If you’re looking for ways to preserve your lemongrass, you’re in luck. You can either freeze it or dry it. Both methods are quite easy and they’ll keep your lemongrass fresh for up to two years. The important thing is that you have a plan in place so that you know where to store it.
Lemongrass has a beautiful lemon-like aroma with hints of ginger and lush tropical flower scents. Imagine it as your food’s subtle perfume. Lemongrass tastes great with almost anything, but it shines when combined with chicken, shellfish, and tofu.
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is a tropical perennial shrub that yields fragrant oil. The name “lemongrass” originates from the essential oil’s characteristically lemon-like aroma, which can be found in the shoot. Since Cochin port handles 90% of the shipping for lemongrass oil used in commerce, the term “Cochin oil” is frequently used in international trade.
Only the Indian state of Kerala produced and exported lemongrass oil. From a 16,000 ha area, around 1000 t of lemongrass oil is produced annually throughout the world. India grows roughly 4000 acres of it, and the nation produces 250 t of it annually. The plant is frequently planted as living mulch along bunds and in marginal, waste, and underdeveloped areas.
A tropical perennial shrub called lemongrass produces scented oil. The common lemon-like scent of the essential oil found in the shoot is where the term “lemongrass” comes from. Since 90% of the lemongrass oil used in commerce is transported through Cochin port, it is commonly referred to as Cochin oil in international trade. Lemongrass oil was exclusively produced and exported by the Indian state of Kerala.
Around 1000 t of lemongrass oil is produced worldwide each year from a 16,000 ha area. It is grown on about 4000 acres in India, and the country produces about 250 t of it each year. The crop is widely grown in underdeveloped, marginal, and wastelands as well as along bunds as living mulch.
How to Purchase Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is typically sold without leaves and higher stalks because the lowest portion of the stalks has the best flavor. Lemongrass with a little bulb at the end should be firm, pale yellow-green, and in good condition. The top of the stem should be quite fresh; since they dry out quickly, they might not appear to have just been plucked, but they also shouldn’t appear browned or dejected.
How should Lemongrass be Stored?
These resilient stalks keep well in the freezer and refrigerator. Even better, you can make a paste out of them and freeze it so you always have it on hand.
- Refrigerating: Untrimmed stalks can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if they are wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- To Store in a Freezer
- Whole: Remove the green tops from the stalks, wrap the stalks in plastic, and then close the bag. For up to three months, freeze. Before using, briefly defrost.
- Grounded: Prepare a paste in a food processor or mortar and pestle, then freeze it in 1-tablespoon portions on a platter. Place frozen parts in a zip-top bag. No thawing is required before utilizing.
A Few More Valuable Lemongrass Facts
- A LEFTOVER STALK CAN Help You Advance More.
Simply submerge the stalk’s root end in water to accomplish the task. The young shoots develop quickly, and we discovered that they had as strong and fragrant flavor as the inner stalk portions that we often use. Study more.
- Fresh leek can be substituted with dried leek.
In addition to the fresh stalks, the spice aisle also carries jars of dried lemongrass. Although we don’t think dried lemongrass is as complex as fresh, it can be used in place of fresh in meals where there are a lot of other tastes present. Study more.
Can Lemongrass be Dried?
Now, maybe you want your lemongrass to survive even longer than six months because you know you’ll forget it’s in the freezer, or maybe you just want it to last longer. Try drying it if you recognize this.
It’s incredibly easy to dry lemongrass and it can last you up to a year. Simply break up the fresh stalks and/or leaves, spread them out on a paper towel in a dry spot, and wait.
Your lemongrass should get crumbly and dry within a few days. You can move it into a jar or other container while it is in this stage and away from any moisture.
You can put the little pieces of lemongrass on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and bake it in a hot oven to get dried lemongrass more quickly.
As low as your oven will go, set it at 120 C/250 F. If you set it too high, the food will crisp up instead than dehydrate. If you’d want. The dried lemongrass can then be ground to create your homemade powder.
Whenever you want to give one of your recipes that additional lemony kick, reach for your dried lemongrass!
Can Lemongrass be Frozen?
Or perhaps you’ve used all the lemongrass you can, but you don’t want to throw the rest away just yet. If you’re in this situation, just freeze.
You need to take out all the leaves first, whether you have leftover whole stalks or slices. After that, cover your lemongrass with plastic wrap and put the stalks in a container that won’t freeze.
When thawing for use, mark the container with the date that it was frozen. There’s no need to worry if you don’t want to utilize all of your frozen lemongrasses right away because it can last you up to six months.
Your lemongrass will still give your dish that zesty pop you’re hoping for once it’s thawed, even though the aroma may not be as potent the longer it’s frozen.
