Lemongrass is a stalky plant with a lemony scent that grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes. Lemon juice (or lime) may be substituted for lemongrass in a pinch, but citrus fruits will not be able to fully replicate its particular qualities. The essential oil of Lemongrass is also used in soaps and cosmetics. It has an astringent and toning effect and leaves skin 'squeaky' clean with similar use as lemons. Lemongrass is also available in certain teas.
Lemongrass is a grass resembling a reed.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Lemongrass is not easily found as the grass alone. It is included in recipes at restaurants and in essential oils at health food stores. As with any grass, it is better the fresher it is. Look for grass with no wilting or spoiled spots. Oganic grasses have fewer pesticides. Essential oils can also be chosen as organic.
Conserving and Storing
Keep out of sunlight in a cool environment.