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Author: Lisa Lin

How To Cook With Lemongrass

Curious about how to cook with lemongrass but have been intimidated by how to prepare it? Below is the ultimate how-to guide on how to pick and prepare lemongrass.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins

Ingredients

  • fresh lemongrass stalks

Instructions

  • Slice off about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the stalk. Then, slice off the top of the stalk to trim away the thin leaves. Although they retain some flavor, I find them to be too much of a hassle to deal with, so I toss them away.
  • Next, peel off 1 or 2 of the outer layers of the stalk. The amount of layers that you peel depends on the freshness of the lemongrass. If you are working with stalks that aren’t as fresh, you may need to peel off an extra layer or more. Since lemongrass is grown in the ground, there’s often dirt that’s clinging to the stalk. Rinse the lemongrass with water if you see visible dirt. 
  • Lemongrass Batons: If you’re making a soup or broth, slice the stalk into 3-inch sections. Then, bash each section with a kitchen mallet or meat tenderizer, until you see the stalk split open slightly. This technique releases the oils from the stalks. Most of my lemongrass recipes are soups or jook (congee/rice porridge), so this is my preferred method of preparing lemongrass.
  • Sliced Lemongrass: You can slice the stalk into thin rings. I’ve seen them sliced into 1/2-inch rings for soups in some Thai restaurants. If you want to use them for stir fries, you may want to slice them very thinly (almost paper thin) so that they’re easier to eat. Otherwise, the lemongrass will seem tough and fibrous.
  • Grated Lemongrass: If you want to infuse a sauce or marinade with lemongrass, I recommend grating the lemongrass with a microplane zester/grater. That way, the lemongrass will be easy to combine with the other ingredients and it’ll be easy to eat. Keep in mind that the preparation method used depends on the recipe. 

Video

Notes

Freezing Directions: Trim, rinse, and dry off the stalks of lemongrass. Slice them into 3-inch sections. Transfer them to a freezer bag and use within a few months. It's even better if you have a vacuum sealer to seal the bag to prevent freezer burn.
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