It looks a bit like scallions and smells a bit like lemon,but delicately flavored, gently aromatic lemongrass is unique. Here, this Asian staple shows its range—even doubling as a grilling skewer.

How to Trim the Stalk

Many recipes call for only the tender inner bulb of the lemongrass stalk. Here's the best way to prep it.

 1. Cut off the root and the upper two-thirds of the stalk. What's remaining contains the bulb.
 2. Peel the outer leaves of the lemongrass stalk—usually just one or two layers—to reveal the bulb.
 3. Clockwise from top: The bulb is usually minced, sliced or crushed before it's added to a dish.

Photographs: Eric Piasecki

Lemongrass Tips

1. Make lemongrass-scented tea by infusing a crushed stalk in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes then using the water to make green tea.

2. Give grilled foods an aromatic smokiness by scattering lemongrass tops over hot coals or on top of the gas burners before putting food on the grill.

3. Add a subtle lemony flavor to roast chicken or fish by lining the bottom of a roasting pan with the crushed tops of lemongrass stalks, then placing the food on top.