The Best Substitute for Coconut Milk (and Other Things You Need to Know!)

Coconut milk is a must-have ingredient in most Southeast Asian dishes and a popular base in international cuisines. This is because of its ability to lend a creamy texture and milky flavor to different recipes.

However, there are some people who are allergic to coconut milk. As a result, they would have to forego the addition of coconut milk to their meals

Lucky for them, you can find the best substitute for coconut milk which you can use to achieve the texture and flavor that it has to offer. Whether you are allergic to coconut milk or you just simply do not have one on hand, you can surely take advantage of the coconut milk substitutes featured below.

The Best Substitute for Coconut Milk (and How to Use It)

Wondering what the best substitute for coconut milk is? We give you those below (along with a few instructions on how to substitute them!).

For People Without Coconut Allergy: 

If you do not have a coconut allergy and you just simply do not have coconut milk in your kitchen, here are the substitutions that you can use:

•   Canned Coconut Cream

This is the substitute that comes the closest when it comes to the flavor of coconut milk.

This is an excellent substitute for Thai recipes like curry and cocktails like pina colada.

How to substitute: If the recipe calls for a cup of coconut milk, you can use 3 tablespoons of canned coconut cream. Add a cup of hot water or a cup of low-fat milk. Mix it and add it into the recipe as instructed.

•   Instant Coconut Milk

This is the most cost-efficient and practical substitute for coconut milk. The best thing about this option is that you can store it for a long time in your kitchen and you can use it any time you want.

How to substitute: If the recipe calls for a cup of coconut milk, all that you have to do is mix a cup of instant coconut milk with ½ cup of hot water. Place the mixture in either a blender or food processor and whisk thoroughly. Add it to the recipe afterwards.

•   Coconut Water

This is the easiest substitute to use simply because it does not need any preparation—you just put it in the recipe as it is.

Coconut Water

But please keep in mind that the coconut water will be able to impart only a slight coconut flavor and will not give off the creamy consistency that is common with coconut milk. To address this, it is recommended that you add heavy cream to achieve the said consistency.

How to substitute: For recipes that require one cup of coconut milk, you just have to simply add a cup of coconut water too!

For People with Coconut Allergy: 

If you are allergic to coconut, you should never use any of the coconut products that we have mentioned above. Here are some of the substitutes that you can go for:

•   Soy Milk

This is the most common dairy product substitute, and it comes in two variations—powdered and liquid one. If you wish to customize the thickness or consistency of your dishes, you should go for the powdered one. 

How to substitute it: Add an amount of milk that is same with the amount of coconut milk that your recipe calls for.

•   Fats and Liquids

Coconut milk is jam-packed with fats, and that is why fats are considered to be great alternatives for it. But please keep in mind that you should only use this alternative for baked good recipes that need coconut milk. 

How to substitute: Mix any kind of oil with water. The right portion is to mix ¼ cup of oil and ¾ cup of water. Same with soy milk, you just need to substitute equal parts of fats and liquids to corresponding portions of coconut milk.

•   Evaporated Milk

If you are not allergic to dairy, then you can make use of evaporated milk. If possible, go for the coconut-flavored evaporated milk. 

Evaporated Milk

How to substitute: use one cup of evaporated milk for every cup of coconut milk that the recipe requires.

•   Condensed Milk

No, you cannot find any coconut-flavored condensed milk in the market, but since this milk is sweeter than evaporated milk, it can give more flavor to the dish. 

This also a great substitute for a pina colada.

How to substitute: Instead of using one cup, use only ¾ cup of condensed milk for every cup of coconut milk that you need. You need to reduce the amount because the milk is already too sweet.

•   Greek Yogurt

Any type of yogurt can be used to substitute coconut milk, but because of its thick consistency, Greek yogurt is the yogurt of choice for recipes that contain coconut milk.

Aside from adding flavor to the dish, the addition of yogurt can also boost the health benefits of the meal. This is because it contains essential vitamins, good amounts of proteins, and minerals.

How to substitute: One cup of Greek yogurt can be used to replace one cup of coconut milk.

In Summary 

Please keep in mind that these substitutes won’t be able to substitute the flavors of coconut milk that well. After all, nothing can compare to the unique flavor and creaminess of coconut milk. But if you choose the best substitute for coconut milk, you can be able to achieve the full taste of your dishes.

We hope that you can find the best coconut milk substitute for your recipe. If you have a few substitute suggestions, please share them with us in the comments section!

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