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Table of contents
What is Lemongrass
Lemongrass is an edible grass, a herb used very widely in Asian cuisine and is also known as:
- citronella grass
- barbed wire grass
- serai in Malay and countless other names in the various countries it’s used in.
It’s flavour? Citrusy, sweet and spicy and used just as commonly in savoury and as in sweet recipes.
How to Use Lemongrass
As the flavour is concentrated in the thicker bulb end, we only use the bottom half of the lemongrass stalk – whole, pounded or in thin slices.
Cut off a small piece at the bottom and remove any dried out or brown layers. Using the back of a knife, pound hard on the bulb to lightly smash it. This releases the essential oils and flavour.
Thinly sliced and Pounded
If pounding, slice thinly first as the fibrous layers will break down more easily that way. You can just as easily process a whole lot in a chopper, with a little water, to get a paste.
Recipes using Lemongrass
I love adding a couple of bruised stalks to vodka and giving them to friends as Christmas gifts; it is also great in custards and panna cotta.
Other Uses for Lemongrass
Essential oil of lemongrass is used as a natural pesticide, a preservative and is also widely utilised in the perfume industry.
Given its uplifting properties, it is highly popular with aromatherapists and is also used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.
- Chopping board
- 1-2 stalks lemongrass as needed in the recipe
To chop or pound
- Thinly slice the bottom half of the lemongrass and place in a chopper or pound with a pestle and mortar.If using raw, chop finely before adding to your recipe.
To use whole (bruised lemongrass)
- Cut the lemongrass in half, and discard the top thinner half.
- Place on a chopping board, and pound the bulbous end with the back of a knife.