Lemongrass brings a distinctive, pleasant citrus aroma to a wide range of Asian cuisine, adding its unique flavor to everything from marinades, stir-fries, salads, curry pastes and cold drinks.
A wonderful citrusy-lemon flavor is present throughout the entire plant, but especially the stalks which can be used in its entirety. The grass blade can be sliced very fine and added to soups. The bulb can be bruised and minced for use in a variety of recipes.
Lemongrass is a powerful antioxidant with antifungal and antibacterial properties and is a good detoxifier. It has many other medicinal properties and is very good used in Thai, Vietnamese and Indian dishes or your own inventions!
- The base of the lemongrass stalk should be peeled and the bottom 4 inches is the portion to chop and freeze. You can mince or puree prior to freezing.
- You can then use the tender inner leaves and stir fry or use in sauces or salads.
Easy Ways to Use Lemongrass
- Soup: Simmer sliced lemongrass in chicken broth with garlic and ginger. Strain; add shredded chicken, rice noodles, lime juice, and cilantro. (Remove the fibrous lemongrass as you eat or before eating.)
- Shellfish: Combine white wine, chopped lemongrass, chopped shallots, and crushed red pepper. Add two pounds of mussels; cover and steam until all shells have opened.
There are two main ways to cook with lemongrass, and each determines how you handle it. To infuse teas, broths, soups, and braising liquids, trim off the spiky tops and the bases, crush the stalks with the side of a knife to release their aromatic oils, and then cut them into 1- or 2-inch pieces. Remove the pieces before eating (they tend to be woody) or eat around them.
To use lemongrass in marinades, stir-fries, salads, spice rubs, and curry pastes, trim the top and base of the stalks—you want to use only the bottom 4 inches or so. Then peel off any dry or tough outer layers before finely chopping or mincing. Lemongrass holds up to long cooking and gains intensity the longer it’s cooked. If you’d like a strong lemongrass flavor, add minced lemongrass at the start of cooking, browning it along with the other aromatics. For a lighter, fresher lemongrass flavor, add it near the end of cooking.
How to Store
To store, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two to three weeks, or freeze for up to six months.