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lemongrass- can I use the green parts?

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phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 04:49 AM

It seems like every recipe I find tells me to use the white parts of the lemongrass. I planted some in May, and the blades of grass are now almost 2 feet tall, but they are still slim compared to the stalks you find at the grocery store, and I don't see any white parts developing yet. Can I use the green parts in any recipes instead? If so, do you have any recipes you would suggest?

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  1. liu RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:19 AM

    When in the Galapagos Islands, we were served lemongrass tea. This was made from the green part of the young lemongrass. I am not sure of the exact recipe, but it was absolutely delicious! I am sure you can also ice it! I do think you will want to add some sugar syrup. Oh, yum...I can still remember it...

    1 Reply
    1. re: liu
      liu RE: liu Aug 15, 2006 04:33 PM

      I slept with pleasant memories of this wonderfully aromatic tea, and I do now recall some more of the details.

      Immediately or sooner when I came back from this excursion, I went out to purchase some lemongrass to plant -- yes, it was that good!

      Cut 2-to-3 inch pieces of about 3 or 5 the tenderest lemongrass stalks. Bring just to a boil in a pan of water (perhaps 6 cups), cover and let it sit in the pan with the burner off for about 15-20 minutes to steep. Add a sugar syrup and try it!

      The color is gorgeous, and the fragrance is amazing...perhaps this is the best part. If it is bitter, try brewing younger stalks, but they can be green.

      Play with this -- nothing need be exact -- and enjoy!

    2. Kitchen Queen RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:26 AM

      I love Thai food and lemongrass is a staple. The green portions are hardly ever used for these reasons: bitterness and toughness of leaves, the white being more tender, sweet and fragrant.

      1. g
        grubn RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:40 AM

        the white part is inside.

        1. w
          wally RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:45 AM

          As said above, the white parts are inside and the green parts contain a lot of silica. There is a reason the deer don't eat them.

          1. b
            Biggie RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 12:15 PM

            You can use the green parts as a basting brush when grilling...

            1. Nosher RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:23 PM

              We use the green parts to infuse vodka, cachaca, and gin.

              Nosher

              NYCnosh: http://nycnosh.com

              1. Alice Patis RE: phoenikia Aug 15, 2006 05:45 PM

                Like others said, you shouldn't use the green parts in recipes to eat. One more use for the green parts is if you have a cold, to make a steam to clear your sinuses. Lots of memories of my mom making us kids sit completely inside a heavy blanket, breathing over a pot of steaming lemongrass water. But back to the food...homegrown stalks are always skinnier than over-fertilized supermarket stalks. 2 feet tall is pretty tall, but let it grow a bit more before you harvest the inner white part for cooking.

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