When we talk about lemongrass, most of us would visualize thin strip of
grass. The above given image of lemongrass shows something very
different in terms. Lemongrass, which is also called Thai lemongrass (in
Thailand), is more like to be a stem or stalk. These pieces of grasses are
used in variety of dishes; the upper portions of lemongrass are usually
boiled in soups. Fresh food marts mainly sell lemongrass in lengths of
around 7 inches, or 30cm. The true origins of lemongrass can be found in
China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The so called lemon (citrus)
aroma of the lemongrass has really impressed cooks all over the world.
These Days, powdered lemongrass, fresh lemongrass stalks and dried
lemongrass are options available to use in food items. To get the real
best flavour of lemongrass is to use fresh lemongrass. In cooking, you
can use the other options only if you can’t find fresh lemongrass pieces.
The appropriate Thai word for lemongrass is takraai.
The Aromatic History of Lemongrass
If you look at the intensive popularity of lemongrass in North America and
Europe, it is really hard to believe that the true origin of lemongrass is in
South East Asia. This lemon flavoured grass is cultivated / grown on a
commercial scale in China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. A common
piece of lemongrass would be around 7 to 8 inches long with a little bulge
towards the end. Lemongrass may look slight like a fat spring onion, but
the aroma is emphatically different. The true colour of lemongrass is pale
green with, little brownish or pinkish in parts. To achieve the true aroma of
lemongrass, you should cut the stem. This releases the distinct citrus
aroma that are bond in grass which is about to stimulate your taste buds.
It is this same lemon aroma and flavour that provides lemongrass it’s
name. Mentioning flavor and the taste of lemongrass, it could be said as
a concentrated lemon flavour. You will also feel a light ginger flavour when
tasting the lemongrass.
Also Read: Thai Food and its Health Benefits !!
Lip Smacking Dishes with Lemongrass
Many South-East Asian food items use lemongrass. In Thailand, ‘takraai’
which is the real local name for lemongrass, is widely used in various
soups, salads, stir fried dishes etc. Lemongrass is usually pickled and
eaten along with rice items. The easily availability of lemongrass in
Thailand, has mad-e it an important ingredient in Thai dishes. Another
interesting feature of Thai cooking is the hot cooking oil used with pieces
of lemongrass, galangal and ginger. This creates a outstanding aroma in
the kitchen, If Once you have tried it, then you will agree with the
previous statement. The ‘oil flavour’ is done by the oil is heated and
before, the main ingredients are placed into the heated oil pan.
There are multiple ways in which lemongrass is being used in the cooking
process. Before you start any of the processes, remember to cut down the
base of the lemongrass. Check the lemongrass image shown above, as
shown in it, cut it around 1cm from the base. The remaining part of the
lemongrass is what we need to cook food items. The stalk of the lemongrass
is the upper portion above the bulbous base. This portion is lightly
crushed with a wooden grinding pestle and boiled in stews, soups and
other dishes. This process of slow cooking eventually releases the
tempting aromatic flavour of the lemongrass. Once you finish the process
called cooking, you can take it off the stem or stalk pieces. If you have a
thai salad recipe or a thai fried fish recipe, you could use the bulging
portion. This is actually the lower part of the lemongrass, note that you
have already cut the base away times ago. If you have not done it in the
earlier time, just cut off around 1cm from the root of the lemongrass, and
we will not be using this piece that we cut out. You can use remaining 5cm
which is about 2 inches, either slice it in round shape or chop it well into
small pieces. These chopped or sliced pieces of lemongrass can be used in
making of your stir fried dishes, soups or salad. Numerous Thai food
restaurants use this method to cook lemongrass added dishes.
More News on Lemongrass
Fresh lemongrass is available mostly across the globe. Both Powdered
lemongrass & Dry lemongrass can be used instead of fresh lemongrass
according to the availability. You can go either one of the options only if
fresh lemongrass is not available with you. A decent teaspoon of
powdered lemongrass is equivalent to a stem of fresh lemongrass. You
will also find packets or containers of ‘lemongrass paste’, in the market
around your place as it is a common item. This lemongrass paste is wet
and do retain a good degree of flavor, taste and aroma to a good time.
Better follow the instructions on the package or container to store your
lemongrass paste in your store. Usually some people suggest using lemon
instead of lemongrass. Unfortunately, Lemon does not contain that so
called punch and power of fresh lemongrass. If you are one of those
persons who usually suffer from acidity after consuming lemon, there is
good news for you. Lemongrass will provide you the alluring aroma of
lemon without any acidity as side factor. While storing out lemongrass,
place some in a small paper bag and place it in the vegetable
compartment of the refrigerator better avoid placing it in the freezer.
Lemongrass will retain its taste and aroma for around 2 to 3 weeks
according to the quality of the grass you have.
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