Lemongrass Stalks

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Lemongrass Stalks

Lemongrass Stalks are the spice from lemongrass. Lemongrass stalks short 6 - 7 cm (1½ inch) long small cylinders, coloured a light green-yellow.

Lemongrass has a lightly sweet-lemony smell. Lemongrass stalks have a flavour that is clean and citrus-like with peppery notes, which combines well with the ginger-garlic mix that is the backbone of most Asian cuisines.

Lemongrass is especially good with fish and seafood, especially crab and scallops. Add the lemongrass to the stock for poaching or the sauce to accompany seafood.

Lemongrass stalks are a great way to add a Thai-style lemony freshness to your cooking and create an authentic feel to South East Asian cuisine. Lemongrass is a key seasoning ingredient for the foods of South East Asia, and is also used, but to a lesser extent, in India and China. In Thai cooking, lemongrass is used with stir-fried prawns or to flavour a salad, using the crushed bulb end and then finely sliced. In Sri Lanka, lemongrass is used in curries, combined with coconut milk.

To use: Cut big pieces of lemongrass and bruise for stocks or sauce, then remove these at the end of the cooking. Refresh the lemony flavour, by chopping some small slices from the bulb end and adding at the end of the cooking. If dry and hard, infuse in oil or milk to soften them before you use them. If you want to use lemongrass as an ingredient, remove the end and slice the rest in fine slices until it becomes too fibrous.

To store: Fresh lemongrass stalks can be kept refrigerated for 1 - 2 weeks. You can also freeze fresh lemongrass for a few months, but it loses its crunchiness.

For the herb, lemongrass.

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN: 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN: 9781465435989.