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How to Open Up Young Coconuts using a Chef's Knife

green coconuts


Young coconuts from the tree.


These are what young coconuts look like in nature before they are husked.

box of thai young coconuts


Young coconuts partially husked.


These are Young Thai Coconuts after they are partially husked. They are found at most Asian Food Stores and are usually cheaper if bought by the case.

1 young coconut


Select a good young coconut.


The young coconut should be heavy and when shaken you shouldn't hear a swishy sound because it should be completely full with water. The husk should be white, not tan, with no purple or brown spots on the bottom.

husking the young coconut

chef's knife





Use a chef's knife to open.


Turn the young coconut on it's side and begin husking the top of the coconut with a chef's knife. Please use extreme caution when using the chef's knife.

husk the top of the young coconut


Completely husk the top of the coconut.


Completely husk the top of the coconut to partially reveal the coconut shell. Make sure there is no white husk left on the top.

coconut shell


The coconut shell should have three veins that divide the top of the coconut into 3 sections like a pie chart.


Make note of the biggest section. In this case the bottom third is the biggest section.

make a slit with the knife


Use the side of your chef's knife to make a slit.


Make a small slit with the corner of your chef's knife in the largest section of the coconut shell by using a quick flicking motion. Make your slit about 2 inches from the apex or center.

make a slit with the tip


Or make a slit with the tip of the chef's knife.


Another option is to make the small slit with the tip of the chef's knife by using a firm and constant pressure. You can hold your chef's knife with one hand and with the other gently tap the top of the handle until the point of the knife breaks the surface of the coconut shell.

press tip into the slit


Press the tip of the Chef's knife into the slit.


Press the chef's knife into the slit until it is about one inch long and the knife is securely in place.

opeing the coconut


With the point of the chef's knife still securely in the coconut shell, bring the knife parallel to the table.


When the knife is horizontal begin rocking the handle back and forth as if you were revving up a motorcycle.

young coconut lid pops off


Continue rocking until the lid pops off.


The lid should pop off easily.

finish pulling the lid with your hands


Finish pulling off the lid with your hands.

pour water into a carafe


Pour water into a blender carafe or other container.


Drink the water as is or use as a base for smoothies, soups, and dressings.

scoop young coconut lids with a spoon


Scoop out the meat from the lid with a spoon.


scoop out the young coconut meatUse a spoon to scoop out the rest of the meat.

young coconut meat


Enjoy! Eat as is our use in recipes that call for young coconut meat.

For some great young coconut recipes please check out my vanilla recipe booklet


Please click here for a video on how to open young coconuts


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