How to open a young coconut

May 22, 2016

Young coconut

There are several ways to open a young coconut, however, if the aim is to keep the coconut shell to use as a serving bowl a little more care is needed. You will need a strong sharp knife as you see in the pictures. Most of the time I use a meat cleaver but not everyone has one so on this occasion I've used the type of knife can be found in most kitchens. You will also see that I placed a nonslip mat under my chopping board, if you don't have one of these just make sure your chopping board is in a position where it can't move about.

Coconut knife and chopping board

Start to carve around the edge of the coconut.

Cut around edge of coconut

The aim is to shave from the edge of the tip in order to expose the dome of the coconut as in the pictures below.

Shaving coconut


Shaving coconut 2


Dome of coconut

Now you want to be able to insert the end of your knife (never the tip!) into the edge of the dome. Don't do this along the lines that mark out the dome into segments, instead you want to get the knife in between those lines. If you are comfortable with being able to hit along the edge of the dome then do so. Alternatively, you may find it easier to place the end of your knife at the edge of the dome and tap it with something like a rolling pin or meat mallet until you got it firmly underneath the dome. However you do it, it's important that you hold the knife at about a 45 degree angle as this will help to ensure that you finish opening the coconut with the same amount of fingers you had when you started out :-)

Insert knife at 45° angle

 When you start to see the coconut water dribble out you then start to work your way around the dome, now you can hold your knife flat. As in the picture just use the rear to mid area of the blade in a sawing type motion.

Inserting knife into edge of coconut

By the time you've worked your knife approximately halfway around the edge of the dome, you should be able to insert the knife and using the flat of the blade, lever up the coconut dome.

Using flat of knife to lever up coconut dome

You now have access to the incredibly nutritious and wonderful tasting coconut water, don't waste it!

Opened coconut

Use a spoon to scrape out the young coconut meat.

Scooping out flesh from young coconut

That's it, you're done now, congratulations :-)

Coconut scooped out with coconut meat

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