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