VIDEO: WATCH HOW TO PREPARE LEMONGRASS
Written by Lisa Lin & Diann Leo-Omine. Photos & Video by Lisa Lin .
While I didn ’ t grow up using lemongrass, it ’ s an component that I ’ ve grown to love after becoming more familiar with vietnamese and Thai cuisine. once I learned how to cook with lemongrass, I started adding it to soups and curries. Though elusive, the citrusy, herbaceous notes of lemongrass brighten the flavors of a dish.
Reading: How To Cook With Lemongrass
WHAT IS LEMONGRASS?
Lemongrass is a fibrous stalk with light citrusy relish. Although I discovered lemongrass through vietnamese and Thai cuisine, it is besides used in other Southeast Asian and South asian cook ( malaysian, indian, and so forth ). Lemongrass is normally grown in the footing, with most of the haunt buried underneath the soil and long thin leaves shooting up from the top. By the time the lemongrass stalks reach our farmers markets or grocery store stores, these retentive leaves are much trimmed. What ’ second left are lemongrass stalks that are over a metrical foot retentive with a few inches of flimsy leaves at the top ( see photograph above ) .
You can use lemongrass to flavor broths, marinades, or use it to make curry pastes. If you ’ ve never cooked with lemongrass, it might be intimidating because the stalks of lemongrass are dense and firm. I surely was intimidated. Over time, you ’ ll get a feel for which parts of the lemongrass to use. The following are tips on how to cook with lemongrass .
HOW TO PICK LEMONGRASS
The best put to get fresh lemongrass stalks will be at the farmers market. I ’ megabyte fortunate that the asian farmers market in Sacramento has many vendors that sell fresh lemongrass that are bundled up with 7 to 10 stalks per bunch. The stalks are normally park and plump with leaves that haven ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate wilted .
once in a blue moon, I ’ ll see stalks of lemongrass with leaves that haven ’ thyroxine been trimmed so far ( see photograph above ). The thin leaves can be about 2 feet long !
You can besides find lemongrass in the refrigerate sections of asian supermarkets or your grocery store store ’ randomness refrigerated produce part, close up to the ginger root and asian vegetables. Try to find stalks that are light green. The top of the stalks should be park angstrom well, not slender and woody. They shouldn ’ metric ton be scandalmongering or brown university because that ’ s a bless that they have been sitting there for a while .
Of run, if you don ’ t have much of a choice at the grocery store, blue-ribbon stalks that still look relatively fatten. You can constantly peel off the dry knocked out layers and use the core of the stalk for cook .
HOW TO COOK WITH LEMONGRASS
When I first used lemongrass for a recipe, I was perplexed by the directions telling me that I should peel off “ respective ” layers and use the “ tender core ” of the stalk. I thought that mean peeling away 4 or 5 layers of the stalk to get to the soft, bendable center of the lemongrass stalk. It didn ’ t make much sense to me as I was wasting so much of the stalk. As I cooked with lemongrass more, I realized that peeling all those layers wasn ’ thymine necessary .
foremost, slice off about ½ inch from the buttocks of the stalk. It ’ mho much the part of the lemongrass that is browning or drying out anyhow. The lemongrass leaves will besides be easier to peel off. then, slice off the top of the stalk to trim away the reduce leaves. Although they retain some season, I find them to be besides much of a harass to deal with, so I toss them away. however, Andrea Nguyen has a recipe for how to use the lemongrass leaves to make tea .
By the way, I besides like Andrea’s tip about honing your knives with a honing steel after chopping lemongrass. Because lemongrass is quite tough, your knives may dull as you slice through the stalks .
Afterwards, peel off 1 or 2 of the out layers of the stalk. The amount of layers that you peel depends on the freshness of the lemongrass. For the lemongrass that you see in the top of the post, I normally peel off 2 layers. If you are working with stalks that aren ’ triiodothyronine as fresh, you may need to peel off an extra layer or more. Since lemongrass is grown in the ground, there ’ s frequently dirt that ’ s clinging to the chaff. Rinse the lemongrass with water system if you see visible scandal .
