Do you love lemongrass in your tea ? Then you may just want to know if lemongrass is edible as well. After all, not everything that smells great will also taste great.
Still, lemongrass is such a common ingredient in Asian cuisine you can’t help but wonder about it. Today we’ll be seeing if it can be eaten, and how.
Is lemongrass edible?
Yes, lemongrass is edible, but you must be careful. Only the lower, white part is edible and it must be finely cut and very well cooked.
If you enjoy lemon sauce and culinary herbs, then lemongrass is always in your kitchen. Some people have never tested it because it is not widely known.
In fact, you may have enjoyed lemongrass sauce as part of the crispy wings or that wonderful buffet without knowing. Some restaurants use it as secret ingredient. Still, some people that have never tried it, and that’s a shame.
The secret to eating lemongrass is to know how to cut it. Chopping up lemongrass gives you the right section in the right sizes for sauce, for frying, or for making soup.
Fresh lemongrass is the best
If you’re looking to add flavor to your food, know that you need fresh lemongrass. Lemongrass on its own is very fibrous, and the older it gets the thicker and woodier it gets.
It’s not as touch as cinnamon, but it’s definitely tougher than celery or even leek. Most folks simply leave their lemongrass in large chunks, and remove them after cooking.
So, if you want to add lemongrass to your food, get the youngest shoots and chop it very finely, only the white part.
Once you’ve understood the effect that it adds to your food, you will be able to go far and beyond with this ingredient. So let’s see how to prepare your lemongrass.
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Preparing lemongrass at home
You may be curious to try lemongrass at home, in a dish made by you. The following guide will tell you how to prepare lemongrass at home, and what you should know when cutting it.
Select fresh lemongrass from the grocery. You should focus on the shoot or stem, which should not be damaged or rotten, but the leaves should also be dark green.
The bottom part of the stem is whitish in color. It is the edible section of lemongrass.
If you are not going to use all the lemongrass right away, trim off the hanging leaves to leave the green part and the entire lower part of the stem. You can store this in a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Wash your lemongrass in running water, you may find dirt or sand like you would in leeks.
For the lemongrass that you want to add to food, chop off the greenish part of the stem, so you’re only left with the white part. The green is good and flavorful as well, but it can’t be eaten.
Alright, you now have the edible part of the lemongrass. Most people don’t eat it directly but it is still okay if you want to test it. The best way to consume lemongrass is to use it as an ingredient, cooked in your food.
It’s great for lemongrass tea, adding flavor to a sauce, soups, or as an ingredient for fried chicken, beef, coconut curry, or marinade. Let’s see some of the best methods for using it as an ingredient.
Making you own lemongrass tea
When it comes to tea, never miss out on lemon. Regular lemon is great for most people and many people know how great it is for tea. However, lemon fruit is sourer compared to lemongrass.
The advantage of lemongrass for tea is that it adds flavor and fragrance without the sharp taste. Preparing it is very easy. All you need is water, the lemongrass stems that we prepared earlier, and something to bring water to a boil.
Get the trimmed lemongrass stems, wash them in running water. You will need at least one full tablespoon of lemongrass for a strong cup.
Bring water to a boil, then add the cut lemongrass. Turn the heat off, cover the hot water and let sit for at least 3 minutes. The process is very similar to making fresh ginger tea.
The longer you let the tea sit, the stronger it will be, assuming you’ve put enough lemongrass.
Once the three minutes (or more) are done, strain the tea to leave the lemongrass behind. And you’re done !
You now understand how to prepare lemongrass tea. It is a healthy drink with many beneficial effects on your body. As a source of magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and other nutrients, lemongrass will boost your nervous and immune systems.
Lemongrass Sauce and Soup
You can also eat lemongrass by preparing a sauce that you may add to food and improve its taste. You will need the following ingredients:
- A cup of water
- Chopped lemongrass
- Coriander leaves
- Lime juice
- One fresh ginger
- A half-cup of vinegar
- One fresh chili
- One teaspoon of salt
- Two teaspoons of sugar
Crush the lemongrass with coriander leaves and ginger in a mortar using a pestle, or you may use a garlic masher. You can add one quarter to one whole chili depending on your preferences.
You now have the first mix that we will use to make the source. Scoop out the mixture of crushed lemongrass, coriander, and ginger and place it in a clean bowl.
Add a cup of water to a new, clean bowl. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and the sugar to the fresh bowl of water and stir to create an even mixture.
Add the lemongrass mixture, stir vigorously.
Your lemongrass sauce is now ready for serving with fried or barbecued chicken, beef, and other foods. To prepare lemongrass soup, you simply use the sauce as an ingredient in cooking and heat it with hot oil and additional water.
You can also add lemongrass to your cooking ingredients for fried chicken, beef, rice, and more. It is introduced at the same stage as coriander, onions, and other similar ingredients.
Benefits of Eating Lemongrass
Okay, now we know that you can eat lemongrass in many ways and we also understand how to prepare it. Whether you are consuming it in tea, marinade, or sauce, you may get the following benefits:
- Immunity boosting vitamins
- Lemongrass contains essential minerals, including potassium, magnesium, sodium, and folate. They enhance your nervous system and further boost your immunity.
- Lemongrass is a source of antioxidants
You will realize that lemongrass has numerous benefits and will work well for most people. You can always vary the ingredients in the tea or soups, and experiment with lemongrass in different ways.
Most people will not have an allergic reaction to it, but if you have food sensitivities, go slow on it. You can always begin with small amounts of lemongrass and increase your intake if you enjoy it.
If you have any doubts, be sure to check with your doctor.
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Lemongrass is edible and you can consume it in different ways. The most common ways to consume it is in lemongrass tea, in sauces, marinades, or soups. It contains many nutrients that boost the immune system and bolster the nervous system.
Even without the health benefits lemongrass is great on its own as a flavoring, so be sure to give it a try.