C. flexuosus is originally from tropical Asia (Sri Lanka or India), while the C. citratus variety comes primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia
Poaceae family (formerly Gramineae)
Lemon grass is a tropical perennial plant that grows in sunny humid climates. It forms long thin stalks that are stiff and sharp-edged, varying in color from light green to grayish.
Its medicinal and cosmetic properties have been known since the days of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
- treats rheumatism and sprains
- promotes digestion
- cough suppressant
- digestive and sedative (in infusions)
- repels mosquitoes (burn the dry leaves)
Try to buy fresh lemon grass. Frozen lemon grass is a better alternative than dry lemon grass (which has to be soaked in hot water) since the dried variety has much less flavor.
Kept in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator, fresh lemon grass stalks will last for about 4-5 days.
This wonderful lemon-scented grass is a culinary delight. An essential element of Thai and Vietnamese cooking, it imparts a pleasant flavor to soups, curries, sauces and fish dishes. It can also be made into a refreshing tea.
Thai and Vietnamese cooks use the lemon grass stalks to give a lemony flavor to their dishes. Only the tenderest part of the stalks is used, meaning the lower 6 or 7 cm. Remove the outer leaves and cut off both ends of the stalk, using the middle. It is best to leave lemon grass in large pieces so they can be easily removed after cooking.
The dried leaves are widely used in Malay, Indonesian and Chinese cooking in marinades for grilled meat and fish. Lemon grass is also used fresh in some French recipes.
It pairs well with ginger, coconut, garlic, shallot and chili pepper.
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