If you ’ re making a soup or broth, slice the haunt into 3-inch sections. then, bash each section with a kitchen mallet or kernel tenderizer, until you see the stalk split unfold slenderly. This technique releases the oils from the stalks. Most of my lemongrass recipes are soups or jook (congee/rice porridge), so this is my favored method acting of preparing lemongrass .
alternatively, you can slice the stalk into rings. I ’ ve seen them sliced into 1/2-inch rings for soups in some Thai restaurants. If you want to use them for stir fries, you may want to slice them very thinly ( about newspaper flimsy ) so that they ’ rhenium easier to eat. Otherwise, the lemongrass will seem ruffianly and fibrous .
If you want to infuse a sauce or marinade with lemongrass, I recommend grating the lemongrass with a microplane zester/grater. That manner, the lemongrass will be easy to combine with the other ingredients and it ’ ll be easy to eat. Keep in take care that the readiness method acting used depends on the recipe .
If you can ’ thyroxine find lemongrass stalks at all, you can use lemongrass paste, like the one made by Gourmet Gardens. The paste normally comes in a tube and is sold in the refrigerate herb section. The season of the paste is very good, but note that it is not vegan ( it contains whey ) .
Lemongrass will start to go bad in the electric refrigerator after a few weeks. To store for a longer time, freeze the lemongrass. Trim, gargle, and dry off the stalks of lemongrass. Slice them into 3-inch sections. Transfer them to a deep-freeze bag and use within a few months. It ’ second even better if you have a void sealant to seal the bag to prevent deep-freeze burn .
RECIPES USING LEMONGRASS
SOUPS & CURRIES
How To Cook With Lemongrass
Curious about how to cook with lemongrass but have been intimidated by how to prepare it? Below is the ultimate how-to guide on how to pick and prepare lemongrass.
- OXO Stainless Steel Tenderizer
- Microplane Zester Grater
- fresh lemongrass stalks
- Slice off about 1/2 inch from the bed of the stalk. then, slice off the peak of the stalk to trim away the thin leaves. Although they retain some relish, I find them to be besides much of a harass to deal with, so I toss them away .
- following, peel off 1 or 2 of the knocked out layers of the stalk. The amount of layers that you peel depends on the freshness of the lemongrass. If you are working with stalks that aren ’ triiodothyronine as fresh, you may need to peel off an extra level or more. Since lemongrass is grown in the ground, there ’ s much dirt that ’ s clinging to the haunt. Rinse the lemongrass with water if you see visible dirt .
- Lemongrass Batons : If you ’ re making a soup or broth, slice the stalk into 3-inch sections. then, bash each department with a kitchen mallet or meat tenderizer, until you see the stalk split open slenderly. This proficiency releases the oils from the stalks. Most of my lemongrass recipes are soups or congee ( congee/rice porridge ), so this is my prefer method acting of preparing lemongrass .
- Sliced Lemongrass : You can slice the stalk into thin rings. I ’ ve seen them sliced into 1/2-inch rings for soups in some Thai restaurants. If you want to use them for arouse fries, you may want to slice them very thinly ( about paper thinly ) so that they ’ ra easier to eat. Otherwise, the lemongrass will seem sturdy and hempen .
- Grated Lemongrass: If you want to infuse a sauce or marinade with lemongrass, I recommend grating the lemongrass with a : If you want to infuse a sauce or marinade with lemongrass, I recommend grating the lemongrass with a microplane zester/grater. That way, the lemongrass will be easy to combine with the other ingredients and it ’ ll be easily to eat. Keep in thinker that the preparation method acting used depends on the recipe .
Freezing Directions: Trim, rinse, and dry off the stalks of lemongrass. Slice them into 3-inch sections. Transfer them to a freezer bag and use within a few months. It’s even better if you have a vacuum sealer to seal the bag to prevent freezer burn.
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