Lemon grass is a perennial herb that is attractive when grown in either herb or ornamental gardens. It also grows well in pots and containers, especially in areas with cold winters as the pots can be brought indoors. Lemon grass has a mild lemon flavor and is often used to flavor Asian dishes, but is suitable for a range of recipes that call for a mild citrus flavor. Whether you grow lemon grass in your garden or purchase it, minimal preparation is required.
Harvest a stem from the outside of the plant if you are using your own lemon grass. Cut the stem off with a sharp knife, level with the top of the soil. For purchased lemon grass, cut off the roots if they are still attached.
Peel off the outer layer of the grass stalk, as it is woody and tough. Trim off the thin, leafy part on the top of the stalk.
Mash the stalk using a mortar and pestle. Add the crushed lemon grass pulp to recipes that call for the herb.
Simmer whole stalks in water for 30 minutes, or until they are tender. Slice the stalks into 1/4-inch disks. Add these to soups, stews or other recipes that call for sliced lemon grass.
Dry lemon grass leaves and use to flavor tea. The dried leaves can also be added to soups for flavoring and removed prior to serving.
The outer leaves of lemon grass can cut your hand, especially when harvesting. Wear sturdy garden gloves when harvesting and stripping the leaves to avoid injury.