How To Cut Lemongrass (Quick And Easy)

Lemongrass is a popular herb used in various Asian recipes. However, due to its fibrous stalk, it can be challenging to prepare. Thankfully, you can learn how to cut lemongrass properly within a couple of minutes.

Basically, to cut lemongrass you’ll need locate the tender section of the stalk then cut it thinly, for use in stir-fries, salads, and sauces, or crack it to flavor soups. In most instances, it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare lemongrass, but knowing which part to use makes all the difference.

In this article, we will guide you through a simple step-by-step process for cutting lemongrass, including some tips to store the excess for use later. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Collect And Clean Lemongrass

To begin, harvest two to three stalks of lemongrass from your garden. Trim off the roots and clean away any dirt. Rinse the plants and allow them to air dry in a cool, shaded spot away from direct sunlight.

how to cut lemongrass
Cleaned Lemongrass Stalks

Remove any leaves by cutting them where they join the stalk. You can use these fresh leaves to make a delicious tea or dry them for long-term storage. 

You can also purchase lemongrass from your local market in bundles of 2 to 3 stalks if you do not grow plants home. However, please note that these are usually sold without leaves. 

Step 2: Trim Lemongrass 

Next, cut about 2 inches off the base of the lemongrass stalk with a sharp kitchen knife; a cutting board will come in handy.

The most intense flavors are concentrated between  2 inches above the root and about half the stalk’s length. 

The root section is extremely tough and lacks flavor, so you won’t miss out on anything when you discard it.

Step 3: Divide The Stalk Into Two

Then, cut off another six to eight inches from the top of the stalks. You can also use this to make lemongrass tea if you like.

Cut Lemongrass Stalks
Cut Lemongrass Stalks

Once the base and top of the stalk have been removed, you should have a light-green potion of lemongrass measuring about 6 inches. 

As mentioned before, this is where most of the flavor and aroma are concentrated. However, the actually usable portion is protected within.

Step 3: Remove The Outer Layers And Dice

Now, peel off about two layers from the outer stalk. This layer is usually dry and somewhat thick. 

You should notice a tender, edible inner section underneath. This is the part you have to use in your recipes.

You can discard the outer layer and move on to the next step.

Step 4: Cut Into Thin Pieces

Place the tender stalk on a cutting board and cut it into thin, ring-like pieces. Ensure that they are no thicker than ¼ inch.

How to cut lemongrass
Cutting Lemongrass RIngs

Your lemongrass is ready to use and in a size that will allow it to cook quickly. 

Alternatively, you can pound the stalk with a blunt object and cut it into chunks to add to soups. In this form, the stem would not be edible. You will have to discard it after the flavor diffuses to the soup.

How To Store Lemongrass

To store lemongrass, you first need to clean and cut the stalks into chunks and put them in an airtight bag. Please place them in the section of the refrigerator based on how long you intend to store them. 

For example, lemongrass can last about 3 weeks in the fridge but up to 6 months in the freezer. Either way, you will need to scrutinize them before storage, especially if you are uncertain how long they were stored before purchasing them.

Alternatively, you can dry lemongrass using several methods, including air drying and dehydration. Dried lemongrass can last more than a year and taste great in tea and soups.

Final Thoughts

Cutting lemongrass is straightforward if you take your time and use a sharp kitchen knife. 

Lemongrass Pieces

In case of excess, you can save the pieces in an airtight plastic bag for future use and avoid buying or cutting lemongrass whenever you need it.

This guide has helped to start including this fresh, tropical grass in your dishes. Enjoy!

Related Questions

How Do You Cut Lemongrass For Tea?

To make lemongrass tea, chop off and throw away the root section of the plant, then pound the stalk to release the flavor and aroma. Wrap and place the entire plant into a pot to brew.

Is Lemongrass A Perennial Plant?

Lemongrass is a perennial, tropical plant native to regions of Asia. However, it is grown as an annual plant in temperate areas due to its sensitivity to cold temperatures… Learn More

References

Pailin’s Kitchen. Ultimate Guide To Lemongrass – Hot Thai Kitchen. [Video] YouTube. Uploaded September 26, 2017

Plant-Based Eats. Easy Homemade Lemongrass Tea Recipe. [Video] Uploaded November 13, 2017