Harvesting Lemon Grass
Answered by: Yvonne Tremblay
Question from: Janice Born
Posted on: September 13, 2003

I have a wonderful crop of lemon grass. Can you please tell me, before the cold evenings set in, how to cut and store for winter use? Is it only the base of the leaves that I use for cooking?

The best way to preserve lemon grass is to freeze it. Generally only the bottom third of the plant (white part) is used for cooking. Remove outer leaves and top; use for marinades or tea then discard. The bottom 2-inches of the bulb can be minced, chopped or pureed then frozen. Freeze in small amounts. Wrap in plastic wrap then over-wrap with double freezer bag or plastic freezer container or glass jar to protect it from drying out or absorbing other freezer odours.

The tender inner green leaves from lemon grass can also be removed, chopped and frozen. They can be used in stir-frys or sauces.

Lemon grass is an important ingredient in Thai cooking. Use lemon grass with fish, chicken and in curries. Pour boiling water over and steep for tea. Store lemon grass immersed in cold water in the refrigerator for up to five days.

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