It is lemon grass that gives the Thai curry its unique fresh lemon flavour. This woody and fragrant herb can also be used as a cocktail recipe for a couple of cups or as a basis for an ordinary exotic ice cream lemonade. The stems cannot be consumed because they are woody and robust, but they must be properly prepared to extract the maximum flavour and aroma from their essential oils.
How to use lemon sensorghum?
So let’s make it clear how lemon sorghum is well used in curries, soups and stews. We answer the most common questions about the use of citronella.
Lemongrass is used fresh or dry and is added to Thai dishes. Photo rental : Shutterstock
How to select and buy Lemon Sorghum
The fresh stems of lemongrass have a characteristic vegetal floral aroma. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh stems, make sure you buy stems that have a strong aroma. Choose stems that are hard, impeccable and relatively heavy when you hold them. Ideally, they are either white green or bright green. Stems that are brown, fluffy or easy to fly when held in the hand – no, they probably dry out and don’t add flavour to the dish.
Fresh lemon sorghum can be found in the food department of Asian shops or in most supermarkets. It is also easily accessible on the internet. Sometimes you can find dried stems in the freezer of the grocery store. Finally, you can also buy a dried version if you can’t find the fresh stems, but it doesn’t have the light, lemony aroma of fresh stems.
How to prepare lemon sorghum?
To make lemon sorghum, you need a sharp, serrated knife. Here is a step-by-step method for using lemon sorghum:
- You must first throw away the hard outer leaves of the lemon grass blades by cleaning them with your fingers.
- It’s the soft inside of the stem you want to use for cooking.
- You can use whole stems to flavor curry or soup and remove just before serving.
- Be sure to cut off the stems or tap on the sink to release the aromatic oils for food.
- You can also cut the tip of the onion and the bottom third of the stem into rings.
- Make a thin paste with old-fashioned mortar and dough or combine it with a kitchen. It will always be fibrous and must be cooked well in curry or soup to be edible.
Lemongrass leaves can be used in the same way as stems. Beat them into kilos by gently twisting or cutting them and cut them into handy pieces with kitchen scissors to dip into the tea. Make sure you filter the drink well, because the leaves are too fibrous to chew.
How can you cook with lemongrass?
Depending on the intended use, the stem of the lemon can be cut in two ways.
For soups, tea and cocktails.
First the hard parts of the stems have to be cut off. Grind the rest to release the aromatic essential oils from the grass. You can also cut the stems into pieces of one centimetre and add them to a soup or broth of your choice. Remove the stems before serving. You can try this fragrant tea with stems – How to make fresh tea from lemon sorghum.
For pastas and salads
For salads, the fibrous parts of the stems should be cut and a soft central part of 3 to 4 inches should be used. The longer it is cooked, the more the lemongrass releases its aroma. Add it at the beginning of a recipe with a rich lemon flavour. If you want a milder taste, add it a little later in the cooking phase to avoid the dominant taste of herbs.
You can keep the stems in the fridge for up to two weeks, but don’t forget to wrap them in wrapping paper. The silt grass also freezes very well. You can freeze whole stems for use when needed.