There are various varieties of curry, each with its own unique flavor profile and cultural roots; yet, all of them can benefit from the inclusion of coconut milk.
You may be used to buying coconut milk in tetra packs, plastic, or cardboard containers; while this variety is delicious in a latte or over cereal, it is not ideal for a curry. It has an insufficient amount of water content.
So, which coconut milk works best in a curry dish? For the best curry results, always use full-fat canned coconut milk. The availability of the product, the quality of the manufacturing process and ingredients, and the milk’s flavor, texture, and fat level all played a role in our final decisions regarding the brands we like.
We’ve researched and identified the top 5 coconut milks for curries, so you can stock your pantry with confidence. In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss the criteria we used to select these specific cans of coconut milk for curry, and we’ll also go over some of the more salient characteristics of coconut milk that you should be aware of.
What is Coconut Milk?
Shredded coconut flesh is pureed with water to create coconut milk. Before being sold commercially, it is typically filtered to remove any solids, leaving behind a thick, milky liquid that tastes strongly like coconut.
The consistency of store-bought coconut milk varies. Milk sold in a container or tetra pack will have had more water added, making it thinner than regular milk but still a suitable dairy alternative.
Coconut milk from a can is more denser and higher in fat content than the fresh variety. Use it in place of heavy cream or whipped cream for the finest results with a curry.
The Difference Between Coconut Milk and Coconut Crea
Even canned coconut milk is thinner than coconut cream. Standard coconut cream calls for four parts shredded coconut to one part water. The canned variety is typically very greasy, and many varieties are also sweetened, so be wary of what you buy.
Creamed coconut, which is solid until melted, is also readily available. If your recipe already has a lot of liquid, creamed coconut can be used to add a touch of coconut creaminess without adding any more liquid.
9 Best Coconut Milk For Curry
Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk
Grown in a valley in Thailand that is surrounded by hills, the coconuts used by Native Forest are not only organic, but also naturally protected from pollution.
Farmers work to improve soil quality, which in turn boosts biodiversity and the healthiness of the trees and coconuts they produce.
- Natural, ethically sourced, and grown in a way that doesn’t harm the environment; a great way to show support for the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest.
- Organic guar gum at less than 1% by weight for stability; guar-free variant available.
- Smaller organic coconuts have the added benefits of being more drought-resistant and hardy.
Con: The product’s many customization choices are its major downside. Having options is typically a good thing, but many people don’t understand why guar is added to coconut milk; it helps stabilize the milk and maintain a uniform texture. There may be a noticeable difference in texture if you order guar by accident, or if you order no guar by accident. It’s likely that you’ll be pleased with this brand in general if you take extra care when placing your order to specify exactly the item you’d want.
365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Milk
Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand has steadily increased in popularity and dependability over the years, so you can rest assured that it will always be readily available and of high quality.
- Officially vegan, organic, and using only three components.
- One-off cans are now on sale.
- Flavor and fat content unmatched
The most significant shortcoming is that this particular brand appears to have more issues than the normal corporation does when it comes to transporting their canned goods. Compared to what customers of competing manufacturers have reported, these items are more likely to arrive dented. This suggests that they may be leaving the factory less than flawless, and that the transportation across North America only exacerbates the problem. If dents in the cans don’t bother you, the milk is excellent.
Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk
A wide variety of delicious sauces, pastes, and ready-to-eat meals can be found at Thai Kitchen.
If you’d like to buy all the ingredients you need to make a curry from the same brand, Thai Kitchen makes it easy by offering a coconut milk that is specifically formulated to go with the rest of their products.
You may also try their Gluten Free Unsweetened Coconut Cream if you want an even more intense coconut taste.
- Organically grown and approved by the USDA.
- Quite useful as a creamer for coffee.
- Free of animal products, gluten, and artificial ingredients.
The most significant drawback is that the cans sold by Thai Kitchen do not state explicitly that they are BPA-free. The producer claims they’re working on a BPA-free alternative to their coconut milk, but so far, they haven’t succeeded.
Aroy-d Coconut Milk 100% Original
Coconut milk sold in tetra packs is typically watered down and lacks the rich texture and flavor of canned coconut milk.
To reduce their use of BPA, Aroy-d decided to develop a replacement product using the same amount of milk fat but packaged in contemporary paper cartons. The desired richness with minimal waste and safety risks.
- Zero Bisphenol A
- It has no fillers, stabilizers, or gums.
- Although there are no stabilizers present, mixing is not necessary.
The new cartons are progressive in that they eliminate BPA, but the downside is that doing so shortens the shelf life of the products. These cartons only last for a year, however an unopened can of coconut milk can stay on the store permanently. It’s not a huge negative, but it’s something to think about.
