By now, you have a handle on how useful lemongrass is when you prepare Thai foods. This herb is easy to grow in Thailand and luckily it is now a staple in American supermarkets as well.
I hope you enjoy my grandmother’s recipe for steamed trout with lemongrass. I have a fond memory of her cooking this in a clay pot.
Pla Nueng Takrai
Grandma’s Steamed Fish with Lemongrass Recipe
My grandmother, Kimsue, used lemongrass to line the clay pot before placing the fish on top. Lemongrass helps prevent the fish from sticking to the pot while it adds scent and flavor to the fish and a wonderful aroma to the kitchen. You will have fragrant steamed fish for a healthy dinner.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 lemongrass stalks
2 whole trout, cleaned (see Village Note)
1-2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup water, or more as needed
To prepare lemongrass, remove about 1½ inches of the hard root end and enough of the leaf end to keep 6 inches of the center part. Save the leaf end for cleaning the trout (see Village Note). With a meat pounder, smash lemongrass to release its essential oil. Lay all 4 smashed lemongrass stalks on the bottom of large pan and lay trout on top. Sprinkle salt and water over the fish, cover and bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until the fish is cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water if the pan is low on water and insert a knife in the thickest part of the fish to see if fish separates from the bone. If it does, the fish is cooked. If not, keep steaming just until fish can be removed easily from the bone.
Village Note: To clean trout, sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt on both sides of the fish and use discarded lemongrass to rub salt onto the surface of the fish; rinse off and pat dry. This cleaning technique is also used to prep casings for sausage. The salt helps to remove impurities and the lemongrass acts like a brush and eliminates fish odors.© 2010 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com