You can use lemon grass as a spice to complement a variety of sweet and savory foods. Lemon grass is an aromatic plant that grows back each year after being harvested at ground level and undergoing a dormant period in the winter. Only a small portion of the tall lemon grass blades are tender enough to eat. Add complexity and potent flavor to the foods you make by preparing and incorporating fresh lemon grass.
Peel away and discard the woody outer leaves of the lemon grass. Chop off the entire green section at the top and any dry or brown part at the base. Rinse the remaining white stalk of lemon grass in cold water to remove any dirt or grit.
Put the lemon grass on the cutting board. Place the broadside of the knife on top of the cleaned lemon grass and press straight down on the knife with the palm of your hand to crush the lemon grass stalk.
Chop the crushed lemon grass into small pieces. Group the pieces of lemon grass in a pile and crush the pieces with the side of the knife. Mince the crushed pieces into a fine mush with no discernible shapes.
Add the potent freshly crushed aromatic herb incrementally in half-teaspoons to avoid over spicing. Taste the dish after each addition and add more as needed. Lemon grass is often added both during the cooking process and right before a dish is served to punctuate the flavor.