Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tall growing perennial grass that is native to temperate to tropical regions, mostly in the Old World and in Oceania. There are 55 different species of Lemon Grass in the genus Cymbopogon, but we will concentrate on Cymbopogon citratus.
This species of Lemon Grass is a very common ingredient in Asian and Caribbean food. In Asia, it is used most commonly in Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian cuisine. As this herbs name may suggest, it has a citrus flavor. Some recipes call for fresh Lemon Grass, while others use the herb in a dried and powdered form. The outside of the stalk of the Lemon Grass plant is very hard, but the inner parts are soft and edible. The outside can be used as well, but has to be very finely sliced. Whole Lemon Grass can also be added to soups and stews once bruised, as the Lemon Grass releases oils into the mixture, adding flavor.
Some other edible uses of Lemon Grass include tea, curry, and flavoring for fish and poultry.
Also check out the Lemon Grass Classification.