How many ounces in a can of coconut? Your guide to measuring perfection

Coconut milk has undoubtedly become a staple ingredient in both traditional and modern cooking. From curries to desserts, this ingredient is extremely versatile and adds a creamy texture to dishes that are sure to impress. When it comes to measuring coconut milk, its can size often determines the quantity to use.

In this article, we will explore the various can sizes available and how to measure the perfect amount for your recipes.

Understanding coconut milk can size

The first step in measuring your coconut milk perfectly is to understand the different can sizes. Coconut milk is generally sold in cans of varying sizes, ranging from small to large sizes. Here are some common coconut milk can sizes you may come across at your local stores:

Can Size Ounces Metric (ml)
Small can 5.5 165
Regular can 13.5 400
Family-size can 25.36 750

Note: The sizes of the coconut milk cans may differ slightly across different countries, but the quantities remain somewhat similar.

How to measure coconut milk

Once you have determined the can size for the recipe that you’re working on, the next step is to measure the amount of coconut milk accurately. Here are some helpful tips to get it right:

1. Give your can a good shake

Before opening your can, you may notice that the coconut cream has settled at the top, leaving the liquid beneath.

This separation is typical in coconut milk cans, and you should give the can a good shake before opening to mix the contents before measuring. You can also use a spoon to stir the contents inside the can gently.

2. Using a measuring scale

If you’re using a recipe where precision is key, measuring by weight can give you the most accurate quantity of coconut milk that you need. You can use a kitchen scale to weigh your coconut milk accurately.

  • Small can: 5.5 oz. or 165 ml
  • Regular can: 13.5 oz. or 400 ml
  • Family-size can: 25.36 oz. or 750 ml

3. Using measuring cups and spoons

Measuring cups and spoons are an excellent option for measuring liquids like coconut milk.

To measure coconut milk using cups, follow this guide:

  • Small can: 2/3 cup or 150 ml
  • Regular can: 1 ⅔ cup or 400 ml
  • Family-size can: 3 cups or 710 ml

When using measuring spoons, one tablespoon is equivalent to 1/2 oz. or 15 ml.

Storing coconut milk

If you find yourself with extra coconut milk, you may wonder how best to store it for later use.

You can refrigerate your coconut milk in an airtight container for up to four days. You can also freeze the coconut milk in ice cubes and use them when needed.

The bottom line

Measuring the right amount of coconut milk for your recipes is essential to achieve the taste and texture that you desire in your cooking.

By understanding the coconut milk can sizes and measuring accurately, you can confidently create dishes that taste great every time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I substitute for coconut milk?

You can substitute equal parts of cream, half-and-half or whole milk for the coconut milk in any recipe. However, keep in mind that using these substitutes may not produce the same taste or texture as coconut milk.

How do you thicken coconut milk?

Coconut milk can be thickened in several ways, such as simmering it for an extended time, adding cornstarch or tapioca starch, or using full-fat coconut milk instead of light coconut milk.

Is coconut milk healthy?

Coconut milk is rich in healthy fats and nutrients and can provide various health benefits when consumed in moderation. However, it’s also high in calories and saturated fat, so it should be consumed in moderation.

Can you use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?

Yes, you can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in your recipes. However, due to its higher fat content, coconut cream can be thicker and richer than coconut milk, so you may need to adjust the amount that you use in your recipe.

Can I use expired coconut milk?

It is not recommended to use expired coconut milk as it may have a sour taste and spoil your dish.

Where can I buy coconut milk?

You can buy coconut milk at most grocery stores or online retailers.


  • Tips for how to store coconut milk. (n.d.). The Kitchn.
  • Coconut milk-substitutes, ingredients, and storage. (n.d.). EatByDate.
  • Luo, J., Rizvi, S. S. H., & McHenry, M. E. (2011). Coconut milk and cream. Handbook of Food and Beverage Fermentation Technology, 501–526.

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