Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

January 8, 2009

Making Kerisik (Coconut Paste)

Filed under: Allergy Free, Asians, Cooking, Gluten-Free, Malaysians, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 11:01 am


I spent my childhood mostly with my grandparents in the village. Had a grandparents pampered their little granddaughter with full of love, it has always been the best moment in my life . I didn’t have so many friends so my grandmother came up with the idea of teaching me some basic cooking lessons perhaps like any other grandmas would do. And that was a not-so-good idea to a kid who didn’t like kitchen. I admit! Because I love grandma, I had to pretend to the level that  I struggled to muster the passion to it! not being able to orchestrate the best reason possible to keep me miles away from the kitchen made me finally stucked,  forever. My grandma would call me all the way from her kitchen for another cooking adventure, I surrendered with no complaints.. surprisingly!

Most shockingly, After long, I happened to love cooking and trust me, it is rewarding especially being taught by a grandma who has shared thousands of old secret recipes and tips. I eventually appreciate her efforts.. I still do!

Making kerisik  or coconut paste is one of the lessons I have been taught from my beloved grandma and I hope it is not too much to say I have passed this lesson quite successfully, alhamdulillah. Now I see the needs especially I have never seen any Asian stores carry Kerisik , so far here. It makes me realize even more why grandma put too much work just to get me at least know what to do in the kitchen.

Kerisik is brown greasy paste made from second pressed grated coconut.- toast and pound  it in a mortar. Kerisik is seen mostly in Malaysian and Indonesian food recipes,  it  enhances the rich and coconutty flavor in  meat , chicken dish and the like ; for example, Rendang.

This nutty coconut paste isn’t really complicated to make. To show you how simple is that, even myself started making kerisik as young as 6 years old of age. A couple cups of grated coconut ( store bought or home grated) and a mortar are all you need .

As for me, I am glad to be part of my grandma’s kitchen and survived despite of being forced. Most importantly, being part of my grandparent’s household that is full with love.

Kerisik (makes approximately 1/3 Cup )


  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut , if home grated, make sure it is second pressed.
Fresh Grated Coconut

Fresh Grated Coconut


1- On medium-low heat, toast grated coconut on a medium pan or wok. Occasionally stirring until completely browned and fragrant. Remove from heat.

  • Toasting brings out a deeper, earthier flavor and aroma.
  • Toasting grated coconut using the oven is best done through lower temperature, lets say at 250F and frequent stirring.
  • The low temperatures keep it from browning too quickly and developing a bitter, ‘over done’ taste and stirring them around insures evenness.
Toasted Coconut

Toasted Coconut

2- While the toasted coconut is still warm, spoon 2-3 Tablespoons into a mortar. Do not put a large amount at time as it will get harder to handle and takes longer process.

  • The heat from the toasted coconut will aid in the processing and help develop the oil from the coconut quicker.
Toasted coconut in a mortar and the result

Toasted coconut in a mortar and the result

3- Ground the toasted coconut with mortar. It will first grind up into dry powder. Keep grinding, it may take about 10 minutes if working continuously. Grind continuously until dark brown paste is formed and oil developed and appeared on top. See the picture above.

4- At this stage, spoon out and pour in a container. Continue with the remaining batches.

5- Ready to use.

Kerisik / Coconut Paste

Kerisik / Coconut Paste

Shida’s Notes:

Kerisik can be made ahead of time. If not using immediately, Keep it in a clean and dry container, refrigerate for up to 4 weeks or freeze it for up to 6 months or so.



  1. Hi,

    I’m looking for a way to make an identical product to that of Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate (which is very expensive – $19 per quart plus $9 shipping). In other words, is it possible to use bulk shredded coconut (such as from Whole Foods Market)? And using a food processor and by-passing the toasting process? Thanks.


    Comment by Paul — February 21, 2009 @ 5:21 am

  2. Thanks for dropping by Paul,

    Do you mean dry shredded coconut? I don’t think it’d do the trick because the fat content in regular dry shredded coconut is different. Try frozen grated coconut , I am not sure if we can find it available in whole food or any other regular groc stores since I have never found one. Try to look up in Asian grocery store nearby your place, it usually labeled as grated coconut in frozen isle, they usually have it in stock and only cost you $1 – $2.

    You can try using food processor, a good quality one will give you same result as the one made traditionally.

    Comment by nshahida — February 21, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  3. Hi nshahida,

    Thank you for the tips. I recently found out that what Tropical Traditions calls “Coconut Cream Concentrate” is in reality known as creamed coconut, coconut paste coconut concentrate, and Coconut Paste (Kerisik).

    With that in mind, I checked my local international market, Global Foods Market in Kirkwood, MO, and discovered that they carry Goya brand creamed coconut. (You can also find it, and others like it, on the Net.) Though it isn’t organic, it’s the same stuff as Tropical Traditions “Coconut Cream Concentrate” but costs much less (about 1/3rd the cost if you factor in $10 per 32 oz. jar for shipping). Yummy stuff!

    So I’ve got my fix and a great savings in the process. Thanks again for your help, nshahida. I greatly appreciate it.

    Warm regards,


    Comment by Paul — March 1, 2009 @ 5:40 am

  4. Oh great you’ve found what you been looking for. good thing is it’s economical.

    Thanks for visiting this blog.

    Comment by nshahida — March 16, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

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