The Local Palate Newsletter
Sign up to recieve news, updates, recipes, cocktails and web exclusives about food culture in the south

Share this article via email

Subscribe

Subscribe
Save 69% off of newsstand price now!

Subscribe to The Local Palate
Palate Teasers eNewsletter Subscribe Send as Gift Customer Service App Store Google Play

Sign up

Sign up to receive fresh recipes, gourmet getaway guides, and other tasty treats in your inbox.

Grass Roots:
The Unique Appeal of Lemongrass

Advertisement
Grass Roots: <br> The Unique Appeal of Lemongrass
Photos by Kevin Marple

In Southeast Asian cooking lemongrass is a flavor powerhouse. Also called citronella grass, the tall perennial plant has an instantly recognizable flavor that manages to be both strong and delicate at the same time. Ask Braden Wages, chef and proprietor of Malai Kitchen in Dallas, Texas. “Lemongrass is subtle, yet adds complexity to many dishes,” he says.

“The key to lemongrass is incorporating it correctly. Due to its fibrous nature, the two best ways to use it are to finely mince or use as an infusion.”

But don’t just go throwing it in a pot; lemongrass requires a little prep work. “Before you begin to cut it,” Wages says, “it’s important to remove the outer dry layers, like an onion, and pound it to release the natural oils and garner the most flavor.” He continues, “The best part of lemongrass is the lower two to three inches of the stalk where it’s pink inside—that’s where the flavor lies. The rest of the stalk is too tough and dry to get much use.” In his kitchen, Wages uses lemongrass to put a little zip into Thai and Vietnamese dishes. It’s one of those ingredients that’s unique to specific cuisines, yet universal in its appeal.

Lemongrass Recipes
from Chef Wages

Lemongrass Fizz Cocktail
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Lemongrass Chicken
Lemongrass Soup with Shrimp (Tom Yum Gung)

Mentioned in this post:
Braden Wages