|Lemongrass, also known as Thai Lemongrass, takrai, sera and bai mak nao, is a tropical grass that is native to Southeastern Asia. It’s now grown and harvested in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, West Africa and here in the US. Most of the commercial crops grown in this country are found in California and Florida. Our Lemongrass is grown in Guatemala.
As with most herbs your first choice, if possible, should always be using fresh but if you don’t live in a larger city with Asian markets or ethnic grocery stores, then dried lemongrass is at least a viable alternate option. Dried Lemongrass has a much longer shelve life than fresh and you’ll only need to use half as much dried for any recipe calling for fresh.
Used primarily in Indonesian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, this aromatic herb is also found in some Caribbean recipes and its popularity in this country has grown rapidly in the last 10 years.
Lemongrass’ flavor is a bit tart and light with lemon and pepper undertones. A key ingredient in many Asian dishes, in Thailand it is used in various recipes in the same manner that we use parsley. Combined with other spices and herbs, lemongrass flavors a variety of curries, soups, stews and stir fries. Some of the most popular recipes using Lemongrass are green prawn curry, nora pad (moo pork with bamboo shoots), pa no (grilled fish) and peanut sauce for satay. Dried lemongrass is most popular when used in tea.
Lemongrass goes well with beef, chicken, fish, pork, soups and most vegetables.
Works well in combination with basil, chili powder, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coconut milk galangal, garlic, ginger and turmeric.
If you’re in a pinch lime or lemon juice can be substituted for lemongrass, but you will not be able to fully replicate its particular qualities.
Some of our favorite Asian seasoning blends are Chinese Five Spice and Spicy Thai Seasoning.