It may take a lot of coaxing to get the meat out of a coconut, but it's worth the effort. There are three "eyes" at the stem end of each coconut. Test each eye to find the softest one. Toasted coconut will stay fresh in an airtight container for a week.
- Yield: Makes about 2 cups
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 1999
- 1 coconut (about 1 pound)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Swaddle the coconut in a dish towel to make it easier to grip. Test each of the three "eyes" at the stem end to find the softest one. Use a small screwdriver or ice pick to pierce the eye, then drain out the liquid into a cup.
Place coconut onto a baking sheet. Heat coconut in the oven for 20 minutes to loosen the flesh from its shell. Remove the coconut; place it back in the dish towel. Use a hammer to tap the coconut until it cracks. Continue tapping around the broken edge until the shell begins to break apart. Pry the flesh from the shell. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the brown skin.
Using a Japanese mandoline, slice the coconut flesh into thin strips. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; toast in oven just until golden, about 10 minutes.