Chilli, Lemongrass & Ginger

 

 

 

Ginger, lemongrass and chillies


Ginger, lemongrass and chillies: These three ingredients are an integral part of many Asian national dishes. They are what give curries, soups, chutneys and many meat and fish dishes their characteristic flavour. If you are partial to Indian or Thai cuisine, like your meals to have a bit of a kick or enjoy fresh, lemony flavours, then you will no doubt have eaten food containing ginger, lemongrass or chillies. For those of you who are not all that familiar with these three ingredients, here's a brief overview:

 

  •  Ginger: This plant comes from Southeast Asia and its root has a fresh, hot flavour. It is used     in  soups and curries as well as teas.  Finely grated ginger will add a unique twist to a fruit    salad.
  •  Lemongrass: Despite its name, this plant is not related to the lemon. It does, however, have a mild citrusy flavour, but is not as strong and goes well with other spices. Lemongrass is particularly popular in Thai cuisine.
  • Chillies: Chillies come in varying degrees of hotness, depending on the variety. Originating from Middle America, they are actually berries and were eaten back in Mayan times. Chilli adds plenty of flavour to stews and sauces, and also works surprisingly well in dark chocolate desserts.

 

Buying and using ginger   


Ginger is incredibly versatile and easy to use. Remove the thin brown skin with a sharp knife and finely dice the ginger. Alternatively, you can scrape away the skin using the edge of a spoon. If you need fresh ginger chopped very finely, then we recommend putting it through a garlic press. Large slices of ginger are also used in teas and other drinks. Recipes often list the amount of ginger in centimetres, referring to the size of the piece of ginger. If you're cooking with ginger for the first time, use it somewhat sparingly. It doesn't take much for it to give your food a kick.
 


Buying and using lemongrass


If you rub fresh lemongrass in your hands, you'll most certainly recognize the smell. Lemongrass is often used in scented candles and incense; owing to its flavour, is it also a popular ingredient in food. Lemongrass is easy to prepare. Simply wash it under cold running water and remove the tough outer stalk. The lemongrass can then be divided into large pieces and cooked along with other ingredients. The stalk can be removed prior to serving or pushed to the side of the plate while eating. Only use the inner white core. This part can also be finely chopped and eaten.


Buying and using chillies


As chillies are so hot, few people can eat them on their own. Chillies should be carefully washed, cut open and the tiny seeds removed. The flesh can then be diced and cooked. One chilli (or even just half) is enough to begin with. You can always add more later, depending on your preferences. You should wear kitchen gloves when preparing chillies. This will prevent you from touching your face with your hands and inadvertently burning your eyes. If a dish is super spicy, yoghurt or a glass of milk will help alleviate the burning sensation.

Ginger, lemongrass and chilli are great flavour enhancers

 

Ginger, lemongrass and chilli complement each other very well. Fresh chilli and lemongrass will go beautifully in an Asian noodle soup, for example, while ginger and chilli will add a spicy kick to a Thai curry, and ginger and lemongrass make a wonderful pairing for a delicious tea. Simply add hot water.

Ginger and lemongrass also go very well with many different vegetables, as well as with coconut milk and peanuts. What's more, chilli tastes great in tomato-based dishes and all three go equally well with fish and meat. The three spices are also increasingly being used in sweet baked goods, creams and ice creams. In short, there are many ways to incorporate ginger, lemongrass and chilli into your food. All the ingredients you need can be ordered at coop@home and delivered straight to your door.