How to Process Coconut from Shells

Ever wonder how to process coconut from shells if you have to do it at home?

Say, you need strips of coconut meat instead of the finely shredded ones found in supermarkets, do you know what to do with a whole coconut to get the strips that you need?

Or you need fresh coconut cream kakang-gata and milk, how do you get into the meat when you can't even break the husk open?

It's not easy but it's worth knowing so you can appreciate the work that your coconut vendor in the wet market does.

1 Find the soft "eye" from the coconut's 3 eye holes, and poke a hole.

2 Drain the coconut juice out, and taste. If it's rancid, the coconut is bad.

3 Place the coconut inside the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

4 Remove the coconut from the oven and using a dull side of heavy cleaver, hit towards center of the shell a few times, rotating the coconut each time, until the coconut breaks.

5 Using a paring knife, start by making a V-cut through the shell and twist the knife from under to loosen the meat from the shell.

6 Repeat until all the meat are removed from the shell.

7 Using a vegetable peeler, peel the brown skin attached to coconut meat.

8 Your coconut meat is now ready for shredding, slicing or eating as it is.

And that is how to process coconut from shells if you were to do it at home.


  • Baking the coconut loosens the meat from the shell, but this doesn't really work all the time that you still need to do Step #5 and #6.
  • Whole coconuts in shells usually have 3 holes that look like eyes. One of them is soft, which you could use to drain the coconut juice out so you don't waste them when you smack the coconut open.
  • Use a food processor to easily shred your coconut meats. Some processors have fine shredding disks (for usual grated coconut recipes) and coarse shredding disk (for Bocarillo or Bukayo recipe.)

Return to Filipino Cooking How To's

Return to Home Page

Return to How To Process Coconut Top page