Thai Coconut-Spice Blend

Like really good Thai dishes, this spice blend is balanced and complex: a little sweet, a little hot and a little citrusy. Toasting the coconut brings out its natural sweetness and dries it out enough that you can grind it without making a paste. Watch the coconut carefully when toasting it, especially if your oven runs hot - it can go from raw to burnt pretty quickly.

Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 30 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive Prep: 15 min
Cook: 10 min
 
YIELD: 1/2 cup
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Zest from 4 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
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Directions

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake the coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, put the lime zest on a paper towel-lined microwave-safe plate and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring with a fork in between, until the zest is dry and almost brittle, 2 to 4 minutes total. (The timing will largely depend on the power of your microwave.)

Add the cooled coconut, dried lime zest, chili flakes, coriander, garlic, and salt to a spice grinder and grind to the texture of very coarse cornmeal. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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Notes

Try this spice blend sprinkled on sauteed shrimp, grilled chicken or steamed fish; or sprinkle it on warm buttered popcorn or flatbread.
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