Farmers Daughter Herbs

chopped-lemongrassCymbopogon citratus

Sweet, fragrant, fresh-smelling lemongrass is aptly named. A flowering grass native to Sri Lanka and southern India, it has a clean, lemony scent. The perennial herb grows in bushy clumps and can reach heights of 5 feet. Its popularity has led to its wide cultivation in subtropical and tropical areas throughout the World.

In fact, the herb has a long history of use. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used it as an ingredient in cosmetics. Medicinally, lemongrass was thought to remedy many digestive problems,  including cramping, gas and diarrhea, as well as coughs and fever. Lemongrass is still used for many of these ailments and can also help treat high blood pressure, flu symptoms and rheumatic pain. However, the herb is most often valued for the delicate lemon flavor it adds to food, especially inVietnamese, Cambodian, Thaiand Indonesian cuisines.

PREPARING AND USING LEMONGRASS

The tough outer leaves can be used in soups, teas and vinegars. The tender inner stem can be eaten as a vegetable and added to stir-fries, salads, stuffings and sauces. Remove the root and outer leaves, leaving about 6 in. of the tender stem and bulb. Chop or prepare it according to the recipe. The stem (including its base) can also be used whole; crush i tslightly to release its flavor. Remove after cooking.

lemongrass shrimp

Lemongrass Shrimp


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Serves 4

 

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1 tbsp. peanut oil
2 tbsp. lemongrass, peeled
and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic,
finely chopped
1 small red chili pepper, seeded
and finely chopped
2 lb. medium shrimp
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Noodles or rice, cooked


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1. Heat the peanut oil in a large frying pan. Add the lemongrass, garlic and chili pepper. Stir-fry for 2 min.

2. Add the shrimp and stir-fry for about 3-4 more minutes, or until they are pink and cooked through.

3. Add the lemon juice and stir. Cook for aproximately 1 min. longer.

4. Serve over noodles or rice.

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