Ingredient Name: Coconut
Traditional Chinese Name: 椰子 (yē zi)
What is this?
- Coconuts are actually the seeds of the coconut palm
- The coconuts found in supermarkets have a thick brown skin because they have matured and ripened
- These are not to be confused with the young, immature coconuts found in south asia that can be drank and eaten fresh and raw (those are pretty good-tasting)
- The sizes on average are around one hand-span or less in width and can fit in the palm of your hand
How do I prepare it?
- In most cases of coconut and soup preparation, you will need to break it open
- There are usually 3 soft spots at the top of the coconut (where the coconut is attached to the tree) – use a screwdriver to poke holes into the coconut and drain the coconut water out. Keep the water if you want to add it to your soup (although mature coconut water is slightly bitter)
- Then use a hammer and screwdriver to break it open
- Once the coconut has been opened, you can use a butter knife to separate the thick brown skin from the coconut meat
Where can I buy this?
- In most supermarkets in North America, you can buy whole coconuts that are individually wrapped
- In Hong Kong, you can buy a variety of coconuts from wet marts. The stall vendors can peel and open the coconuts for you upon request.
What is the cost?
- Coconuts are quite affordable coming in at around $1.50 CAD / coconut in most supermarkets
- The coconut meat itself is very rich in protein and fibrous enough to help constipation
- Coconut water is good for the kidneys and help reduce urinary bladder problems
- Coconuts are high in potassium, zinc, iron and phosporus
- Coconuts are high in saturated fats and can potentially increase cholesterol levels if eaten too often
Our family is a big fan of the coconut. Although we don’t make the soup too often, when traveling to south east asia, you can expect me to down a fresh young coconut at every meal. Even in Hong Kong, you can purchase little coconuts from supermarkets and using a knife, poke a hole to insert a straw and drink it. It makes a great refresher in the summer and sure beats drinking lemon tea or a coke any day.