The Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

A review of the best canned coconut milk for Thai cooking. I chose the most common coconut milks I’ve seen sold in stores, tested and rated them based on price, quality of ingredients, taste and texture.

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

Welcome to Day 2 of my Thai Cooking At Home series! This week I am laying the ground work so we can hit the ground running next week fully prepared to cook our favorite Thai recipes at home! Today I’m sharing a review of popular canned coconut milk brands. I hope it will give you some helpful information to guide you towards the best coconut milk to use when you are cooking Thai dishes at home!

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

Coconut milk is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. It’s used as the base in many dishes, like soups and curries. The brand of coconut milk you use can chance the consistency, texture and taste of your dish. I’m providing you with facts and my honest opinion on 6 brands of canned coconut milk below.

I chose the 6 brands based off their availability. These are the 6 brands I see sold most often at the stores I frequent (Safeway, Giant, Trader Joe’s, Aldi and Whole Foods), I excluded brands sold at the international grocery store where I also shop since they had a LOT of brands, but many are not sold in mainstream stores.

My review compares the price, ingredients, consistency/texture and taste of each brand. Please note the top 3 brands are organic, I did not intentionally chose organic vs. non-organic for this comparison, but that is how it worked out.

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

#6 – CHAOKOH

 

Price – $2.99 / 13.5oz can

Ingredients – Coconut Extract, Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite

Consistency – Thin creamy top with some separation, smooth texture

Taste – Fake

Review – The clear loser. First off, it’s expensive, but the main issue is it does not contain any real coconut, it uses extract instead. Because of this the taste is very apparently fake.

Recommendation – Avoid for Thai Cooking and really anything else!

 

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

#5 – GOYA

 

Price – $1.79 / 13.5oz can

Ingredients – Coconut Milk, Water, Potassium Metabisulfite

Consistency – No separation at all, texture is pulp-like with tiny coconut flakes

Taste – Very sweet and fruity

Review – I think this was designed to be a drink mixer, it’s perfect for a piΓ±a colada, but does not work well in Thai Cooking! I rated it 5th instead of 6th because of the low price point and because it does actually contain real coconut milk, not extract.

Recommendation – Avoid for Thai Cooking, use in PiΓ±a Coladas πŸ™‚

 

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

#4 – Thai Kitchen

 

Price – $3.49 / 13.66oz can

Ingredients – Coconut, Water, Guar Gum

Consistency – Good separation between coconut cream and milk, but the texture is chalky

Taste – Good, natural coconut flavor if you can get past the texture

Review – I like the taste, but despite the slightly larger can, this coconut milk is by far the most expensive on the list and the chalky texture is not ideal.

RecommendationΒ – You can use this in Thai Cooking and your dish will turn out fine, but there are better, cheaper options available.

 

#3 – Trader Joe’s

 

Price – $1.69 / 13.5oz can

Ingredients – Water, Organic Coconut

Consistency – Good separation between coconut cream top and milk, does contain some coconut pulp so texture is a little grainy.

Taste – Nice coconut flavor, a little fruity

Review – The price can’t be beat and I like the clean ingredient list. The downfall is the coconut pulp, I prefer a creamy coconut milk for Thai cooking. Bonus – it has a pop-top for easy opening!

Recommendation – I use this coconut milk often in Thai Cooking, it’s cheap and the flavor works, it’s not the number 1, but it will work fine.

 

#2 – KAβ€’ME

 

Price – $2.49 / 13.5oz can

Ingredients – Organic Coconut, Purified Water, Organic Guar Gum

Consistency – Good separation between coconut cream and milk, smooth texture

Taste – Good, natural coconut flavor

Review – I almost swapped this with the TJ’s for the #3 spot because of the higher price point, but ultimately decided it deserved the #2 spot because of it’s creamy consistency and natural coconut flavor.

Recommendation – Perfect for Thai Cooking, just on the pricier side.

 

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

#1 – Whole Foods 365

 

Price – $1.99 / 13.5oz can

Ingredients – Organic Coconut, Purified Water, Guar Gum

Consistency – Good separation between coconut cream and milk, very smooth texture

Taste – Good, natural coconut flavor

Review – This coconut milk claimed the #1 spot because I could not find fault for it in any category!

Recommendation – Perfect for Thai Cooking!

 

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Summary: Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

 

Overall, I would steer clear of the Chaokoh and Goya for Thai Cooking. The Thai Kitchen brand would work fine if you are in a pinch and any of the top 3 (Trader Joe’s, KAβ€’ME and Whole Foods 365) will work great for Thai Cooking.

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pin it for later:Β 

Best Canned Coconut Milk for Thai Cooking

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Leave a Comment

  1. Natalie A Allan said:

    I wonder how the trive brand would rank…