Unfortunately, we don’t see fresh lemongrass here in Hawke’s Bay very often, so when I do spot it, as I did the other day at my local
vegetable shop, I always grab it.
I also know, from a previous job, there are several Hawke’s Bay home gardeners who grow this fragrant herb, so when I saw it I asked who had grown it and was told it was grown locally – so am pleased to know those home gardeners are still growing and
supplying local businesses.
Lemongrass, as the name implies, is a grass-like herb which has a zesty lemon flavour and aroma and is used extensively in Southeast Asian cuisine – most particularly in Thai cooking and is the key
ingredient in a dish which I love Tom Yum Soup and is what I nearly made with this lovely fresh lemongrass.
If purchasing fresh lemongrass, stalks should be firm, not soft or
rubbery, and the lower stalk should be pale yellow in colour and the upper stalks green and fresh looking. Prepared, ready-to-use lemongrass is available in several forms in supermarkets and Asian food stores.
Roasted Lemongrass & Chilli Marinated Chicken
This simple chicken dish is packed with Southeast Asian flavours – great for cold or warm weather eating.
4 free-range chicken thighs, bone-in
lemon wedges, to serve
coriander leaves, to serve
LEMONGRASS & CHILLI MARINADE
3 stalks lemongrass, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
knob fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 fresh Thai red chilli, sliced
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 To make marinade, place lemongrass, garlic, ginger,
coriander, chilli, sugar, oil, fish sauce and lemon juice in a food
processor and pulse to make a rough paste.
2 Place chicken in a shallow dish, pour over marinade, turn to coat and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours or overnight.
3 Preheat oven to 200°C. Drain chicken, place on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Serving suggestion: Serve with steamed white or brown rice and steamed green vegetable of your choice or a salad of mixed leaves, accompanied by lemon wedges and topped with coriander leaves.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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