Here’s what a good coconut milk for Thai food should look like…
There are different types of coconut milk. But first, you have to choose the one suitable for cooking, not for drinking. Coconut milk that is the perfect size for Thai cooking comes in 250-500ml cans or cartons. (250ml is the average amount for most of our curry recipes that serve 2). The brands that we highly recommend are Elephant and Biona (organic); they’re widely available at grocery stores and online.
A good coconut milk should naturally separate into the cream and the liquid. In Thai cooking, we use the cream to cook with the curry paste first to bring out the flavour and aroma. Then the rest of the liquid is added to the curry to bring to the right consistency. Cutting out on the fat will only make your curries watery and dilutes the flavour of the curry pastes.
For the past two years, we’ve been working with local co-operatives in Petchaburi and Samut Sakhon province in the Western region of Thailand to create our own coconut milk to use at Rosa’s restaurants. It is part of our co-founder’s initiative to give back to the local communities, especially because Saiphin herself came from a farming background. By working directly with the farmers, we cut out the middle man and are able to give them a much better price for a higher quality product!