Lemongrass is a grass plant that is native to tropical and sub-tropical climates. For years, people have consumed lemongrass for both culinary and medical reasons. This ingredient is important in making many dishes from curry to sauces to anything that has a citrus taste.
Lemongrass, as the name implies, has citrus and lemony taste. This flavor of this plant also has a hint of mint. While using lemon in your dish would create a strong lemony flavor, using lemongrass introduces a light flavor.
What Does Lemongrass Add To Dishes
Lemongrass works great in dishes that take a long time to cook. Its lemony flavor doesn’t get weakened throughout cooking time. This means that even if you add it to a 6-hour stew, there will still be hints of citrus in the dish.
Due to its origin, lemongrass is great to use while making traditional southeastern dishes in order to preserve their flavor.
In many dishes both savory and sweet, lemongrass adds a tangy kick to your food. It’s okay if you don’t like sour as this plant isn’t overpowering in flavor.
What is the Smell of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has a strong citrus aroma that both makes dishes smell great and also makes great aromatherapy. In the upsurge of aromatherapy, oils of lemongrass have been made for people to use in their diffusers.
Along with aromatherapy, the scent of lemongrass has been used in soaps and skincare items.
In food, lemongrass gives sweeter dishes a light lemony scent. In savory dishes, lemongrass introduces a citrus undertone that compliments other spices that are added.
So, not only is the taste of lemongrass quite popular, the scent is popular as well.
What To Make With Lemongrass
The taste of lemongrass goes very well with many kinds of dishes. The flavor profile of lemongrass pairs well with sour, sweet, and savory dishes. Here are just a few examples of what to use lemongrass for:
- Add to salad
- Stew and soup
- Used to flavor meats
- Southeastern dishes
Fresh Lemongrass vs. Dried Lemongrass
When cooking, one may wonder whether they should use fresh lemongrass or dried lemongrass. Does fresh lemongrass taste stronger? Will the kind form of lemongrass change the dish?
While it is always best to use fresh lemongrass, there’s not too much of a difference in the taste of fresh vs. dried lemongrass. They both have a light citrus flavor that can be added to any dish.
The biggest difference has to do with flavor absorption and texture. Dried lemongrass has a tougher texture that can add a crunch depending on how it’s cooked.
For dried lemongrass, it is best to add them to dishes that call for a liquid. In soups, the liquid can bring out the lemongrass flavor and distribute it to the rest of the dish. Dried lemongrass can still be used in dry dishes but it is smart to crush it up for better flavor distribution.
Fresh lemongrass has no limits. The flavor seeps out through its water content and flavors the whole dish.
Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has many benefits that make it appealing to consume.
- Contains antioxidants
- Good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin c
- Can help treat oral infections
- Helps with digestion
Even though lemongrass doesn’t have as strong of a taste like lemon, its citrus taste still adds plenty of flavor to the food you eat. There are many ways to enjoy the taste and smell of lemongrass. Since there is a hint of mint in its flavor, lemongrass would make a great lemon-mint pastry.
Starting in southeastern countries, lemongrass has made its name known around the world. Popular almost anywhere, you can find the lemongrass influence in dishes, soups, and aromatherapy tools.