Tying Lemongrass

Todd Coleman

Tied Lemongrass is a tough-fibered aromatic herb that's used as a flavoring in countless dishes in Southeast Asia, including ones like Indonesian chicken curry. A stalk or two of the pale green herb infuses soups, braises, and curries with a citrusy taste. Lemongrass can be pounded to make spice pastes or finely sliced for salads, but it's often used in its whole form, in much the same way a bouquet garni is: dropped into the pot as a dish cooks and removed at the end.

1. First, remove the tip and the root end and peel away the stalk's fibrous outer layers.

2. Next, use a meat mallet (or, in a pinch, the back of a kitchen knife) to smash and bruise the stalk until it's pliable.

3. Finally, tie the stalk into a knot (as shown) and put it into the pot.