Lemon Grass- عشبة الليمون


Lemon grass is a an oil which is used in perfumes and in cooking and smells like lemons.

Lemon grass features in Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan and Indian cooking and is widely used in savoury dishes and meat, poultry, seafood and vegetable curries. It harmonizes well with coconut milk, especially with chicken or seafood, and there are countless Thai and Sri Lankan recipes exploiting this combination. The stems are also used in teas or used in pickles and in flavouring marinades.


Other names: Hierba Luisa, Fever Grass, Cymbopogon, Barbed Wire Grass, Citronella Grass, Silky Heads, Lemongrass
Translations: レモングラス, Citrinžolė, ليمون غراس, Limun trava, Cộng sả, למון גראס, Лемон Грасс, 레몬 잔디, एक प्रकार का पौधा, Herba de llimona, Лемон Грасс, 柠檬草, Citrongräs, Лимун трава, Hierba de limón, Лимонова трева

Physical Description

Lemon grass is a long thick grass with leaves at the top and a solid portion several inches long at the root end.

Tasting Notes

Flavors: lemony with hints of ginger
Food complements: Poultry, Fish, And seafood
Wine complements: French chablis, American sémillon, White sancerre
Substitutes: Fresh lemon zest, Sereh powder, As well as lemon balm or lemon verbena.

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: Select fresh looking stalks that don't look dry or brittle.
Buying: Lemon grass is available in ethnic markets such as Asian and Mexican.
Procuring: Sow from late January to March on the surface of a good seed compost just covering the seed with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite. Germination takes 21-40 days at 20-25C (70-75F). Sealing in a polyethylene bag after sowing is helpful.

Preparation and Use

Lemon grass is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for poultry, fish, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African and Latin American countries.

As a spice, fresh lemon grass is preferred for its vibrant flavour, but is also sold in dried form. The dried spice is available in several forms: chopped in slices, cut and sifted, powdered, or as an oil can be extracted from the plant.

If using fresh lemon grass, use only the lower bulbous portion of the stem. It can be pounded and used whole or cut in slices. When using the ground powder (sereh) use one teaspoon as an equal to one stalk of fresh. It is advisable to soak dried sliced lemon grass for two hours before using.

Cleaning: The lower portion is sliced or pounded and used in cooking.

Conserving and Storing

When wrapped in a paper bag, lemon grass stems can last 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. The stems can also be frozen for several months. Always wrap and store separately, as lemon grass will impart its flavour to other foods.


History: Lemon grass is a perennial tufted grass with long, sharp-edged blades. It grows in dense clumps in tropical or subtropical climates. Propagation is by dividing the root clump. The plants last three to four years and are harvested every three to five months. It is grown throughout Southeast Asia, Southern India, Sri Lanka, Central Africa, Brazil, Guatemala, the US and the West Indies.



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