Learn About Lemon Grass

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is an herb originating from Africa, Asia, and Australia.  It can come in three forms: fresh, dried, or powdered.  Fresh lemongrass stalks feel firm with green leaves, yellow stalks, and white bulbs at the bottom of the stalk.  The stalks should smell fresh and lemony.  Dried lemongrass feels crunchy and looks like thin, brownish tubes.  Powdered lemongrass is a brownish-green powder.

What Does Lemongrass Taste Like?

Lemongrass tastes fresh, lemony, and light.

Learn About Lemongrass
Fresh lemongrass stalks on a wooden table.

How Do You Eat Lemongrass?

Depending on the recipe, people remove fresh lemongrass stalks before serving food.  Many recipes call for bruised lemongrass to release its flavor.  To bruise fresh lemongrass, take the flat side of a knife and crush fresh stalks, similarly to how you peel a clove of garlic.  Common ways to use lemongrass include chicken dishes, curries, soups, and tea.  Coconut milk and lemongrass pair well together.  Lemongrass adds flavor to sauces, dressings, and marinades.

Where Can You Buy Lemongrass?

Look for fresh lemongrass in the produce section of a well-stocked grocery store.  International grocery stores or Asian food stores may also carry fresh lemongrass.  Find dried and powdered lemongrass in the spice aisle or the international food aisle of a well-stocked grocery store.

How Do You Store Lemongrass?

Loosely wrap fresh lemongrass in plastic and store it in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.  Store dried and powdered lemongrass in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

Fun Facts About Lemongrass

You can grow lemongrass at home.  Home improvement stores usually carry potted lemongrass plants for indoor or outdoor purposes.  Different cultures have used lemongrass for a variety of medical treatments.

Did You Know?

Some people use lemongrass essential oil to attract bees to their yards.  Beekeepers use lemongrass essential oil when tending to their honeybees.

Recipes Using Lemongrass

Lemongrass Tea

Use fresh or dried lemongrass to create a refreshing hot tea. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour water into a cup with fresh or dried lemongrass and allow the tea to steep. Remove the lemongrass from the cup and serve. For sweetness, add in a drizzle of honey.

Rice Pudding

Make a few changes to a classic rice pudding recipe with lemongrass. Use cooked and drained white rice as a base. In a saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, powdered lemon grass, brown sugar, and vanilla. Cook for about 20 minutes and serve.

Lemongrass Marinade

Use this marinade to jazz up your next chicken dinner. In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, chopped fresh lemongrass, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Allow chicken to marinate overnight for maximum flavor.

Lemongrass Soup

Incorporate lemongrass into your next creamy soup recipe. Add chopped fresh or dried lemongrass to butternut squash soup, sweet potato soup, or carrot soup for extra flavor.

Spice Mix

Make a seasoning blend to keep on hand. Combine dried lemongrass, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and cumin in a spice jar. Use on chicken dishes for an extra depth of flavor.


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