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Lemon grass - Sathyam Supermarket

Lemon grass

Sathyam Supermarket
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For every 100g you get around 4-5 stalks of lemongrass.

How to use: Until the stalk has been crushed, the fragrance of lemongrass is actually quite mild. This lemony smell is distinctive in a lot of South East Asian cooking. To use fresh lemongrass, peel away and discard the outer fibrous layer before using. If you are to eat it raw, make sure the outer layers of the bulb are peeled until the pink ring inside appears. The bulb can then be finely sliced before being added to any dishes. To release the flavours, the stalks are usually crushed or pounded using a pestle and mortar.

Origins: Lemon grass can be used in all types of cuisine, so it isn’t specific to just Thai or Asian food. Also known as citronella or sereh, tall lemon grass grows in clumps. Each clump contains about six to eight stalks. The leaves are narrow and sharp, with a central rib. They grow easily in temperate or warm climate with little need for much water. It grows quickly in a variety of soils and multiplies rapidly though it’s bulbs and leaves. They resemble fat spring onions, but the stalk is a more woody texture. Fresh lemongrass stalks will be firm and heavy and show no signs of bruising. If it’s a light, there is a chance the lemon grass could be a little dried out. They are used to flavour Thai curries and hot-sour Thai soups and are also an essential ingredient of Thai curry pastes.

Storing: Lemon grass can be stored in the freezer and keeps well. You can even chop and pound it before storing it in your freezer. Just remember than only the bottom 3-4 inches of the lemongrass is actually edible. The remainder should either be discarded, or used to make stock. It will keep for up to a month in the freezer if wrapped well. Make sure you thaw it out well before using, after it has come out of the freezer.

Health benefits: There is some health benefits associated with using lemon grass. If it is used in conjunction with some other Thai spices such as Thai garlic, Thai red chillies and Thai coriander. Tom Yum soup which uses such a combination is renowned for its flu and cold curing abilities.

Tip: Stalks of lemon grass, trimmed to a length of about 7inches make an excellent skewer for Satay.