Note For the best result, make your own coconut
cream and milk (see below). Otherwise, use the canned versions; we
recommend the Ayam brand. Young peppercorn sprigs are available
fresh and in brine from Thai grocers.
To make coconut milk, Thai food authority David Thompson suggests processing the flesh in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Gradually add 350ml hot (not boiling) water for every coconut and process to combine, then transfer to a bowl and work with your hands to extract as much flavour as possible (3-5 minutes). Strain the liquid through a muslin-lined sieve into a bowl and squeeze to extract all liquid (discard solids). One coconut processed with 350ml water yields about 350ml coconut milk. If a recipe calls for slightly more coconut milk than you've made, you can top it up with water. It can be used as full-fat milk or the coconut cream can be separated from it.
To make coconut cream, first make coconut milk, refrigerate it until the cream rises to the top, then skim the cream. If you leave the milk to separate overnight, a very thick layer of cream will rise. In this case, return about one-quarter of the cream to the milk to give it more body; whisk to re-emulsify.
Cooking the pork neck slowly before stir-frying it makes it very tender. You will need 2 mature coconuts to make the coconut milk and coconut cream for this recipe.