What makes Thai lemongrass so special?
Asian food is, among many other things, very healthy. The base of many cuisines in Asia consists of vegetables. Therefore, whenever we opt for Asian dishes, we can be rest assured we are protecting our health.
One of the ingredients commonly found in dishes, especially in South East and South Asia, is lemongrass. Whether it’s Indian, Indonesian, or Thai lemongrass, the herb is widely found in many dishes. Interestingly, it is mostly sought because of its aromatic purposes. Adding lemongrass to your dishes will introduce freshness, and a bit of citrus notes.
Selecting your lemongrass
If you are looking for ways to explore your culinary skills with Thai cuisines, then you should be open to playing around with lemongrass. When you juxtapose different cuisines of the world, they all stand out owing to their varying nutritional value. However, the addition of lemongrass to Thai cuisines can greatly enhance the value of anything you make. The lemony aroma lends a unique touch to your Thai lemongrass recipes and proves enough to lift your spirits with the right taste and nutrition.
Selecting the right lemongrass is crucial to maintain the taste and quality of your meals. While making a Thai dish with the herb, you can choose between fresh and dried lemongrass. Fresh lemongrass comes as a preferred option for chefs because it gives a good mix of complex and bright flavours.
On the other hand, dried lemongrass lends a woodsier flavour to your meals. If stir-frying is your thing, then you should definitely have finely-diced fresh lemongrass. Going for the dried ones doesn’t always serve the purpose well because they would dry out even more while frying. Nonetheless, you can freely use dried lemongrass in soups and long-simmered dishes—the meals that allow the lemongrass enough time to retain moisture.
To pick the best lemongrass, make sure that the bottom is whitish to light green. In addition, the plant must be aromatic, and the leaves shouldn’t be so dry. Try to get it as fresh as possible for maximum fragrance.
Most stores sell it with the leaves, but what we really use is the bottom part of the stalk. Chop the leaves off and the bottom root and peel off the hard outer layer. Smash the stalk with a meat hammer or any other hard item like the bottom of a thick glass. This will release the essential oils and even more aroma. We will focus on Thai lemongrass in this post.
Why lemongrass should be on your menu?
You can add this stalk to your soups, and you will take it to the next level. The aroma and zestiness it brings will leave you quite pleased. You can also chop it finely and add it to your stir fry to get a similar flavour and scent enhancements, as well as another layer of texture.
But this vegetable is not only amazing in dishes, the grass is also used because of its various health benefits, most notably, fighting against inflammation. It has been reported to prevent infection and growth of yeasts as well as help with levels of anxiety. The use of its essential oils and as tea is definitely a great addition for those looking for healthy choices.
For making Thai lemongrass recipes, the herb is chopped to add to stir-fries, soups, marinades and spice rubs, salads and other preparations. Doctors believe that lemongrass, when added to dishes, can be a great cure for many digestive issues. Much of its therapeutic benefits come from its high content of antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties. Not to forget, Thai lemongrass recipes can help you alleviate some health problems, such as high fever, sore throat and laryngitis, owing to their rich medicinal properties.
Generally, there are two ways to use lemongrass to make different dishes. To infuse broths, teas, and soups, you will have to chop off the spikes and bases, use a side knife to crush the stalks (a process that releases aromatic oils of the herb), and cut them into one to two-inches long pieces.
On the other hand, using lemongrass in stir-fries, marinades, curry pastes and spice rubs requires only the bottom portion after trimming the top and base. You will have to then mince or chop them finely after peeling off tough or dry layers.
It’s noteworthy that lemongrass gains intensity when cooked for long. So, you should add minced lemongrass to your Thai lemongrass recipes at the initial stage of your cooking to get the strong flavour of the herb. However, if you want to get a fresher and lighter flavour of lemongrass, then you can add it towards the end of the process.
Lemongrass can be used as a decorative plant as well. You can plant some yourself from store bought plants. Put it on a glass of water until roots come out. You can also put it on soil as you would any other plant. Try to get organic lemongrass if you try this as sometimes growers will spray plants with anti-rooting agents.
The magic of Thai lemongrass pork chop
Eating healthy food is one of the major factors in being as productive and happy as you can be. One amazing Thai lemongrass recipe you can consider making is the Thai lemongrass pork chop bowl. This is an epitomic dish that shows how lemongrass blends quite well with pork and rice. The best part: it’s quite easy to prepare. All you have to do is heat some oil over a skillet and then cook some pork together with a number of ingredients.
To make Thai lemongrass pork chop bowl, you need to lay your hands on these ingredients: chicken stock, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, cornstarch, rice wine vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes, amongst others.
After collecting these ingredients, you can follow the instructions below to make your Thai lemongrass pork chop bowl:
- Mix lemongrass, salt, pork, scallions and pepper, and set the mixture aside for ten to fifteen minutes.
- Take some cooking oil in a pan and heat it over medium-high flame. Sauté the pork mixture for about two minutes till you see the pork is no longer pink.
- Add chillies and garlic to the mixture, and stir it for a couple of minutes or until you see the pork cooked to tenderness.
- Add fish sauce, palm sugar and fish sauce and toss the mixture.
- Transfer the preparation to a large serving plate and garnish it with some cilantro, chopped freshly. Fresh veggies are added at the end for a more flavorful experience in addition to the lemongrass.
Your lemongrass pork chop bowl is ready to serve with steamed white rice. You can even use lightly boiled vermicelli if you crave for a different substitute. It’s healthy, filling and super delightful!
Not many people are aware such a recipe exists, and one place which offers a delightful version of this is Rice Bowl Deluxe. They offer a Lemongrass pork chop bowl with rice, pork spring roll, pan fired egg, fresh veggies, and fish sauce on the side. If this doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will.
Thai lemongrass has even achieved a little bit of an iconic status, as it serves as the name for many Thai or Thai influenced events and businesses. Our chefs are quick to incorporate this beautiful plant into our dishes, we are introducing a new dish here at Rice bowl Deluxe, lemongrass chops with vegetables, pork spring rolls and a bed of rice. Come over and see for yourself just what makes lemongrass so unique!
Rice Bowl Deluxe offers a variety of authentic Asian dishes that will satisfy your cravings. We offer high-quality, health-conscious dishes such as Korean rice bowls, Japanese steak bowls, Thai bowls, spring rolls, and noodle bowls in Edmonton. Check out our menu and have some amazing Asian food today!