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What does fresh lemongrass look and feel like?

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Most of the lemongrass you get, even in the Asian market, is quite stiff, wheat-colored, and definitely not green or supple.

I've been experimenting with growing some LG in my kitchen, and what i have actually does look and feel like a grass. Is this the freshest LG there is?

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  1. Generally speaking, yes. Although I've never seen "wheat-colored" lemongrass at the markets I shop at.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Interstingly, I took a Vietnamess cooking course at the Culinary Inst of CT in WFtd. The chef in that course had us peel layer after layer until we had a pencil lead size cylinder of very tender citrus flavored vegetable that we used in our dish.

      Since lemongrass was so inexpensive, at the Asian supermarket (as were most vegetables), this was thas the best way to use it.

    2. I have some growing in a pot now, started from a cut end. I found various sites with instructions for growing it. I don't expect to start harvesting any until there are multiple stalks that approximate the ones from the store (2-3 ft long). The longest leaf is about a foot long, but I can see similarity between the base of the stalks and the store bought ones.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        My lemongrass gets approx 3' tall in October before I harvest it.

        If lemongrass is fresh the unpeeled stalk should be about the size of your pinky finger at the base, 18-24" long and lime green. It is very easy to grow and only requires hot weather and a lot of moisture.

      2. there's actually two kinds of lemongrass that I've seen through my source, which I discovered after planting the only lemongrass available at my local garden center. One type is more grasslike and not suitable for cooking, but makes a nice tea. It doesn't have the thick stems that one would use in Asian cooking. Sounds like you may be growing the "tea" type grass. The lemongrass with the thicker stems for use incooking shouldn't be wheat-colored, sounds like it's not fresh.