Lemongrass belongs to the grass family and resembles spring onions in having swollen bases but with woodier stalks. It is named lemongrass because of its lemony scent and flavor. It adds a refreshing aroma to various herbal drinks and teas. And if you also love its lemony aroma, you may have a question is lemongrass edible?
Because not all the herbs that smell great will also have great flavor. However, you will definitely notice lemongrass as a primary ingredient in Indian and Asian cuisines. So, what is the real fact behind this well-known herb?
Can you eat lemongrass raw? if yes, how can you prepare it and what are the health benefits of consuming this aromatic herb? This is what we are going to discuss here.
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Is Lemongrass Edible?
And the answer is yes. Lemongrass is edible and you can eat it in various ways. But keep in mind that not the whole stalk is edible, only the white base of the stalk is edible.
Lemongrass gives food a mild yet complex lemony flavor and scent that makes everyone excited. However, it also gives floral and herbal flavor to soups, curries, and sauces.
The upper part of the stalk is quite woodier, fibrous, and flavorless, so avoid using it.
Many people have never tasted or tried it, but if you are a fan of culinary herbs, curries and herbal soups, you must have lemongrass on hand.
Lemongrass is a great flavor enhancer so chefs use it in different food recipes to make the dish palatable and flavorful.
You can also prepare lemongrass at home but you must cook it enough to make it chewable and worth-eating.
Is Raw Lemongrass Edible?
You can eat lemongrass raw and enjoy its strong lemony flavor. But as you see above that the whole lemongrass stalk is not chewable, so always choose the lower part for raw eating.
Moreover, you must choose fresh lemongrass if you want to eat it uncooked. The fresher is the lemongrass, the less fibrous and tough it is. The older stalks get a thicker and woodier texture that is hard to consume raw.
And if you are comparing lemongrass with celery or spring onions, you are wrong because it is tougher and thicker to chew.
So, always choose fresh and young stalks and remove their upper thick parts because only the lower white parts are edible and flavorful.
However, adding this aromatic herb to food dishes is the best way of enjoying it rather than consuming it uncooked.
How To Prepare Lemongrass At Home?
Preparing lemongrass at home seems challenging but it’s really great fun to deal with it at home. Here is a complete guide about how can you prepare and cook lemongrass on your own.
The first and important step is the right selection of herb. Always try to buy fresh and younger shoots with tender leafy texture. Avoid buying damaged or soggy stalks with rotten spots.
After that, wash your lemongrass to remove dirt and sand particles. And the next step is cutting. Remove the upper woody parts of lemongrass and get only the edible whitish part of the stalks.
Now, bisect this lower part and remove one or two layers of outer thicker leaves and get inner tender flesh. Chop this flesh into small pieces and use it in your beloved recipe.
Although the upper parts are not good to consume raw but you can use them in several food recipes to get an extra lemony punch of flavor.
Lemongrass works great in savory sauces, soups, stews, and dips. In addition, its refreshing flavor also pairs well with fried chicken and meat recipes. Here are some appetizing ways of using lemongrass in food dishes.
Lemongrass In Curries And Soups
Since curries, soups, and sauces need simmering for a long time, so lemongrass cooks well and develop a pronounced flavor and aroma in these dishes.
Cooking makes herbal chunks softer and chewable and also releases aromatic oils making the dish deliciously exceptional.
In ancient times, large lemongrass chunks were used in recipes for bold and complex lemony flavor. In the end, the chunks were removed from the dish.
Lemongrass In Grilled Meat
Finely chopped lemongrass goes great in grilled chicken, beef, and mutton. Here are a couple of options you have.
Firstly, you can add lemongrass as an ingredient in the recipe. Secondly, you can prepare lemony sauce or paste and serve meat dishes with it. Both these ways work well and give your food a delicious twist.
However, if fresh lemongrass is not available right on your hand, dry lemongrass or powder also works the same way in savory treats.
Lemongrass Tea And Cocktails
Making tea and drinks is the best way of enjoying the floral aroma and flavor of lemongrass. For this purpose, you will need a few ingredients.
For preparing herbal tea, boil water and add lemongrass chunks to it. Boil it until you smell a nice aromatic scent. Besides using fresh, you can also add the dry powder of lemongrass to water to make flavorful tea.
The process is quite similar to ginger tea. It’s probably the healthiest tea rich in essential nutrients.
Prepare flavorful cocktail by adding lemongrass to wine and leave it for a few days.
Read Also: Can You Eat Raw Parsley?
How To Store Lemongrass?
You can store leftover lemongrass in the refrigerator or freezer to make it last longer and fresh. This way, you will always have this magical herb on hand.
Firstly, wash lemongrass properly and remove dirt or sand particles. After cutting lower stems, wrap them in brown paper and put them in the refrigerator.
For freezing, put the prepared lemongrass chunks in the freezer bag and seal them tightly. Then put it in the freezer.
Moreover, storing minced lemongrass in an ice cube tray is also great as you can directly use them in marinades, soups, and stews.
In the refrigerator, lemongrass lasts for 2 to 3 weeks but it can last for two or more months in the freezer.
The lower part of the lemongrass is edible with tender flesh and lemony flavor. The upper parts of stems are thicker and woodier to be chewed and consumed. You can also eat it raw or used as an ingredient in several food dishes.
For instance, it works well in marinades, soups, stews, sauces, and dips. Moreover, it also gives a nice flavor and aroma to drinks, cocktails, and teas. So, use this flavorful herb in your recipes and make them extra special and memorable.
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