Natural Value Coconut Milk
When it comes to sourcing ingredients, Natural Value is committed to only using those that don’t compromise the company’s values or the environment.
This is seen in everything from the packaging they use to the farmers they collaborate with to the way they treat the water in their production.
- Cans without bisphenol A
- Reverse osmosis is used to ensure the highest quality of the supplemental water.
- There are no additives such as gums, emulsifiers, whiteners, preservatives, or stabilizers.
The most significant drawback is that due to a recent formula change by Natural Value, the percentage of coconut meat in each can varies widely, from 53% in some to 47% in others. In general, the increased fat content of canned coconut milk is a major draw for many consumers. However, if you purchase a can that has more water than coconut, the fat content drops to 11 g per half-cup portion instead of 18 g in the formula with more coconut flesh. You never know which you’re going to get when you order something online.
Chaokoh Coconut Milk
Mature coconuts that have been properly sourced from environmentally conscious farmers and subjected to exhaustive quality assurance testing are the raw material for coconut milk.
A staple in Thai, Filipino, Indian, and other Asian cooking, coconut milk adds a luscious flavor and creamy texture to dishes like curry, sauce, and soup. In addition to being delicious by itself, its sugary flavor makes it a great addition to baked goods.
Coconut milk is an excellent source of many nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, folate, iron, and magnesium. Because it doesn’t contain lactose, coconut milk is often used as a dairy-free alternative.
It is feasible to follow a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, ketogenic, or lactose-free diet. Sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives are not included in coconut milk.
Goya Coconut Milk
This thick milk is created by pressing mature coconut meat and has no added gums, thickeners, or stabilizers. As an alternative to the sweetened Goya Cream of Coconut, this can be used to impart a subtle but distinct coconut taste to both sweet and savory meals.
Be sure to give it a good shake before drinking, and remember: it’s best when served cold.
Ingredients: Coconut Milk, Water, and Potassium Metabisulfite (as a Preservative).
Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Milk
The coconut cream top and the milk are clearly separated, although the milk is a little gritty due to the inclusion of coconut pulp.
There’s a lovely, almost fruity undertone to the coconut flavor.
Great value for money, and I like that there aren’t a ton of ingredients. The coconut pulp is an annoyance; for Thai cooking, I prefer the smoother coconut milk. The pop-top lid makes it convenient to use.
This coconut milk isn’t the best, but it does the trick for making Thai food due of its low price and pleasant flavor.
Ka-Me Coconut Milk
Flavor-wise, it’s really robust and naturally somewhat sugary. KA-ME Common Southeast Asian and Thai dishes include
Coconut milk is a versatile ingredient that may be used in savory dishes like curries as well as sweet ones like desserts.
This product is made without the addition of any synthetic preservatives.
Common to many Southeast Asian recipes is the use of a certain ingredient.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coconut Milk
Coconut milk substitute for curry?
If you’d like to make a curry but don’t have any coconut milk on hand, you can use regular heavy cream instead. Alternatively, you might use crème Fraiche or yogurt.
If you prefer a dairy-free option, any non-dairy milk will work in this recipe; however, it will be more watery than canned coconut milk.
In order to achieve a thicker consistency, you should reduce the milk in a saucepan before adding it to the curry. Add a little flour, agar agar, or cornstarch to your milk if you need it to thicken even more (but remember that this won’t change the flavor).
Is coconut milk dairy?
You won’t find any dairy products in coconut milk. The only ingredients you need are coconut and water, however many store-bought varieties also contain additives like sugar and thickeners. Read the label carefully before pouring a drink if any of these things are of concern to you.
Coconut milk vs coconut water?
We’ve established that coconut milk is obtained by straining a mixture of coconut meat and water that has been pureed in a blender.
You can drink the water that is naturally contained within a fresh coconut. Because of their dissimilar tastes and textures, they are not a suitable replacement for one another.
You should opt for organic coconut milk if you wish to use it in Thai cooking. Because of this, you may rest assured that it is both chemical-free and highly effective. It will also facilitate the making of traditional curries and other foods. Look for coconut milk sold in glass containers if you’d like to save money.
To get the most authentic flavor out of your Thai dishes, use only organic coconut milk. Adding organic coconut milk to your Thai cooking is a great way to elevate the flavor and texture of your meals. If you’re going to use coconut milk, it absolutely must be silky smooth. While fresh coconuts are ideal, canned Thai milk is the next best thing when preparing traditional Thai dishes. Look for a certified organic brand if you can’t find a real organic coconut.