Home » How to mince fresh Lemongrass to freeze (Sả bằm)

How to mince fresh Lemongrass to freeze (Sả bằm)

by Lily
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Fresh Lemongrass is a pleasant citrus scented ‘grass’ stalk  commonly used in asian cooking. Mincing this grass to freeze will make it an easy and accessible herb you can use throughout the year.

What is Lemongrass?

It’s a stalk with long grass blades and is sometimes referred to as barbed wire grass (because of its harmless ‘razor’ grass blades). Its scent can be described as a mix of lemon mixed with ginger or mint and is a common herb used in asian cooking. Due to its pleasant citrus scent it can also be found in scented oils, soaps, lotions, candles etc.

The texture of this herb is fibrous and has hardened (dry blades) layered on the outside. Once these hardened layers are removed, you will end up with tender layers. This is the part you can use to mince.

Where can I buy fresh Lemongrass?

Since it’s a popular herb you can find fresh lemongrass stalks in the refrigerated produce section of your local supermarket (sold by weight). Check colour for freshness. The greener it is, the fresher it is. Avoid buying discoloured, soft or bad smelling Lemongrass.

What if I can’t find fresh Lemongrass?

If you’re unable to find fresh lemongrass, your other options are:

  • Squeeze tube of pureed Lemongrass (not the best option since this is mixed with other herbs such as basil and cilantro or other spices but works if you’re in a pinch)
  • Lemongrass powder usually found in the spice section (make sure it’s pure ground lemongrass powder and not mixed with other herbs)
  • Frozen (minced or whole) lemongrass in the frozen aisle (sold in containers or bags)

How to prepare Lemongrass

Always start by trimming about 1/2 inch off the base of the stalk. Next, peel and discard the dry, hard (sometimes brown) outer layer. Then trim the top by cutting all of the blades off, leaving you the tender stalk ready to be prepared for your dish. Make sure to give it a good rinse before cooking. 

How to cook with Lemongrass

Depending on your dish, you can cook Lemongrass in a number of ways. Use a sharp knife to easily cut through the stalk fibers:

  • Broths, soups, stews, drinks – leave stalk(s) whole and crush it with the back of your knife to release its aromatic flavour. If stalk is long enough, tie it into a knot before adding to your pot.
  • Stir fries, marinades, soups, curry – Slice stalks finely into rings before adding to your pot. You can also add sliced rings to a mortar to pound it into a paste for maximum flavour (or use a blender with some water).

How to mince Lemongrass to freeze

To mince for freezing, buy at least 6 stalks fresh Lemongrass that will yield  approximately 2 cups. Double that amount if you prefer more.

Once you’ve prepared the stalks, slice stalks finely into rings. Make sure you have enough counter space to work with since the rings tend to ‘roll’ away while slicing. Add rings to a food processor and mince for 3 – 5 minutes on high (or until you’ve reached preferred mince texture).  Scoop minced Lemongrass into a freezer friendly zip-top bag. Use your hands to smooth & spread minced Lemongrass so that it’s evenly distributed throughout the bag. Remove excess air and zip the bag closed. Lay bag flat to freeze. In doing so, you will be able to break off frozen, minced lemongrass without having to thaw the entire bag. You can also use a food saver to freeze minced lemongrass to extend its shelf life.

A few freezing tips for Lemongrass

  • Freeze whole stalks (un-crushed) for soups, stews. When ready to use, no need to crush stalks as thawing will release a lot of its ‘juice’ already.
  • Freeze minced (mixed with water) or pureed lemongrass in ice cube trays for easier removal to use directly in your cooking.
  • Freeze (minced or whole) Lemongrass in food saver bags to extend shelf life (up to 6 months).

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How to mince fresh Lemongrass to freeze

Fresh Lemongrass is a pleasant citrus scented ‘grass’ stalk  commonly used in asian cooking. Mincing this grass to freeze will make it an easy and accessible spice you can use throughout the year.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 medium freezer friendly zip top bag
  • 6 stalks fresh lemongrass

Instructions
 

  • Trim 1/2 inch off the base of lemongrass stalk. Peel and discard dry, hard (sometimes brown) outer grass layers (about 2 – 3 layers). Trim the top by cutting all of the grass blades off (cut about half way where the leafs and stalk meet). Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
  • With a sharp knife, slice stalks finely into rings. Alternatively, cut lemongrass in half lengthwise (for better grip), then thinly slice lemongrass.
  • Add all of the sliced lemongrass into the bowl of a food processor and mince on high for 3 to 5 minutes (or until desired texture is reached).
  • Scoop finely minced lemongrass into a large freezer friendly zip-top bag. Spread minced lemongrass into an even layer and remove excess air. Close bag and freeze by laying it flat. Frozen, minced lemongrass will last up to 6 months.

Video

Notes

Freezing Tips:
  1. Freeze whole stalks (un-crushed) for soups, stews. When ready to use, no need to crush stalks as thawing will release a lot of its ‘juice’ already.
  2. Freeze minced (mixed with water) or pureed lemongrass in ice cube trays for easier removal to use directly in your cooking.
  3. Freeze (minced or whole) Lemongrass in food saver bags to extend shelf life (up to 6 months).
To thaw:
Break off a chunk of minced lemongrass in the desired amount you need for your recipe. By freezing it flat, it should be easy enough to break off. If not, thaw bag in your microwave a few seconds at a time until you can loosen minced lemongrass in the desired amount.
Keyword aromatic, herb, lemongrass, spice, stalks
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