Serious Eats: Recipes

How to Make Kerisik

[Photograph: Chichi Wang]

In Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian cookery, kerisik, or grated and pan-toasted fresh coconut, is used to thicken dishes like curry and rendang. Since the coconut slivers are only slightly dehydrated, kerisik soaks up much of its surrounding liquids. Aside from rendangs and curries, kerisik may also be sprinkled on top of vegetable dishes and salads, or added to the batter for fried bananas and plantains. No matter how it's used, kerisik adds irreplaceable body, flavor, and texture to a dish, making it worthwhile to prepare on your own. (Though store-bought grated dried coconut may be substituted in a pinch, it lacks the moisture and sweetness of your own freshly grated coconut meat.)

Even though making kerisik is an investment in time, it's fun process. Make it in bulk: the kerisik may be refrigerated for two weeks in a glass jar or Ziploc bag, or it can be frozen for several months.

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