Peel the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass, about 2 to 4 layers. Cut off the dried leaves at the top (about 4 to 5 inches from the top) and the bottom (about 3/4 to 1 inch from the bottom). Slice the stalk of lemongrass into 3 sections. Using a mallet or the flat side of a tenderizer
, smash the lemongrass so that it splits open. This helps release the flavors. Set lemongrass aside.