Botanical Name: Cymbopogon Citratus
Common Names: citronella grass, fever grass, silky heads, West Indian lemongrass
What parts of lemongrass are used?
The bottom four or five inches of the stalks are used after peeling off any tough outer layers.
How do you identify lemongrass and where is it grown?
Lemongrass is a woody plant that resembles other grasses with tightly-packed grayish-green leaves. The tell-tale lemon scent is what gives it away. This perennial herb can’t handle freezing temperatures and is therefore found in tropical environments such as Asia, India, Indonesia and parts of Australia. In colder climates, this aromatic herb is grown in gardens as an annual or planted in containers to take indoors to sunny rooms when temperatures begin to fall.
Importance in Asian Cuisine
If lemongrass had not been discovered years back, there’s a possibility that Thai and Vietnamese cuisine would not exist as we know it today. With its strong flavor and fragrance, it has become an integral part of Asian cooking. One can find this herb added lavishly to teas, soups, pot curries and stir-fries. Indian and Sri Lankan Cooking also utilizes this fragrant herb which can also have notes of ginger and mint. It is even finding its way into lemongrass-flavored cocktails. Furthermore, it can be applied directly to the skin and mixes with other oils and essences safely.
Lemongrass preparations are generally in culinary dishes, infused oils and teas, sometimes capsules. Another increasingly popular application is the essential oil of Lemongrass.
Lemongrass is generally prepared by cutting and adding one or two teaspoons to eight ounces of water, steeped ten minutes or less.
Usually Prepared With:
Lemongrass is often a delightful ingredient in culinary dishes, combined with peaches, pears, chilies, cucumber, cinnamon, coconut, honey and other spices such as ginger.
This refreshing herb is also generally combined with cardamom, cloves, fennel, ginger, hibiscus, lemon verbena, peppercorns and rosehips in tasty teas.