fresh grated coconut: gourmetsleuth

Coconut Graters and Scrapers

Some of the most simple tools still provide the best results. A good example is the coconut grater and shredder from Thailand.

Article by: Barbara Bowman

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Uses For Grated Coconut

How you will use the fresh coconut will determine the tool you'll want to to use to grate or shred the meat.  If you are going to use the coconut in recipe such as a curry then you will want fine gratings that you would get using a typical coconut grater with a wide stainless steel blade.

Sometimes you may want the coconut to be shredded if you are going to use it for decorative purposes.  For this purpose you'd want to use a coconut scraper.  The tip on the scraper will determine the shape of the shreds and we show examples below.

Prepare A Coconut For Grating or Shredding

Remove The Coconut Water
First you need to remove the coconut water.  The bud end of the coconut has 3 small indentations.  Use a sharp object like an awl or an ice pick and poke a hole in at least 2 of the 3 indents.  Pour the water into a cup or bowl.  The water is very tasty and nutritious so don't throw it away.

Open The Coconut
The easiest way to open a coconut is to tap horizontally along the center of the coconut using the backside (not the blade) of a heavy cleaver.  Once you've made a crack around the entire circumference you can smack the coconut on a hard surface and it will break apart.  Beware of hitting the hard shell on a delicate counter top.

Once the coconut is open you can use your tool of choice to do the grating work. 

Coconut Scrapers

This tool is used to create both long fine shreds as well as wider coconut curls. 

Close up of the coconut scraper's thin shredding blade.  The backside of the little holes have a rough edge. You drag the blade along the coconut and it creates perfect shreds.  See picture below.

These long thin shreds were obtained by using the


Close up of the loop side of the coconut scraper

These wide "curls" were created using the looped side of the coconut shredder. Drag the edge of the loop along the coconut in a scooping motion.

Hand Coconut Grater

Hand style coconut graters are inexpensive, take up little drawer space and are easy to use.  They are more "human power" intensive than electrics but once you've used one of these graters you can expect to grate a cup of fresh coconut in just a couple of minutes.

This is a small hand tool about 6" long with a 2 1/2" blade.  To use this tool you simply break the coconut in half then use a downward motion and scrape the blade along the coconut meat.  This action produce small, fine gratings of coconut meat for use in your recipes.

This style grater provides the same results as the table top grater paddle (shown on right side of page) or the coconut grater stool.

The only downside to this grater is that when you are using it you are prone to place your finger on the sharp peeler side which could be dangerous.




This is another style hand coconut grater with a long handle (about 11" long) and a circular 2" stainless steel blade.  The long handle assists by providing leverage, especially if you tend to not have real strong writs.  The grater is easy and safe to use.

To use this grater you just scrape along the inside of an open coconut and tap the gratings into a plate or bowl.

Rotary Coconut Grater

Rotary coconut graters are either manual or electric and typically connect to your counter top via a clamp or a suction system.

The small suction versions, frequently from India tend to not stay in place as you grate and create a mess and a potential danger of grating your hands.

If you have a counter suitable for "clamping" to then these graters can efficiently grate a coconut.  They just tend to be a lot of "apparatus" if you don't use a lot of fresh coconut.  They also tend to be significantly more expesnive.

The electic versions look like a rechargable drill with a grater head.  These can be pretty tricky to use particularly if you don't have good arm and wrist strengh.  You definately don't want to slip when using this tool.

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LOVE COCONUT! Never actually knew there were so many options for graters, either! Looks like a lot of work, though. Is there a "ripe" period for coconut where it's easier to grate? Thanks for the info!

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Yes, there are a lot of graters; some work better than others.  It seems like a lot of work but really it's not.  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast and the results are worth it.  The dried coconuts (brown) are easy to grate. When they are unripe (white exteriors) they are soft.  The unripe coconut have many uses but not appropriate for grating.

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The browner the coconut the older it is and tougher the inside meat is.  You can also use young green coconuts which have the tasty water inside along with the fresh coconut meat getting dual purpose of the fresh delicious coconut benefits!

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Fresh Coconut Recipes

Coconut Graters

coconut grater, wood

This grating tool above attaches to work surface and when used creates a pile of finely grated coconut that resembles a pile of snow. 

Grated coconut. These fine gratings are made using either the hand grater, the table top grater (above) or the coconut grater stool below.

Coconut Grater Stool

coconut grater, wood stool

A Thai wood coconut grater with stainless steel blade ( called gkra-dtai, which means "rabbit"). The serrated end is placed inside a coconut half then twisted against the meat to create fine shavings. This version is fashioned into a stool which you sit on providing you with good leverage while you grate the coconut.

Buy A Coconut Grater