Lemongrass is a vegetable stalk used in predominately in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand and Vietnam. I'm sure they also use it in Burma, Laos and Indonesian but these cuisines have not been accepted yet but slowly but surely they will make their cuisines noticed soon. . It has a mild lemony citrus flavor. It's usually used as an herb and flavoring in curries, soups, and curry pastes. It's also popular for tea.
Lemongrass can easily be found at almost any Asian grocery. When purchasing Lemongrass, the stalk should be firm and opaque in color at the root level.
To release the aromatic aroma and flavors, small it with flat side of a cleaver or heavy knife.
When stir frying, more of the aroma will be noticeable and any ingredient added will absorb the lemon grass flavor.
It can be used in soups, meat dishes and curries.
Lemongrass gives another dimension of flavor.
The most potent part of the Lemongrass is the bottom half of the stalk. In soups and cooking, you can chop off about a 1/4 of the top pf the stalk.. To prepare, cut the lemongrass at 1/2 inch pieces and smash to release oils.
(Now with technology advancing, they now have powdered lemongrass that all you have to do is sprinkle the powder in your stir fry).
With the hot weather approaching, Vietnamese food and barbequeing will make your life easier, tastier and simpler with challenging flavors!
By Chef Woo Can