I have a large clump growing because someone offered a start and I like the way the bush looks. I've Googled for recipes but most are for soup, an occassional stir fry.
How do you folks like to use your fresh lemongrass?
Thai Green Curry Paste
Galangal root, sliced thinly or chopped, 1 tablespoon (or ginger)
Lemongrass, sliced thinly 2 tablespoons
Garlic, sliced 6 tablespoons
Shallots, sliced 5 tablespoons
3 serrano chiles
4 large green jalapeno chilies, seeded
Coriander root chopped 1 teaspoon
Kaffir lime zest 1 teaspoon or regular lime
Salt 1 teaspoon
Shrimp paste, roasted 1 teaspoon (optional)
White Peppercorns 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander seed, roasted 1 teaspoon
Cumin roasted 1 teaspoon
Coconut oil, vegetable oil, or coconut milk if you are going to use a food processor or blender.
If you want to know how to cook this, let me know.
You can look up a recipe for Thom Ka Gai soup
Also really good in thai basil shrimp recipe-pretty easy will share if you want.
I almost added "Hi Heather!" to my message. ;-)) First, where do you find some of this stuff? Galangal root, shrimp paste? LeLE I bet. I go in there and cannot find things because I don't know my way around and don't understand the labels. Although truthfully, I go to the Asian Market at 43rd and Union Hills. So maybe LeLe is better for the inexperienced.
And sure, next question is how do you put it together? And do you mostly just toss it with noodles?
Thanks Heather. Anything/anyone else?
You got it! Lee Lee's has the stuff. The galanga is really hard, sometimes I cheat and use ginger- the flavor is different, but I still think it's very good.
I usually leave the shrimp paste out ans salt to taste after fish sauce. For this curry paste, I use a food processor, blend it like a paste. I like to make a curry sauce with it to serve over rice, though you could do it over noodles I suppose.
Check out this link- I have made many green curry pastes, but I liked hers the best and this is her recipe for the green curry. I don't make it with meat, but the tip on letting the coconut milk separate made such an amazing difference in the flavor- smart move!!!
Here is a recipe that I really like making when I have tons of thai basil growing... (thai basil is cheap at Lee Lees though)
Thai Basil Shrimp- you can make with chicken if you like- sometimes I make it with fried tofu, but I like shrimp the best.
1 pound large tiger shrimp (peel them)
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass sliced fine and chopped fine- minced if possible
1 inch piece of peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoon of fish sauce or to taste
3 Thai chilies or serrano
2 tblsp of soy sauce
1 tablespn of water
1 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 medium onion chopped or sliced
1 cup of thai basil chopped
2 tblspoon of vegetable or olive oil
2 servings of vermicelli rice noodles
In a bowl, mix the soy, water fishsauce, lemon grass and sugar- marinate the shrimp at least 10 minutes
Put water on the stove to boil, once boiling drop in the noodles and remove from heat. Let sit about 8 minutes and strain to stop cooking and set aside
heat oil in a wok
add onion and stirfry for 2 minutes
add ginger, garlic and peppers- cook about 30 seconds
using slotted spoon remove shrimp from marinade and stirfry in wok for about 3 minutes (not completely cooked)
add noodles, marinade and stir fry til noodles and shrimp are full cooked.
Remove from heat and stir in Thai basil
Grilled fish! Take a banana leaf (available at Lee Lee in the freezer section) and soften it over a gas flame or on a stove burner. Cut off the rib. In the center, lay out your fish with chopped lemon grass, sliced jalapeno, serrano or other hot chile, minced ginger, sliced garlic, thai basil, cilantro. Drizzle with a bit of fish sauce and some oil.
Wrap the banana leaf around the fish and secure with toothpicks or skewers. Grill the fish over medium high heat (time will depend on how your fish is prepared -- fillet vs. steak vs. whole), turning halfway through the cooking time.
The banana leaf and all the aromatics really add nice flavor to the fish.