Another thing to be aware of is that freezing will somewhat soften lemongrass. Depending on your preferences, this might be beneficial or terrible. It might be preferable for it to be softer if you’re going to consume it because it will digest more easily.
Can you Eat Lemongrass Raw?
How is lemongrass consumed? Lemongrass is a common component in Thai salads like Yum Takrai, a hot seafood salad with lemongrass and ginger. Lemongrass can also be eaten raw. However, if not properly prepared, raw lemongrass can be rough, so always remove the outside woody stem and slice it as thinly as you can.
Uses for Fresh Lemongrass
When you’re ready to use your lemongrass in a recipe, remove and discard any dry, papery, or damaged outer layers from the stalks. Next, trim away the bottom root end and the woody top two-thirds of each stalk with a sharp knife or cleaver until you have 5 to 6 inches of stalk remaining. Trimmings should be discarded (or composted!). Depending on how you intend to use your lemongrass, the following step…
In Moist Curries, Stews, Soups, Stocks, and Simmered Sauces
Simply cut the trimmed stalks into shorter pieces that will fit well in your pot, smash them with the back of a heavy knife, a mallet, or even the bottom of a wine bottle to release the aromatic oils, toss them in the pot to simmer, and fish the pieces out right before serving if you’re just looking to flavor a liquid with lemongrass flavor. As the rice, chicken, or vegetables are cooking, try adding the pieces. Alternatively, you may boil the pieces with sugar and water to make lemongrass syrup, which you can use in drinks and desserts.
Pesto, Dipping Sauces, Marinades, Dressings, Dry Curries, and Curry Pastes
You might need to clip a little more lemongrass away if you want to include it more thoroughly. Peel off another outer layer or two if necessary, then cut off enough of the top and thick bottom ends to get down to the pale, more flexible few center inches of the stalk (but save these tougher scraps in the fridge or freezer to use another time, as indicated above).
Even the whiter, more delicate part of the stalk is still quite fibrous, so use a sharp knife and be careful not to cut yourself. Slice the stalk into thin rounds; if your sharp knife is experiencing resistance while cutting through a particularly tough section of the stalk, stop (except in infusions).
These delicate, thin rounds can be used just as they are (like in the traditional Thai salad yum takrai), or you can chop them even finer by hand or in a food processor.
Alternatively, you can use a Microplane to grate the stalk into sauces and marinades or crush the pieces to a paste in a mortar and pestle. Simply breaking it down as finely as you can prevent your finished meal from including stringy or harsh plant materials.
In anything that calls for lemon zest, such as vinaigrette, mayonnaise, aioli, or baked goods, try adding some chopped, mashed, or grated lemongrass.
Lemongrass Benefits to Health
Due to its high concentrations of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory chemicals, and essential oils, lemongrass has several possible health benefits. Lemongrass has several health benefits, including:
- Reducing inflammation: The anti-inflammatory characteristics of the chemicals in lemongrass can aid in reducing inflammation in the body.
- Increasing bile production, which helps with digestion and nutrition absorption, can help to improve digestion.
- Pain relief: Lemongrass has been used to treat headaches, joint discomfort, and muscle pain.
- Blood sugar reduction: Lemongrass has been discovered to have a modest hypoglycemic impact, which can help persons with diabetes lower blood sugar levels.
- Immune system boosting: Lemongrass includes substances that may assist to strengthen the immune system, making it better able to fend off infections and illnesses.
- Having a relaxing impact on the body and mind, lemongrass can help relieve tension and anxiety.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that most of the advantages are based on conventional use and laboratory studies rather than clinical trials yet. Additionally, it’s always advisable to seek medical advice before adding any new supplements or herbs to your diet, particularly if you’re expecting, nursing, or taking any medications.
How to Know if Lemongrass has gone Bad?
To tell if lemongrass has spoiled, look for telltale indicators like yellowing, mold, or an overpowering odor. Additionally, the stalks must feel sturdy to the touch and not greasy. Lemongrass should be thrown away if you observe any of these symptoms. You can also see if it still has its aroma, which is one of its most crucial qualities.
Side Effects of Consuming Spoiled Lemongrass
The symptoms of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, can be brought on by ingesting rotten lemongrass. The presence of dangerous germs like salmonella or E. coli in rotting lemongrass may be the cause of these symptoms. It may occasionally also result in more serious health issues like dehydration, fever, and even hospitalization. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the lemongrass is fresh and unspoiled before eating it.
If you want to store lemongrass for use during the winter, you can either freeze the stalks or store them in the refrigerator. This will allow them to keep their freshness for a few weeks. We hope our above guide will help you in storing your lemongrass perfectly and easily.