How to Cook Lemon Grass


Lemon grass is used as a flavoring herb for Asian cuisine, particularly for Thai and Vietnamese dishes. You can use fresh or freeze-dried lemon grass stalks whole to flavor stews, curries, stir-fries and other dishes, but most people remove the stalks before serving, just as you would with bay leaves. You can also grind lemon grass into a paste to make marinades and sauces. Lemon grass has a distinct lemony but sweet flavor and resembles spring onions. Be sure to wash the lemon grass before using it.

Step 1

Slice off the bottom tip of the lemon grass with a sharp knife. Peel off the tough, drier outer layers to expose the pale lower stem parts.

Step 2

Soften the woody top part of the lemon grass stem. Pound the top end with a wooden rolling pin.

Step 3

Prepare freeze-dried lemon grass in the same way as fresh lemon grass, but also remove the top part of the stalk. Cut off and use only the bottom 2 ½ to 3 inches of the lemon grass.

Step 4

Grind the lemon grass using a mortar and pestle, if you want to make a paste to add to marinades or stir-fry dishes. Grind the lemon grass thoroughly to eliminate any fibers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't buy fresh lemon grass that's bruised, that's dried out or feels too light. Select fresh lemon grass that feels firm and heavy in your hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon grass, fresh or freeze-dried
  • Sharp knife
  • Wooden rolling pin
  • Mortar and pestle (optional)


  • BBC Good Food: Lemon Grass
  • How Do You Cook with Lemon Grass?

Who Can Help

  • Gourmet Sleuth: Lemon Grass
Keywords: cook lemon grass, prepare lemon grass, eat lemongrass

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.