So many of you wanted to know more about lemongrass, so here we go!
Lemongrass is quite versatile and can be used in many recipes such as curries, soups, rice dishes, teas, and even cookies! It’s a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes. It can also be infused in cooking liquids to help flavor things like mussels, clams, beef or pork.
Thai Basil Beef and Lemongrass Rice Bowls
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemongrass chopped
THAI BASIL BEEF
- 2 large carrots cut into matchsticks
- 4 baby bells peppers sliced
- 1 hot red peppers sliced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lime plus lime wedges for serving
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
- 1 pound lean ground beef may use ground chicken or pork too
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce divided
- 1/3 cup sweet thai chili sauce
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves sliced or chopped, plus extra for serving
- Toasted sesame seeds + chopped roasted peanuts for serving
To make the rice. Add the coconut milk and water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, sesame oil and lemongrass. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit on the stove, covered for another 15-20 minutes (don’t take any peeks inside!). After 15-20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork and stir in 1-2 tablespoons chopped peanuts if desired. Note that rice can cook differently for everyone, this is just what works for me.
While the rice is cooking, make the beef. Add the carrots, peppers, hot red pepper, green onions fish sauce, honey, lime juice and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside.
Heat a large wok or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot add the garlic and ginger. Cook 15-30 seconds then add the beef. Season the beef with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Once the beef is browned, add 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup sweet thai chili sauce and 1 cup of fresh basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the beef, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup fresh basil.
Divide the rice among the bowls, top with equal amounts of beef. Add the carrots + pepper on top of the beef. Garish with chopped peanuts, fresh basil and toasted sesame seeds. EAT!
Lemongrass Coconut Chicken Curry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ tablespoons grated ginger
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips**
- 1-2 dried red chili peppers*
- 2 stalks lemongrass, green tops removed then pale ends cut in half and smashed to release flavor
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 4 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
- ½ teaspoon salt, optional
- coconut cream from one 16oz can of coconut milk
- 4 cups cooked basmati rice, for serving
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic.
Cook, stirring frequently until the onions begin to caramelize, about 7 minutes.
Add the salt (optional), black pepper, sugar, chopped ginger and chicken.
Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the chili peppers (optional), lemongrass, curry powder, soy sauce and coconut cream (skim the cream from the coconut milk, leaving the clear coconut water).
Stir to combine
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
Adjust seasoning as needed (salt, spice, thickness)
Discard the chili peppers and lemongrass before serving.
Serve warm with rice
NOTES* If you aren’t a fan of spice, leave the red chili pepper out of this recipe
** If making vegan, use one block of pressed tofu
Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger
- 2 large shallots (or one white onion) diced
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped lemongrass (packed) 2-3 stalks
- 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
- 1 small Serrano chili (or jalapeno for less spicy), diced
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 4 cups veggie or chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 lbs yams, peeled, cubed ( or sweet potatoes)
- 1 large carrot (for color- this is optional) peeled, sliced
- ½ cup to 1 can coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2–4 teaspoons soy sauce: to taste ( or sub fish sauce for extra depth)
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large heavy bottomed pot heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallot (or onion) and stir for 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, lemon grass, and chili, cook for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Add spices, and stir for 1-2 more minutes. Add stock, scraping up the spices from the bottom.
Bring to a boil and add yams and optional carrot. Simmer on low, covered, until yams are fork tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool a bit, while you prepare your garnishes.
Stir in ½ cup of coconut milk — or, if unconcerned with fat content, or a richer soup, add more, or most of the can, reserving some the harder “cream” for the garnish.
Now it’s time to season. Add the brown sugar, 2-4 tsp soy sauce ( or fish sauce) and the lime juice. Taste. Depending on how rich and flavorful your stock is, or how much coconut milk you added, you will need to adjust the seasonings. You may need to add more depth (soy sauce) or a pinch or two of salt, or more lime, or more sugar, or more heat. Find the balance -between salt, sweet and sour and spicy. This is where you develop your own palate, which no recipe can teach. It just takes practice. ???? A little sriracha sauce can work miracles because it contains salt, acid, sweet along with heat and spice. But use sparingly for best results.
Garnish with cilantro, scallions, coconut milk (whisk with a little warm water to loosen) and popped sorghum (optional) and serve with lime wedges.
Fresh Lemongrass Tea
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups roughly chopped lemongrass stalks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Lime wheels for garnish (optional)
Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan.
Add the lemongrass and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the tea for an additional 5 minutes.
Strain the stalks from the liquid. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.
Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator and pour over ice.
Lemongrass Shortbread Cookies
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoon lemongrass minced extra fine, divided
1 tablespoon water
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using your electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together until it is combined.
Place the lemongrass and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute to loosen the flavors. Divide into two equal portions.
Turn the mixer on low, then add half the lemongrass, salt and flour a little at a time, until the dough comes together.
Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out until it is 1/3 of an inch thick. Using a floured 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Try to cut out as many as possible from the first sheet of dough. Each time you gather and re-roll the dough the cookies will get a little tougher.
Bake for 20 minutes—until barely golden. Allow the cookies to cool completely.
Pour 3 tablespoons of milk in a medium bowl. Add the remaining lemongrass and microwave for another minutes to allow the lemongrass to infuse into the milk. Whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add a drop of yellow and a tiny drop of green food coloring if desired.
Dip the tops of each cookie in the glaze. Use a spoon to scrape the excess off the sides, then place back on the parchment paper to dry.