There are a lot of ways to store properly in order to preserve herbs like the lemon grass. So how can one achieve a garden fresh flavor of the lemon grass during winter or even up to all year long? What is the best way to store lemon grass?
First step to store lemon grass is that the lemon grass should be collected during morning where the morning dew has already dried out but before the day’s heat can be felt. Then, remove any diseased or dry leaves. This could spoil the healthy leaves. Rinse the collected lemon grass with cold water. The process will remove the dirt and any insects residing in the lemon grass. Then lightly pat dry the leaves with paper towels.
Afterwards, the lemon grass should be frozen for longer shelf life. The bottom third of the lemon grass is the most commonly used for cooking. So it is better to remove already the top part and outer leaves. These parts could be used for tea making or for marinating then discard these. The bottom part of the lemon grass which is the bulb can be chopped, minced or pureed then put into freeze. It is best to freeze lemon grass in small amounts. The lemon grass is then wrapped in a plastic wrapper then store it in a plastic freezer container or in a double freezer bag or in a well-sealed glass jar. This will prevent the lemon grass from getting dry or inheriting the other odors of the freezer. If one’s goal is to store it for months, better get a vacuum pack; keep it air tight and tightly sealed.
On the other hand, the tender inner green lemon leaves can also be stored by separating it, then chopping it according to its desired usage, and freezing it. The inner green leaves are best for stir fried menus and sauces.
Lemon grass is an essential herb from native India and is widely used and popular in Asian cuisine specifically with the culinary of Thais. They use lemon grass with chicken, fishes and curries. Storing lemon grass by freezing is the best way to preserve its garden fresh flavor and use it any time as part of cooking even during winter months.
With proper handling, stored lemon grass can be preserved from six months up to one year. However, the shelf life can be shortened if the item is exposed to open air, heat and light.