- jobs for Au­gust - 7 tips for us­ing lemon­grass

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

While it’s the leaves that are fra­grant in the gar­den, in the kitchen the star is the bot­tom 10-12cm or so. When you har­vest (or buy) lemon­grass, the stems should feel firm and heavy, not light (an in­di­ca­tion it is too dry).

Lemon­grass makes a lovely tea: cut 4-6 long green leaves, wash, then chop into 3cm lengths. Bring 2-3 cups of wa­ter to the boil, then re­move from the heat. Pour over leaves and steep for 10-15 min­utes, or un­til tea is to your taste. Sweeten with honey while hot. Can also be served cold. To guessti­mate how much to use in a recipe, it’s about the same as if you were adding gin­ger. You can also use the woody part of the stem to make tea, or to add flavour to soup: cut off the roots and leaf, crush the woody stems, then cut into 3-5cm lengths. Add to dish dur­ing cook­ing, but re­move be­fore eat­ing (or avoid eat­ing if not pos­si­ble to re­move). In stir fries, use 10cm lengths of the woody end: peel off any dry outer lay­ers so you are left with the white, ten­der in­sides of the stalk, then chop or mince finely. For a strong flavour add at the be­gin­ning of cook­ing, for a lighter flavour, add near the end. You can in­fuse vodka with lemon­grass: crush 2-3 cleaned, ten­der stems, then add to a 750ml bot­tle of vodka. Leave for 3-4 days (or longer un­til to your taste), shak­ing morn­ing and night. Re­move stalks, strain vodka and serve. See page 66 for grow­ing tips from Jane.

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