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Apr 8, 2013 09:52 AM

Fresh VS Frozen Lemongrass

Is there a big difference in quality? I've just started getting into cooking Vietnamese food and I bought a big sheet of the frozen because I don't use it very quickly and I don't want it to spoil. Any experienced Viet cooks care to chime in?

I mostly use it for marinades, if that helps. Lemongrass, oyster sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar for thin-sliced beef and pork.

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  1. I bought the stuff in the tube, lasts quite awhile. I haven't seen the frozen; did you get it at a regular store or specialty store?

    9 Replies
    1. re: wyogal

      It comes in a thin sheet which you break pieces off of and shred apart. I got it at a Vietnamese grocery.

      Is the stuff in the tube a paste, like wasabi?

        1. re: paulj

          That's what I use, found in the produce section at the grocery stores and WMart. I also get the ginger as well.

        2. re: RealMenJulienne

          What's wrong with just buying stalks fresh and using them the week you've bought them? I buy however many I'll need for a recipe and try to use them as quickly as I can. If a week goes by and I haven't gotten around to using them, I just make tea with them, so they won't go rotten and get tossed out.

          1. re: 1sweetpea

            Well the stalks come in these big bundles, and I really only use them for marinades. I like the convenience of breaking off a little bit at a time from the frozen sheet.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              Because we can't always find stalks fresh. Hardly ever.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Nope. We get it from time to time, but when I was searching for it last, I couldn't find it anywhere. So, I just get the stuff in the tube, works for me.
                  We had one Asian market, for a short time, but it closed. We have plenty of Asian restaurants, but they probably source it elsewhere.

            2. re: RealMenJulienne

              It's finely minced up but very juicy. I actually buy it in the tube and portion it into however many stalks worth is in the tube, then freeze it.

          2. Not sure what you mean by "sheets" but yes, I have used frozen in a pinch. It's certainly not as pungent as fresh so I just up the amount to taste. The kind I purchase @ Asian grocery stores comes in a clear pint container like they use in grocery store deli's. The lemongrass is minced. It's a good product IMO.

            1. I grow it in the garden and freeze what I haven't used. Just like any other frozen herb, it loses a bit of its punch when frozen but it's a fine alternative to fresh.

                1. Some really interesting recipes using lemongrass all in one online space so I thought I'd share: