Lemongrass is a stalky plant with a lemony scent that grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast-Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavor and aroma to many Thai dishes. Lemon juice (or lime) may be substituted for lemongrass in a pinch, but citrus fruits will not be able to fully replicate its particular qualities.
Lemongrass is also thought to have numerous health benefits , especially when used in combination with other Thai spices such as garlic, fresh chillies, and coriander. In fact, scientists are now studying Thailand’s favorite soup: Tom Yum Kung, which contains all of these herbs and spices, with lemongrass as the key player. Tom Yum is thought to be capable of combatting colds, flus, and even some cancers. Check out my recipe for this soup at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a42trbq0N5I
Shopping Tips: When purchasing lemongrass, look for firm stalks (not soft or rubbery, which means it’s too old). Lower stalk should be pale yellow (almost white) in color, while upper stalks are green (do not purchase if outer leaves are crusty or brown). Usually fresh lemongrass is sold in groupings of 3-4 stalks, secured with an elastic band. Stalks are approximately 1 foot long (or more). Look for fresh lemongrass at your local grocery store or Asian market. If you can’t find it with the fresh produce, check the freezer section – lemongrass stalks are also sold in frozen packets.
Note: you can also buy prepared, ready-to-use lemongrass: look for it in tubs in the freezer section of your local Asian/Chinese grocery store.
We had some shrimp last night….it was on my mind. Thought I would share this tasty Chinese New Year dish.
We ALL need to do our part for the environment. Big or small, your contribution matters! Plant a tree, recycle those cans or volunteer in your community for a green cause. Here’s a link to the official Earth Day Site.
You don’t have to have the perfect plot to grow a garden! If they can create one in the city, on the top of a building with cinder blocks…..so can YOU! Last year we tested our (small) garden. We have a lot of deer and critters around our house, so we weren’t sure how it would do. With our make shift raised bed, stakes and chicken wire, we were able to create a simple, but successful garden. This is why we feel confident about expanding our garden this season. I have been saving my egg cartons to start growing my seeds indoors (which we will be doing this weekend). Now is the perfect time. I am hearing that a good time to plant (or transplant seedlings) outdoors is Mid-May. Our new garden should be ready by then. Can’t wait to share the progress with you. Good Luck with your own gardens!