In my quest to make a brilliant pomelo and shrimp salad at home, I decided that each individual component HAD to be the best it could be, and whenever possible, I was going to do it from scratch. First I made some oven roasted peanuts, from freshly purchased nuts, roasted at high heat, then individually skinned, no separate post on that. Then I decided I should make some of our own dried or dessicated coconut, without any added sugar. First of all, if you buy dessicated coconut in say the Metro grocery, it is incredibly sweet, and wickedly expensive (say just under PHP200 for a small bag), then you realize it has an American label, and the darned coconut probably came from here, went there to be packaged and was shipped back here. How ridiculous is that?
So on the weekly market foray by the cook, she obtained a mature coconut, we cracked it open, and I used a melon shredder to make large strips of coconut. Put these on a baking sheet and popped it into a 300F oven until some of the strips were golden brown. One coconut made a LOT of dried or dessicated coconut. And the mature coconut cost some PHP12 or so. Nearly 1/15th the cost of grocery bought, all local, less transport, and tastes more real to boot!
I think the pomelo salad at People’s palace that I was trying to replicate used store bought coconut or they minced their dessicated coconut into much smaller bits, so I was hoping this step was going to result in a noticeable difference to the final dish. Now, you wonder, what the heck else can I use this home-dried coconut for. Well, we use it in homemade granola, or you can make a chocolate cake with coconut, they are a wonderful pairing. If you want finer granular dreid coconut, check out the method in the link to the chocolate and coconut cake.