How to Cut Lemongrass: 11 Steps (with Images)

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How to Cut Lemongrass: 11 Steps (with Images)
How to Cut Lemongrass: 11 Steps (with Images)

Lemongrass is an important ingredient in Thai cuisine and is included in many popular Thai dishes. You can buy bundles with two or three stalks of lemongrass at hypermarkets, street markets or produce. The grass itself is rough and thick, so it needs to be prepared in a specific way before being used in the kitchen. Once you buy lemongrass, it won't take you 15 minutes to prepare it.


Method 1 of 2: Cutting and Chopping Lemongrass

Step 1. Cut the last inch of the stalks with a kitchen knife

The extreme base of the lemongrass stalk is hard and tasteless. To get it out, place the stalk on a board. Take a kitchen knife (sharp, to cut food) and remove the last inch of the stalk. The base is pretty hard, so you'll have to press the knife down hard.

Discard the base after cutting. If you prefer, put it in your compost pile in the garden

Step 2. Cut the first 15 to 20 cm of the stalks

The dark green tips of the lemongrass stalks are also hard and chewy, in addition to lacking in flavor. Take the knife and cut this part of the stalk. Once you've removed the base and tip, you'll have a 12 to 15 cm pale green stalk.

  • Some fruits and vegetables sell lemongrass with the ends already cut. If that's the case, skip this step.
  • If you cut the ends of the grass, you can save them for tea.

Step 3. Divide the remaining lemongrass by cutting it from top to bottom

Align the knife blade so that it runs vertically down the middle of the lemongrass stalk, from top to bottom. Cut the stalk in half by pressing firmly first on the tip of the blade and then on the extension so that the entire blade cuts through the grass. The result must be two equal parts (halves).

Try to make the halves as even as possible so that the lemongrass cooks evenly. The halves don't have to be perfectly equal, but if one is bigger than the other, it will take longer to cook

Step 4. Press your thumb in the middle of the grass to find the soft spots

If you look inside the lemongrass halves that have been cut, you will notice that they have several layers of flakes, just like a chive. Only the softest parts of lemongrass are good for cooking. Use your fingers to find them.

Also press your thumb halfway into the cut stalk, which is quite thick. You will find that much of the base is too hard to consume

Step 5. Remove the thick middle and hard outer layers from the lemongrass

Take the knife and remove the hard parts from the grass core. On most stalks, you'll end up cutting about 5 cm. Take off the outer layers that are also hard and easy to handle. In most cases, you will have to discard one to three outer layers of lemongrass.

Repeat this process on the other half of the stalk. You just have to take the same amount from the middle and outer layers

Step 6. Cut the remaining lemongrass into 60mm pieces

What's left of the grass should be soft and edible. Put one of the halves on the board and use the knife to cut it into small pieces. Instead of lifting the knife and moving it after each cut, just slide the lemongrass under it. Each of the pieces should be around 60 to 30 mm long.

  • Cut the second lemongrass as well. Be careful not to cut your fingers with the knife.
  • At this point, the lemongrass is all cut and ready to be used in the recipe you want!
Cut Lemongrass Step 7

Step 7. Store the cut lemongrass in the refrigerator for up to three weeks

If you're not going to eat all the lemongrass at once, put the remaining pieces in a plastic bag. Put the plastic bag inside the refrigerator, where it's visible and you won't forget. Lemongrass usually lasts for three weeks like this, but if the stalks were old when you bought them, they might only last for two weeks.

If you don't have a plastic food bag, you can wrap the remaining lemongrass in plastic wrap

Cut Lemongrass Step 8

Step 8. Freeze lemongrass for up to six months for later use

Just as you would for refrigeration, place the cut pieces in an airtight plastic bag. Keeping cut lemongrass in the freezer is a good option for those who want to make several Thai dishes over a few months and don't want to keep cutting all the time.

Remember to write down the date you froze on the plastic bag so you don't forget. Write, for example: "Lemon grass cut 03/19/2020."

Method 2 of 2: Choosing Lemongrass Stalks

Cut Lemongrass Step 9

Step 1. Smell the lemongrass to choose the most fragrant ones

The more aroma, the more flavor. Don't be ashamed: take a pack and take a good sniff, both at the base and the stalk. Good bunches will be very aromatic, with a scent reminiscent of lemon. Some say that fresh lemongrass has a mild soapy smell.

There are markets that sell the cut lemongrass stalks. Pass away from this product. Much of the potential flavor of cut lemongrass has already been lost

Step 2. Look for stalks with a light green base and dark green tips

The base of a lemongrass stalk looks a little like spring onions. In the healthiest and tastiest stalks, it will have a greenish-white color. When it starts to open to form several stalks, the green color should darken. This is a good indicator that the stalk is fresh and flavorful.

If the entire stalk is pale green, it probably doesn't have much flavor and it's probably already spoiling

Cut Lemongrass Step 11

Step 3. Find stalks that are tight together and firm to the touch

In healthy lemongrass, the various stalks that grow from the base should be close together. There should be no visible gaps between them. This is a sign of freshness, that is, it indicates that the taste will be good.

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