The Nonya Cooking Ingredient - Serai or Lemon grass possesses a very strong pungent flavour, and is used liberally in
most curry dishes.
The end of the stalk (about seven cm from the root end) is usually cut off and discarded. Serai or Lemon grass is used either sliced, pounded or bruised. Yellow green in color and resembling large scallions Serai or Lemon grass is native to Malaysia and grown throughout Southeast Asia.
Serai or Lemon grass is an important and a pre-eminent flavoring ingredient in Thai cuisine and in Southeast Asian cooking. With the great popularity of the food of that region, Serai or Lemon grass has made its way onto countless ingredients lists for all sorts of dishes.
In cooking, only the portion of the stalk from the base to the point at which the leaves branch is used. Serai or Lemon grass balances hot chilies, gives depth to cool mint, and creates a zing in coconut milk soup. Citral, an essential oil also found in lemon peel, gives Serai or Lemon grass its distinctive lemony taste and scent.