Coconut Cilantro Sauce

A delicious sauce that’s just a quick simmer away

“I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, dee da lee dee” -Lion King ;)

This sauce makes me want to sing about coconuts all day long! It contains very simple ingredients and puts out big flavor. You can put it over rice, or noodles...use it as a marinade or finisher. The best part is how quick it is. I make it on weeknights when I have a thousand things to do and still want something delicious. In addition, I’ve learned a lot about how amazing coconuts are.

Apparently, coconut water was used medically in World War II, it was put “directly into a patient’s veins” (Debmandal, 241). Coconut oil can hinder certain types of viruses, the MCFA [medium chain fatty acid] in coconut oil primarily destroy [lipid-coated viruses] by disrupting their membranes, interfering virus assembly and maturation” (Debmandal, 245). It can even help diabetic patients, “through reversal of glycogen levels, activities of carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes and the pancreatic damage to the normal levels due to its effect on pancreatic B-cell regeneration by means of arginine” (Debmandal, 245).

There are many by-products when coconut milk is made, one use for the “residual solids or presscake (called supal in the Philippines) after milk extraction may be made into a flour which can be used as an ingredient in the preparation of several food products…” (Seow, 191). Especially for those who are gluten free or enjoy experimenting with unconventional flours. It is also important to note the quick degradation of coconut milk due to it’s, “rich medium which can support the growth of all the common spoilage microorganisms, usually introduced via contaminated shells, utensils, processing equipment, handlers, etc.” (Seow, 194). If you are using a recipe that doesn’t require to use the entire can of coconut milk, be sure to watch what you save and dispose of it if it’s going bad!

Please, please let me know what you think about this sauce if you try it :)

Yields: 1/2 cup sauce


1 tsp olive oil

1 shallot

Tbsp fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

¾ cup coconut milk

¼ cup vegetable broth

¼ cup + cilantro

2 tsp + lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat.

2. Mince the shallot, ginger and garlic and add to pan, stirring until soft and fragrant.

3. Add coconut milk, and vegetable broth and simmer until thickened to ½ cup

4. Add the cilantro, lime and salt and pepper to taste

Works Cited

Debmandal, Manisha, and Shyamapada Mandal. “Coconut (Cocos Nucifera L.: Arecaceae): In Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, vol. 4, no. 3, 2011, pp. 241–247.

Seow, Chee C., and Choon N. Gwee. “Coconut Milk: Chemistry and Technology.” International Journal of Food Science & Technology, vol. 32, no. 3, 1997, pp. 189–201.

Author: Lucy Lafranchise

Photographer: Jack Klipfel