If you’re using lemongrass as an infusion, you still need to use the lower section of the stem, but because you won’t actually be eating the lemongrass, there is no need to remove the tough outer layers, which still contain a lot of flavour. In fact, you can save on waste by keeping hold of the outer layers removed during regular cooking to use in infusions.
To infuse lemongrass into soups, herbal teas, or even your favourite alcoholic drink, crush the tender part of the stem with the side of a knife, like you would a garlic bulb, then cut into 3-5cm pieces. For hot infusions, like soup or tea, steep for five to ten minutes and then remove, and to infuse a bottle of vodka or gin, leave for four to five days. As with cooking, the longer you leave it in, the stronger the taste.
If you like experimenting with ingredients from other cultures, there’s a whole world of flavour still to discover. If you’re on the lookout for your new favourite food, take a look at these seven global ingredients to try for your next meal, where you’ll find new and exciting foods from cassava root to daikon radish.