the chop mark and twist it around until a small opening appears.

  • Hold the coconut with one hand and use the fingers of the other hand to pull the cap or top of the nut straight up and back.

  • Pour out the coconut water, cover and refrigerate it. Use a medium size rubber spatula to work between the shell of the nut and gelatinous meat of the nut. When the spatula is between the meat and the shell, slowly skim it around the inside of the nutshell separating the meat from the shell. Place the meat in a re-sealable bag and refrigerate it.

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  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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