Toasting brings out the flavor in grated coconut, while also amping up the color so it makes a more attractive garnish. Toasting the coconut yourself right before you need it ensures optimum flavor and texture, whether you use the toasted coconut to top a dessert or as a coating for a savory chicken dish. Keep grated coconut refrigerated until you are ready to use it, and store any leftover toasted coconut in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.
Place a large dry skillet on the stove burner. Add the shredded coconut in a thin layer.
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Stir the coconut every 1 or 2 minutes as the skillet heats so the coconut doesn't stick to the pan.
Continue to stir the coconut every 1 to 2 minutes as it toasts. Cook the coconut until it's evenly brown, which can take 5 to 8 minutes, depending on your stove and the amount of coconut.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the coconut to a bowl so it doesn't continue to brown from residual heat in the skillet.
Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread the shredded coconut in an even, thin layer on the surface of the baking pan.
Bake the coconut in the preheated oven, stirring it every 1 to 2 minutes so it browns evenly without burning. Remove the coconut from the oven when it's browned to the desired shade, which usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes.
Place the shredded coconut on a microwave-safe plate, spreading it in an even layer.
Cook the coconut on high power for 30 seconds and then stir the coconut. Continue to heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval.
Remove the coconut from the microwave once it reaches the desired level of brownness, which may take between 4 and 8 minutes depending on the desired color, the amount of coconut, and the power of your microwave.