Also, you can make herbal tea, ice cream/sorbet, flavored vodka, salad dressing. Smash up a stalk to break it open and release the aroma and toss it in the oil when doing a stir fry. It goes great with rosemary or basil, and if you do a search, you'll come up with all sorts of lemongrass/rosemary recipes (chicken, ice cream, curries, stew, etc).
agree with Leanne. Lemon grass is most flavorful when used for grilling/roasting. The dry heat of roasting or grilling seems to bring out and amplify aromatic substances in lemon grass. For those who eat meat, it is even more aromatic when roasting chicken/beef, etc.
Heather's recipe sounds exquisite too.
I'm eating at Leanne's house! I never cook fish, but this sounds great!
Wow, thanks folks these all sound great. It looks like lemongrass and fish sauce go well together. Isn't fish sauce heavy on the salt? Heather/Leanne, do you have a favorite brand?
Heather, do you just add broth to the paste to make it a sauce?
Leanne, if I can't see the fish [wrapped in the banana leaf] how do I tell it's done? I'm sure you get a feel for it after a while but I'm trying to introduce to more fish to the menu and have not cooked it in years (hubby's been opposed but is willing to try some recipes so this will be a good start.)
Do you find the fish at Lee Lee's to be nice and fresh? Or do you have another source?
Fish Sauce is salty and stinky, but wonderful mixed in with stuff. I try a different brand whenever I buy it (it lasts me forever). Last time I got theTropics brand. The fish sauce will be your main salty component. If you decide to use shrimp paste that will add salt as well. When I am making my curry paste into a curry sauce, I continue to add fish sauce, sugar and lime until the flavor is to my liking.
If you make the curry, let me know. I have a keffir lime tree- doing poorly under a eucalyptus, but I could still give you a couple of keffir leaves if you can't find them at Lee Lee's- they add a beautiful aromatic component.
For curry sauce, I use coconut milk. I feel like I remember you saying your don't like coconut though... There are other uses for curry paste, I just haven't tried them. For the other dish, the shrimp one, it;s not really saucy, mainly seasoned noodles with herbs and shrimp.
Mary I also grill or roast fish and chicken in the lemon grass leaves. I have used my banana leaves to 'envelope' the fish but mostly aluminum foil.
Foil large enough piece to complete enclose the fish or chicken - single layer.
Large bunch of lemon grass leaves, rinsed and divided in half.
Bunch of thyme
White wine, apple juice, or water.
Foil down, lay one half of lemon grass leaves, then one half of thyme, then fish or chicken. Next res of thyme, then rest of lemon grass. Pour over enough wine to just moisten the lower leaves. Grill on indirect heat for 20 minutes of firm fish like salmon, 10 minutes for delicate like orange roughy. For chicken 30-40 minutes depending on thickness.
Open foil pouch carefully, take a serving platter and place on top and upend it, removing the soaked herbs and serve :-)
You do the same in a covered roaster in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, just layering the herbs and fish without the foil.
I also add lemon grass to my sun tea brews and when I want refreshing ice water I may use lemongrass and a piece of spearmint.
Catherine, thanks for the estimated times on the fish, that is very helpful. I'm going to try some fish tonight, if I can find some that's nice and fresh. Otherwise, I'll do chicken.
Heather, fish sauce has 330 mg of sodium in 2 TBLS. I Googled for a substitute but mostly found soy sauce. Same dilemma. Sometimes you could sub worcheshire sauce but methinks that is altering the recipe too much. I'm just not a Thai curry kinda girl I guess. Thanks for all the detailed information, I'm sure it will be helpful for others who are poking around looking for lemongrass uses.
My palette is more in tune with Latin American, or Italian flavors. Also like Chinese stir frys. Eveything picante, but I often sub soy sauce with my home made broth, which is spicy with cayenne type peppers and lots of garlic and onion. I think Leanne and I are on the same track. :-)
As always, thanks a bunch for the input. It's been very helpful.
It has lots of sodium, but the amount used in the finished product is minimal. That curry paste recipe makes a lot of paste. You only use 2-6 tblspn pf the paste when making the actual curry and that makes many servings- so teh amount in the finished product is minimal. Same with the noodle dish. You may use 2 tablespoon, but that's for the entire dish which is many servings. Soy sauce does not taste the same! :)