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Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp & how to prepare lemongrass

Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp

You can prepare this delicious Thai-inspired Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp in around a half hour.

3 stalks lemongrass

And since a neighbor recently asked me how to prepare lemongrass in a recipe, I thought this dish might make a terrific primer.

When choosing your lemongrass at the market, it’s best to pick bunches of thinner stalks. The stalks should be a bright green color and look fresh, the outer skin should not be dried out like a dead outer coating of a plant. Even if you’ve never used lemongrass before this is a common sense method to use when purchasing.

3 stalks lemongrass stems removed

Peel off any outer leaves. Cut off the end stems. Cut off the tops of the sturdy stalks leaving about two-thirds of the stalk. The bottom two-thirds of the stalk is what you chop up for use. If you make your own stocks you can also toss the leftover top stems right into the stock pot.

lemongrass with tops removed

Lots of people have tasted lemongrass in Thai or other southeast Asian cuisines and it certainly imparts a lovely lemon flavor to dishes pairing well with a variety of complementary ingredients. 

lemongrass with cleaver for smashing

The thing about lemongrass is that it is fibrous. People that are used to this in dishes will simply eat around it, others no so acquainted may plain spit it out due to its tough texture so it important to break down the stalks as much as possible. The other alternative is to strain the liquid before serving.

chopped lemongrass

To begin you could use the back of a cleaver to flatten the stalk out a bit, much like you would crushing garlic before removing the skin. Next, you chop it finely, and then some more.

chopping lemongrass in mini food processor

Before throwing it into a mini food processor with a bit of water or stock and letting the processor run for around a minute.

dish of finely chopped lemongrass

Now, the lemongrass is ready to be used in your recipe. 

Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp & how to prepare lemongrass

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Category: Fish

Cuisine: Thai Inspired

Servings: 4

Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp


  • 1 1/2 pounds large sized shrimp, peeled, de-veined, patted dry with paper toweling
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped lemongrass
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh sno peas, strings detached
  • 1 fresh red hot pepper, optional
  • Thai basil leaves for garnish, optional


  1. Warm large saute pan on low heat, add oil, swirl around to coat all around
  2. Tumble in red onion, stir and cook for around three minutes to soften.
  3. Add in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and red pepper flakes, cook another three minutes.
  4. Increase heat to medium, toss in the shrimp, cook, for two minutes shaking pan after each minute Drop in the sno peas, stir to combine with pan ingredients, continuing to cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, another two to three minutes.
  5. Arrange shrimp onto plates and serve hot straight away.


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  1. Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    What a pretty plate, Peggy. I’ll bet it smells and tastes delicious! While I’m sure I have had lemongrass in Thai food, I’m not sure I could pick it out. To me, those flavors blend so well, they’re seamless. Is this designed as an appetizer? What would best accompany this dish as part of a meal?
    Kelly recently posted…International Women’s DayMy Profile

    • Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Kelly and the shrimp dish does smell and taste delicious! The flavors do blend so well but breaking down that lemongrass is essential, especially for people unaccustomed to foods flavored with the herb since it is so very fibrous. Lemongrass reminds me of the question: Who ate the first oyster? Wondering who first thought of eating this fibrous stalk in the first place. I served this as the second part of a luncheon dish, the other course being the curried noodles, so it could be an appetizer or a course/side as part of a larger meal. See you soon.

  2. Joanne C.
    Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Looks so tasty. Thanks for the lemongrass lesson, sounds tough to work with but still interesting to try out.

    • Posted March 8, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Joanne. True. But the good part is that the process is the most time-consuming part of the recipe making the Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp dish easy to prepare in less than a half hour.

  3. Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips about lemongrass Peggy, I have had a need to use it a few times but each time I went to the market it looked terribly old. Love everything about your dish, looks amazing!
    cheri recently posted…Harvest, Unexpected Project Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants, A BookMy Profile

    • Posted March 11, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Cheri. Lemongrass really does impart a unique depth of flavor to dishes so it is too bad that you have not had luck finding a fresh variety, otherwise, it might just plain out not be worth it. See you soon.

  4. Posted June 14, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Delightful recipe, Peggy! I love the detailed and step by step instructions!
    Agness of Run Agness recently posted…My Top 5 Snacks for Runners 🍎🍪🍉My Profile

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.