I first learnt about this flavoursome member of the grass family when I started cooking the Thai classic soup, Tom Yum Goong. I have been growing it ever since for use in sauces, soups, salads and fish cakes.
The plant itself looks and smells amazing and is a natural mosquito repellent to boot :).
Lemongrass has a mild citrus taste and freshly cut stalks smell (to me anyway) like citrus, roses and herbs.
The stalks are particularly fibrous and are in this respect unpleasant to eat unless you remove the outer few layers and then the top two thirds of the stalk.
You then finely dice, grate or crush the bottom whiter part.
You can of course bend or bruise the whole stalk and use it to flavour soups and sauces, removing the stalk before serving.
- All months
It is really easy to grow and although you can buy plants from the nursery it is just a easy to get a few stalks with roots attached and plant them. Do this around November if possible. Mine is in the ground but it will do you proud in a pot too.
One way to harvest lemon grass is to pull sharply from the base. You are likely to get some roots and this will help it last longer. I have it on good authority that the Malay way is to cut the base of a stalk with a knife. New stalks will then grow from the cut.
Either way you will get new stalks growing for a continual harvest.
Regrowth if you use a knife instead: