Thais use herbs in cooking for three great reasons: flavor, aroma and medicinal value. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) has a lemon-citrus flavor and is used widely in Malaysia, Indonesia, Lao, Burma and very intensely in Thailand. In Thai cuisine, lemongrass is the queen of Thai herbs. Thais use it in soup, curry paste, tea, stir-fry, fish and meat dishes. In a Thai kitchen, lemongrass reduces the strong smell of meat and fish and commonly is used in marinades and sauces. Lemongrass is easy to use and combines well with other herbs such as cilantro, ginger, garlic and shallots. Medicinally, lemongrass is known to heal stomach disorders and enhance mood.
Go Wild with Lemongrass
Thais use lemongrass intensively but I encourage American home cooks to use lemongrass whenever possible. Besides traditional Thai cooking, it also works well in a simple syrup or tea.
Here is a link to Pranee’s recipes for cooking with lemongrass.