You have heard of name “lemongrass”, haven’t you?
So, what is the lemongrass? Is Lemongrass same as a Lemon? The answer is definitely No! It is a completely different species from the lemon. Well, why do we call it the lemongrass? The reason is simple, because it contains citral a major flavor component of lemon. the plant has the fresh fragrance of the lemon. This flavor is used in a variety of dishes. For example, teas, soups and curries, especially, it is essential to make Asian food and Caribbean food. The plant is used not only in food, but also aromatherapy and the production of citronella oil to get rid of insects. Lemongrass has a high utility value so, in this article, I will try to explore the secrets of this plant that have benefits to your lives!
What is the lemongrass?
Lemongrass is the common name for the plant Cymbopogon citratus in the Poaceae family, a tall perennial grass that can reach a height of 2m, and looks like Miscanthus sinensis (Japanese pampas grass) but has fragrant leaves and stalks. It grows in tropical or subtropical climates, and is native to India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. In India it is used in Ayurveda which is traditional system of medicine.
Although lemon grass is a familiar plant in the form of small trimmed stems or dried fragments, many people do not know the appearance of whole lemongrass which is such a huge plant and is not sold whole in stores. Most of the dry lemon grass (picture 1) being sold in shops has been cut thinly. Only the stem and leaf bases are sold fresh. In addition, the part of the stem that looks like a spring onion is very hard, can you imagine?
How can it involved in our lives?
Lemon grass is said to be energising, to refresh the concentration and to promote digestion. It is also reputed to have bactericidal action and help cure athlete’s foot and acne.
As using the lemongrass in a Spicy food, such as Asian dishes and Caribbean dishes, it works putting the scent or smelling off. Especially it is grate with chicken, fish and seafood. Basically, you cannot not eat itself.
Lemon grass with action to promote the digestion is perfect herbal tea after a meal.
This time, I made one of the world’s three major soups, Tom Yum Goong which is Thai food, and lemon grass tea.
So, I would like to introduce the recipe.
How to make Lemongrass Soup (Tom yum kung!)
Firstly, I tell you the ingredients that you should prepare.
Please refer to the following.
・2 Large Prawns
・120g Bamboo shoot
・80g Peeled Onion
・2 teaspoons Red peppers
・8g Sergia lucens (small prawns)
・16g Grated garlic
・16g Grated ginger
・2 tablespoons fish sauce
・2 teaspoons Chicken stock cube
・3 Lemon grass shoots
Let’s start cooking!
① Chop each ingredient (make sure coarse ingredients such as ginger and lemongrass are chopped very fine)
② Heat the oil in a frying pan. When just cooked, remove the prawns.
③ Add the oil and (A), and fry until nicely browned and cooked through.
④ Add (B), mix together and cook. Then add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
⑤Finally, add (C) and boil until it is properly cooked. Then dish out into a bowl and top it with the broiled prawns.
Now, I hope that you have been more and more fascinated by the power of lemon grass! Why don’t you try lemongrass?
Anon. Cymbopogon. Wikipedia (accessed 6th February 2015)
Anon. Lemon Grass. PlantVillage 2.0 (accessed 6th February 2015)
Sigma Aldrich. Lemongrass. Plant Profiler (accessed 6th February 2015)