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View Full Version : How do I choose lemongrass?



lisas3575
01-25-2002, 09:37 PM
I've never bought it before and I have a couple of recipes I want to try that call for it. I located a market here that carries it (amazing), but I don't know how to select the best stalks(?).... what do I look for? I'm afraid the stuff will have been sitting around for ages.

Ralph
01-26-2002, 06:22 AM
Did a little search on Google and found the following at http://www.sallys-place.com/food/columns/gilbert/lemon_grass.htm :

"Be sure to buy ones that have plump bases and long, blade-like green leaves: these will be the freshest ones. When using it fresh, strip off the tough outer leaves and cut off the bottom root portion. Slice the bulbous end into rings about 1/4" in size on a diagonal. Cut into longer strips if you are not going to strain your dish so you can remove these course pieces before serving. Bruise the pieces before adding to release the flavors. Lemon grass freezes well which is a good thing, since it is usually sold in large bundles, far more than I can use at once. It can be stored whole in the refrigerator in plastic for up to two weeks"

lisas3575
01-26-2002, 09:51 AM
Ralph to the rescue again! :D

So how do you "bruise" lemongrass? Should I send it out for a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson? :confused:

Wendy w
01-26-2002, 10:04 AM
I love lemongrass and have a plant out in the yard but it is definitely not in the state that Ralph suggests. Lisa, would you be so kind as to post some of your recipes when you have a chance? I'm always looking for new ones.

Thanks!:)

lisas3575
01-26-2002, 12:41 PM
One is the steamed fish recipe from Jan., the other is my favorite soup. I haven't tried making it at home but I always get it when I go out for Thai.

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *

Tom Kha Gai

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 2 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Soups Asian

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
16 fluid ounces soup broth (chicken stock)
4 kaffir lime leaves -- shredded (4 to 5)
1 piece lemon grass -- (2 inch) bruised to
-- release flavor
1 cube galangal sliced thinly. -- (1 inch)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 oz chicken breast -- cut in 1" cubes
5 fluid ounces coconut milk
1 small red Thai chile peppers -- slightly crushed
(to taste)
coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish.

Heat the stock, add the lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, and add the chicken and coconut milk. Bring back to the boil, lower the heat to keep it simmering and cook for about 2 minutes (until the chicken is cooked through).



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Per serving (excluding unknown items): 324 Calories; 27g Fat (71% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 33mg Cholesterol; 41mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Fruit; 4 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Note the number of red peppers is a personal choice. It can be as few as half a chilli per diner, to as many as 8-10 per diner, but the dish should retain a balance of flavors and not be overwhelmend by the chili peppers. We suggest about 8-12 chili peppers for this recipe.

_____

* Exported from MasterCook Mac *

Steamed Fish with Ginger-Wine Sauce

Recipe By : Cooking Light Magazine. Jan/Feb 2002. Page: 152
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Fish

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) -- or sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh lemon grass
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped hot red chile pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 6 oz. trout fillets
1/4 cup red bell pepper -- cut into 1/8-inch
-- strips
6 cilantro sprigs

1. Combine first 11 ingredients in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Marinate fish in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Bake fish mixture (including marinade) at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Garnish with bell pepper and cilantro. Yield: 8 servings.


Cooking Light Nutritional Information: Calories 113 (37% from fat), Fat 4.6g (0.8g sat), Fiber 0.4g

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Per serving (excluding unknown items): 150 Calories; 7g Fat (41% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 47mg Cholesterol; 178mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat

NOTES : "Fish is traditionally the last entree served before dessert. The Chinese word for fish, `yu,' sounds the same as a word that means `plenty' or `more than enough. ' Leaving some of the fish at the end of the meal is a wish for the family's prosperity in the new year. Imagine my surprise when I hosted my first New Year's party in America and my guests ate up all my prosperity! I tried to fix this by cooking larger and larger
fish but finally realized that wouldn't work. Now I just cook an extra fish and hide it in the basement." --YCC

_____

JHolcomb
01-28-2002, 11:25 AM
Hey Lisa-
It's probably too late for this now, but to bruise lemongrass I just give it a whack with the flat side of a knife or a cleaver (like crushing garlic). And wouldn't Tyson be more likely to bite the lemongrass anyway?

Molli526
01-28-2002, 11:30 AM
I have never seen lemon grass around these parts. Would using the dried from Penzey's work just as well?

Terrytx
01-28-2002, 11:32 AM
I have lemon grass in my back yard also. It sarted out a couple of years ago about like that picture that is at the sight Ralph posted. We have had to cut it back and give away, or destroy piles and piles. This stuff grows like a weed. Thanks for the new recipe Lisa. I am always on the lookout for recipes to use more of it.

lhall
01-28-2002, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Molli526
I have never seen lemon grass around these parts. Would using the dried from Penzey's work just as well?

I used dried last night for the Steamed Fish with Ginger Wine Sauce. I even went to Harry's and no luck, all out of lemon grass. All I could find was a bottle of McCormick Gormet Collection (read $$$) which was dried. I just used 1/3 less like I normally do when substituting dried for fresh herbs.

Fish was good.

Leigh

Molli526
01-28-2002, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by lhall


I used dried last night for the Steamed Fish with Ginger Wine Sauce.
Fish was good.

Leigh

Oh Good! Penzey's to the rescue!

Beth
01-28-2002, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by Terrytx
I have lemon grass in my back yard also. It sarted out a couple of years ago about like that picture that is at the sight Ralph posted. We have had to cut it back and give away, or destroy piles and piles. This stuff grows like a weed.

Terry, I had some in my garden, but it froze last winter and I wasn't able to find more last spring. Has yours ever frozen? Are you on the south side -- closer to the Gulf? I had thought it would come back in the spring. Or do you think the ground got colder in the raised box I have my herbs in? Maybe I can find some again this year and plant it at true soil level.

In the meantime, I picked up a container of frozen chopped lemongrass at the Hong Kong market. $1.29 and it will probably last at least long enough to get some growing again.

Terrytx
01-29-2002, 09:59 AM
Beth, I live on the west side, near Katy. Mine has never frozen all the way. The green has frozen and turned brown and all, but it always comes back in full force!

Terrytx
01-29-2002, 10:01 AM
By the way Beth, where is the Hong Kong market?

Beth
01-29-2002, 10:57 PM
The Hong Kong Market I have gone to is on Veteran's Memorial just south of 1960. You could reach it by taking 8 to Veteran's Memorial (Stuebner Airline). They have great produce (I got a case of Asian Apple Pears and more -- produce was most of what I bought this time). There are also a lot of oriental markets to the east and south of downtown, but I haven't been over there since before I moved to California and back (10 yrs).