A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

In one of many ill-conceived business ideas, I briefly considered setting up shop selling coconut shell bowls. The obsession was short but intense, yielding many colorful vessels for my own enjoyment, but few to share with the general public. Alas, of all those tropical fruits cracked open and eviscerated, not a single one actually turned a profit. Anyone with an ounce of money sense could have seen that coming, considering the sheer amount of time and labor necessary for each individual piece. It turns out that even the most beautiful coconut shell really isn’t worth more than $3 an hour, if you’re being particularly generous.

The venture wasn’t a total loss though. Processing through so many coconuts yielded tons of fresh coconut water, coconut shreds, coconut milk, coconut butter, and coconut pulp to enjoy. The last step in that journey could be considered the least celebrated, but to me, the most intriguing. What remained after straining homemade coconut milk was not quite fine enough to call flour, but certainly not refined enough to call flakes. It fell firmly between the two categories; rough around the edges but quite sweet and charming once you got to know it.

Finding a way to eat through that volume of pulpy excess was ultimately a more rewarding challenge than the monotonous task of sanding down the sharp edges and fine lines of a coconut shell. Taking inspiration from their Asian origins, Thai spices join the mix to form tender patties, fashioned into bite-sized sliders perfect for celebrating the tail end of summer. They aren’t burgers by any stretch of the imagination and they don’t try to be. I wanted to celebrate the coconut in all its natural glory, succulent and tender, cradled between two buns- Mock meats need not apply.

I daresay that this unconventional take on the typical picnic fare would be perfect to liven up any Labor Day festivities you may have planned. Even if your plans for the three day weekend consist of little more than binge-watching Netflix and pulling your long sleeve shirts out of storage, there’s no reason why these flavorful sliders can’t be on the menu. These versatile patties are just the start of the fun, inviting a wide range of fully customization toppings to suit even the most exotic cravings. I’ve listed some of my favorites below to get you started.

In case you don’t just happen to have a couple of fresh coconuts on hand to turn into pulp, you can absolutely process plain old unsweetened shredded coconut into a coarse meal instead.

Yield: Makes 7 – 8 Sliders

Thai Coconut Sliders

Thai Coconut Sliders

Taking inspiration from their Asian origins, Thai spices join fresh coconut patties, fashioned into bite-sized sliders perfect for celebrating the tail end of summer. They aren't burgers by any stretch of the imagination and they don't try to be. It's a celebration of coconut in all its natural glory, succulent and tender, cradled between two buns.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


Thai-Spiced Coconut Patties:

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Shallot
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegan Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 Cup Dry Coconut Pulp or Meal
  • 1 Cup Cooked Jasmine Rice
  • 2 Tablespoons Tapioca Flour
  • Salt and Pepper, to Taste

To Serve:

  • Mini Slider Buns
  • Sliced Cucumbers
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Fresh Cilantro or Thai Basil

Additional Topping Suggestions:

  • Peanut Sauce
  • Mango Relish or Chutney
  • Coconut Aioli


  1. To prepare the patties, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pan and add the shallots and garlic. Saute until softened and aromatic. Stir in the curry paste, cooking it for 2 – 3 minutes to bring out the full flavors of the spices. Add the ketchup, “fish” sauce, and lime juice and cook for another 3 minutes, allowing the ingredients to meld.
  2. Transfer the aromatics to a large bowl along with the coconut pulp, cooked rice, and tapioca flour. Use a wide spatula to mix everything together. It’s a very thick mixture so you may just want to get in there with your hands to speed up the process. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the most consistent slider sizes, or just aim for a scant 1/4 per patty. Roll them between lightly moistened hands and press them down gently to shape.
  4. Heat a wide skillet over medium heat and coat the bottom with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook 2 – 3 sliders at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan.
  5. Allow 5 – 8 minutes per side, until golden brown, flipping as needed.
  6. Serve on mini slider buns with as many toppings as your heart desires.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 571mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

11 thoughts on “A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

  1. Even if the coconut bowls didn’t make you rich, you certainly ended up with a mother lode of coconut cooking ingredients! I love the sound of the coconut sliders. I wonder if they would work with plain old coconut flour, maybe with some shredded coconut mixed in. As an aside, when we were in the rain forest in Equador, we actually purchased coconut bowls from a medicine man. They seemed so coo at the time, but alas, seemed not quite as great once we got them home. Your bowls were in a different category entirely!

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