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How to Cut Lemongrass

Fresh lemongrass can be found in most Asian food and grocery stores. It is usually located with the other fresh produce, and is often sold in bundles of 2 or 3 stalks. Full stalks (usually about 12-14 inches long) are preferable to pre-cut pieces which don't seem to have as much flavor.

When buying fresh lemongrass: Look for stalks that are fragrant (yep - give it a sniff) , tightly formed, and of a lemony-green color on the lower stalk (near the bulb), then turning to a truer green at the end of the stalk.

Avoid purchasing stalks that are loose and coming apart as well as stalks that are brown and crusty or crumbling. These are old and probably not that fragrant or nutritious any longer.

Okay, let's cut it!
  1. Remove the knobby end of the stalk.
  2. Cut off the tough upper stem of the stalk.
  3. Bisect the remaining section.
  4. Remove tough outer leaves and find the tender inner flesh (If your thumbnail can easily pierce it, that's tender).
  5. Finely chop the inner tender portion and use in your dishes. The remaining stalks can also be added to soups and sauces but are too tough to eat and will need to be removed after cooking.

15 Comments:

Adriane Sanders
Does anyone have quick access to Cynthia's cookbook? I don't have access to mine right now and I'm trying to remember the ingredients for the hot tea recipe she suggests to help with a cold. I know it has ginger in it (the size of sick person's thumb), and perhaps hibiscus tea or fruit juice? It is at the bottom of a right-side page and she ends it with 'this is strong medicine'. My dad is sick and out of town and I'm trying to tell him what to pick up. Any quick responses would be awesome!
January 12, 2011, 9:31 am

Cynthia Lair
Adrianne, Cut ginger into slices. Place in 2cups of water. Simmer until you have 1 (very strong) cup of tea. Add honey to taste.
January 12, 2011, 9:46 am

Adriane Sanders
Thanks so much Cynthia! I didn't know I'd get the info straight from the author, pretty groovy. Love what you and your cooking cohorts do! :)
January 12, 2011, 10:30 am

Sarah Kingston
I once tried to make a satay sauce, and, knowing little about fresh lemongrass, chopped up the whole thing and put it in to simmer. It didn't really work, and I had to pick out all the pieces before the sauce could be served. So thanks for posting this! I really love the flavor and aroma of lemongrass, but haven't tried to cook with it in several years.
January 12, 2011, 11:19 am

Kath Dedon
I do know my way around the kitchen, but I've never known how to use lemongrass. This was so helpful, Cynthia. Thank you!
January 12, 2011, 11:28 am

Lorene Edwards Forkner
DARLING trailer!!!
January 12, 2011, 11:43 am

Claudia Fuller
Can't wait for the recipe for Tom Kai soup. Think that's what I read you're going to show how to do. I love Thai food am one of those who needed lesson on using lemon grass, too. Thanks so much for the fabulously informative and funny videos you all produce.
January 12, 2011, 11:48 am

Adriane Sanders
Thanks so much Cynthia! I didn't know I'd get the info straight from the author, pretty groovy. Love what you and your cooking cohorts do! :)
January 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

Cindy Gillick
So thats how its done! I just always took the lemongrass out when I served the soup. Love the videos! Thanks!
January 12, 2011, 4:50 pm

Cristina Kadonsky
Love ur videos
January 15, 2011, 9:58 am

trevor steve
I once tried to make a satay sauce, and, knowing little about fresh lemongrass, chopped up the whole thing and put it in to simmer. It didn't really work, and I had to pick out all the pieces before the sauce could be served with customized paper.
January 15, 2011, 10:26 am

Susan Burgess
Thank you for being YOU, Cookus Interruptus! I am fully laughing right out loud, and consistently, when I tune in to your wonderful site. That, on top of all the good food I see there, is a recipe for happiness. Bless yous guys.
January 19, 2011, 7:55 am

Nosa Nosa
brittanylane - I have a question for you. What kind of cmeara would you recommend for me? I want a DSLR, but I don't need a totally professional, outrageously expensive machine. I just need one to take really great still shots of my artwork, but also for blogging pictures of my kids. They are often indoors with poor lighting and lots of movement. I'm hoping to find something for under $1000. Also, you are an amazing mom and business woman. You totally inspire me.
March 16, 2012, 2:59 pm

Ahmed Ahmed
Hurray! I have an out of control lerongmass plant and am in dire need of something other than "chuck it in Thai food" to do with all that lerongmass. Thank you thank you thank you!Who'd have thought that lerongmass would do so well when neglected in the harsh Israeli sun...
June 8, 2012, 9:25 pm

Karen Kaliszewski
Does anyone know how to make pure lemongrass shots? Sleigh
September 25, 2014, 3:01 pm

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