Grass Knot

What you see in the photo above is a knot of Lemon Grass. I have a potted East Indian Lemongrass inside the front window, not particularly well tended I must admit so the harvesting of the leaves was also a mini intervention. I then put it outside the kitchen window for a chance to recoup in the fresh air. I've grown lemongrass outdoors too but it doesn't survive the winter and therefore never gets to grow into those large plump stalks that you see and are able to buy in Chinatown. Its those stalks that are generally used in South East Asian recipes. They are lightly pounded and bruised and tied into a knot to put into curries and spicy soups to release their unique lemon scent and then removed prior to serving. Unable to grow the stalks to that size in a cool temperate garden or a windowsill, the next best thing to do is to use a knot of their leaves as pictured but in a recipe with less demanding flavors than a curry or a Tom Yum. The perfect one would be to throw that knot into a rice cooker and when the rice is almost cooked to add some coconut milk to be absorbed by the rice in the last 5 or 10 minutes of cooking or steaming. Add some chopped mint at the end and you'd have lemon scented mint and coconut rice, which is exactly what I have planned.

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