How to Use Lemon Grass in Cooking

Overview

Perk up your favorite recipes with the addition of the citrusy flavor of lemon grass. Common in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, lemon grass is still regarded as an exotic herb in western kitchens. As it is a perennial, you can continue to harvest lemon grass from your garden annually after a single planting, which gives you a lifelong supply of this herb for your kitchen. Anytime you need an exotic, lemony flavor without the acidic tang of lemon juice, opt for lemon grass by using the inner portion of the stalk.

Step 1

Cut off the root and the top 2/3 of the stalk, leaving the bottom 4 to 6 inches of stalk.

Step 2

Pull the exterior leaves from around the core of the lemon grass.

Step 3

Finely chop or thinly slice the inner portion for adding to curries, soups and sauces.

Step 4

Flavor liquids with trimmed lemongrass stalks left whole. Add it to liquid used for steaming fish, seafood or chicken or placed whole in soups and remove before serving.

Step 5

Add lemongrass to recipes using coconut milk, fish, seafood, chicken, cardamom, tomato, chiles, cilantro, holy basil, tamarind and Thai curry paste.

References

  • Gourmet Sleuth: Lemon Grass
  • "High Flavor, Low Fat Vegetarian Cooking"; Steve Raichlen; 1995
  • Chow: Lemongrass

Who Can Help

  • Allrecipes: Lemon Grass Recipes
Keywords: cook lemon grass, exotic herb, thai food

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.