Information Technology Students

Cuckoo for Coconuts!

Reasons for buying a whole fresh coconut goes beyond the amazing flavor profile and fresh coconut milk; it is the experience of cracking this tough nut. As some of us know those little brown reminders of Jimmy Buffet music and swaying palms can be difficult to break into, but with a little work and know how the result is a fresh ingredient that has a quality better then any processed bagged stuff.

If you are right-handed, cradle the coconut in your left hand, the eyes pointing towards the top of your fingers. Hold the heavy knife or a meat mallet in your right hand. Make a sharp quick blow to the midsection, with the back of the blade or flat side of the mallet.

This should crack the coconut at its natural fault line. If necessary, rap it again by rotating the coconut just a slight turn. Hit just an inch away from the original blow point. Use the sharp blade of the cleaver to pry in half. Pour the milk into a bowl and reserve for later use. Be very careful to crack the coconut enough that prying will end in an open nut, not an open wound.

The end result is 2 neat bowl-shaped pieces. The first time may not produce perfect halves. Don't despair, the aim is to grate the meat. Continue to break the coconut into pieces that can be grated on a box grater. Continue grating until only the brown shell is left and all of the white meat is in a bowl. Small broken pieces can be a great garnish to any plate that lends it self to an island feel. Repeat with the other half (take turns with your friends so you don’t wear your arm out). Discard the shells or be crafty and polish into a bowl (don't ask me how).

Coconut Chutney


Coconut, freshly grated - 1 cup
Peanut Butter- 1/2 cup
Red Chili Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Curry Powder - ½ teaspoon
Cilantro Leaves – few (about a bunch of leaves with a little amount of stem)
Mustard Seeds- 1 teaspoon
Sesame Oil- 2 tablespoons
Salt- as desired
Add coconut milk to the desired consistency that will work best for your dish; it should be paste like.


Grind all the ingredients (except cilantro leaves, mustard seeds, & oil) together in a food processor or blender, until you get a smooth paste adding the coconut milk for desired smoothness.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and cilantro leaves. Stir quickly until leaves wilt down. Turn off heat and then pour the paste into the pan. Mix well & serve warm.

This is a great accompaniment to grilled fish and kabobs. Couple this with a fresh mango coulis to blow the socks of any guest.

Chef LJ Klink, M.A.; C.E.C.; M.C.F.E.
Former Director & Instructor
The Culinary Arts Institute at Richland
Richland Community College

Footer divider graphic


Employment Opportunities
Faculty & Staff E-Mail
News & Events
Student E-Mail

Alumni Development Office
RCC Foundation

Academic Programs
Course Catalog
Course Schedule
Dual Credit Courses

Non-Credit Course Offerings



Adult Education / GED
Liberal Arts
Continuing & Professional Education
Correctional Education
Economic Dev & Workforce Solutions
Health Professions
Mathematics, Sciences, & Business
VP of Academic Services
VP of Student Services

Business Services
Campus Security
Human Resources
Institutional Effectiveness
Office of the President

Campus Life


Customized Corporate Training
Facility Rental

Academic Success Center - Accommodations
Academic Success Center - Mathematics Enrichment Center
Academic Success Center - Tutoring
Academic Success Center - Testing
Business Office (Bursar/Cashier)
Career Services
Financial Aid
Library (Learning Resources Center)
Online Learning
Records & Transcripts
Transfer Center
Veterans Affairs

Board of Trustees
Contacting the College
Employee Directory
Extension Centers
Maps & Directions
Office of Public Information 
Tuition and Fees

Decatur Community Partnership
Project READ
Progress City USA



Richland Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs. The following person(s) has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies:
Alex Berry, Title IX Coordinator at phone 217-875-7211 EX 6314
Leanne Brooks, 504 Coordinator, at phone 217-875-7211 EX 6362
For further information on notice of nondiscrimination, visit for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.