Here are 10 ways to use the often leftover half-can of coconut milk that always ends up in the fridge.
1. Coconut and ginger rice
Cook rice in a 50/50 mix of light coconut milk and water. Add a dash of turmeric, a chunk of ginger and some kaffir lime leaves, if you have them. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low then cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Serve with your favourite curry or grilled meat.
2. Coconut vanilla jellies
Make yummy panna cotta-style jellies by bringing light coconut milk, vanilla and a little sugar to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from the heat then stir in gelatine dissolved in hot water. Mix well. Pour into moulds or teacups and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
3. Peanut satay sauce
Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar with 1/3 cup peanut butter. Stir into a pot with 1 cup light coconut milk, a dash of salt-reduced soy sauce, grated fresh ginger and chilli flakes to taste. Simmer until a saucy consistency. If too thick, thin with more light coconut milk or water.
4. Coconut cake
In cakes made with oil try replacing milk, yoghurt or half the oil with light coconut milk. This adds a lovely subtle coconut flavour that is especially nice in fruity cakes.
5. Simple vege curry
Warm light coconut milk in a pan and add korma curry paste and minced ginger. Stir to combine. Add small chunks of pumpkin, carrot, cauliflower and broccoli. Simmer until vegetables are tender then add spinach or silver beet and cook until wilted. Serve with rice.
6. Coconut ice
Not the sweet! Freeze light coconut milk in ice-cube trays and add to juice drinks for a tropical ‘virgin’ cocktail flavour.
7. Coconut fruit smoothie
Add light coconut milk to regular or soy milk in fruit smoothies. Try banana and peach blended with LSA (linseed, sunflower seed and almond mix), soy milk and light coconut milk for breakfast or a pick-me-up.
8. Thai chicken and coconut soup
Combine equal amounts of light coconut milk and chicken stock in a pot. Bring to a simmer, then add thinly-sliced chicken, green curry paste, sugar and a dash of fish sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through then add lots of baby spinach, fresh coriander and kaffir lime leaves.
9. Tropical fruit platter
Slice a variety of tropical fruit such as pawpaw, mango, pineapple and banana. Lay fruit on a plate. Simmer one 400ml can of light coconut milk with 1 tablespoon castor sugar and a dash of vanilla over a medium heat until reduced slightly. Pour coconut sauce over fruit.
10. Spinach in coconut milk
Make a version of Samoan palusami by cooking spinach or silver beet leaves (or small taro leaves if you have them) in light coconut milk with chopped onion. Simmer gently until vegetable resembles creamed spinach.