Last Updated on July 7, 2022
Today, we will explore exactly how to toast shredded coconut. And believe us, it makes a phenomenal difference in the final flavor of your recipe!
We will look at two foolproof methods that work the best. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed to have crispy crunchy, and flavor-packed coconut.
What Is Shredded Coconut?
Who would have thought that in less than a decade there would be more than 3 forms of coconut? Usually, you could only get your hands on desiccated coconut, and if you are really lucky, some fresh whole ones too. But today, you can find coconut in virtually any form, shape, and size.
When looking at dried forms of coconut specifically, there are 4 types easily available at most grocery stores. But, if not you will be able to find the one you are looking for at a health shop or baking supply store.
So, today we will be looking specifically at shredded coconut. But what exactly does that mean and how does it differ from the other forms?
Shredded coconut is finely grated coconut flesh. It has long thin strands and generally a high moisture content for dried fruit. It is often confused with desiccated coconut, which is much finer and has a lower moisture percentage.
Why do you have to toast shredded coconut?
Before looking at how to toast shredded coconut, we thought it would all make more sense to first look at why.
It isn't necessary to toast shredded coconut (or any type of coconut), but it does wonders for your food. By toasting it, you are creating a much more nutty flavor and a hint of sweetness.
This ultimately creates a flavor profile that has a more complex and deeper structure while simultaneously adding a more crunchy crisp texture.
So, if you aren't drooling just by the sounds of that, then you will just have to try our techniques and see for yourself.
Can you use the same toasting methods for other forms of coconut?
While we will specifically focus on how to toast shredded coconut today, these methods can also apply to other forms of dried coconut.
The biggest difference will be the temperature you use and the amount of time you need to toast the different-sized pieces of coconut. But, other than those factors, you can use a pan, oven, and microwave to toast all types of dried coconut.
How To Toast Shredded Coconut On The Stovetop
Toasting shredded coconut in a pan on the stovetop is the quickest and one of the easiest ways to do so. While a microwave does come in close-second, this technique helps preserve the flavor and gives the shredded coconut a crispy texture.
All you will need is a pan that can handle medium heat. You can use a non-stick pan, but it isn't specifically necessary. Professional kitchens usually use cast iron pans because of how well they distribute the heat. They can slowly heat the shredded coconut evenly while preventing them from burning.
Step 1: Heat your pan
Place the pan of your choice over medium heat. Once your pan is heated, you can add the shredded coconut pieces.
Step 2: Toast the shredded coconut
After adding your shredded coconut, make sure the batch is evenly distributed throughout the surface of the pan. You will see the outsides will start toasting quicker than the inside. The sides of a pan are often thinner which is why this happens.
Once you see some of the coconut starts turning light brown, start stirring the batch. Allow them to toast for about 10 to 20 seconds at a time before stirring again.
This way, you are constantly moving the coconut which will prevent any part of the batch from burning. it will also allow all sides to evenly brown.
How To Toast Shredded Coconut In The Oven
This method uses a more hands-free approach. But from personal experience, set a timer so that you don't forget that the coconut is inside the oven!
For this technique, you only need a roasting tray or cookie sheet. Any vessel that is oven-proof and relatively non-stick.
Step 1: Preheat your oven
To start, preheat your oven to 320ºF (160ºC). Then, add shredded coconut to the vessel of your choice.
Add it inside the heated oven and start the toasting process.
Step 2: Toast your shredded coconut
Check the progress of the toasting after about 5 minutes. Stir the coconut and place the tray back inside the oven. Repeat this process until the entire batch is evenly toasted to the color of your choice.
Tricks And Tips On How To Toast Shredded Coconut Like An Expert
- Coconut should be toasted over dry heat. It isn't necessary to add any lubricant like oil, butter, fat, or cooking sprays. This is because shredded coconut contains oils that help prevent it from sticking in the pan. By adding more, you will prevent the pieces from becoming nice and crispy and change their flavor.
- It is crucial that the coconut should be frequently stirred while it is toasting. If left unmoved for too long, it could start to burn. And even removing a tiny burnt section is almost impossible!
- You shouldn't use the highest temperature setting for toasting coconut. The pieces toast quite quickly because of their size. So, medium heat will ensure they don't take unnecessarily long while still slowly and evenly toasting them.
- And finally, once the shredded coconut has been toasted to a beautiful golden brown color, you can remove them from the pan and allow them to cool in a bowl or on a plate. They have to cool completely before being used in other recipes. It will give them the best flavor and texture.
In Conclusion - The Best Guide On How To Toast Shredded Coconut
Hopefully, you have learned everything that you need to know on how to toast shredded coconut effectively. You can use either one of our methods above - we guarantee that both will give you the best results you could ask for.
If you liked this educational article today, go have a look on our site for many others!
How do you toast shredded coconut in the microwave?
Place the shredded coconut into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in increments of 30 seconds. Between each, make sure to stir the shredded coconut well so that all of the areas are equally exposed to the heat, ultimately toasting much more evenly.
Should I toast coconut before baking?
You don't have to, but again, we highly recommend it. Toasting the coconut will help it release its nutty and sweet flavors. This will just create a more tasty baked good. And no, the coconut cannot toast once inside of the batter. It has to make direct contact with relatively high heat to toast.
Where can I use toasted coconut?
Toasted coconut can be incorporated into batters and doughs alike. However, it is more often used as a garnish or decoration. It makes a great addition to salads and desserts. And, it can even be a topping for cakes, muffins, cookies, and bars.
Can I toast desiccated coconut?
Just like you can toast shredded coconut, you can also toast desiccated coconut. In fact, you can toast all forms of dried coconut you can find. The times may just vary a bit depending on the heat used and the size of the pieces.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.