Bracing for the summer: Lemon Grass tea drink

one week break before term starts.    I’m chilling out.

L stocks the fridge with mangoes and lychees.

Ahhhh…  Lemon grass drink. $3 for a glass in a Thai restaurant.

Can I attempt to DIY?  Love the smell of lemongrass and ginger flower. Spicy, exotic. Refreshing. Unique.

1) 3 stalks of lemon grass stem from garden.  Remove outer coat. Cut off 1 cm of each side – discard.

2) Crush to release fragrance and cut to smaller pieces.

3) Add pandan leaves (screw pine) from garden for extra fragrance – optional. (My pandan leaves are thriving in the pond this summer and crowding out the fishes.)

4) Add 4 litres of water.  Bring to boil for 15 mins.

5) Add 5 tbsp of sugar. (More if you like it sweet)

6) Discard lemon grass and pandan leaves. Serve either hot or cold.


3 stalks of lemon grass

Crushed lemon grass and pandan leaves with water.

Pandanus Amarylifolius

Pandanus grow in soil or water.  Mine is grown soil-less in the pond, and its thriving as a waterplant. No fertilising required. Experiment with the ones you get from the market, tiny roots hanging- voila, an edible garden.

In Southeast Asian dessert, we add pandan leaves to almost everything.  We have pandan chiffon cake. We boil greenbean soup with pandan leaves.  Thais wrap pandan leaves to chicken pieces and fry it and even make little dessert baskets for jelly.  So I was really surprised to find out that the PRC Chinese (vs Southeast Asian Chinese) can’t stand the smell of pandan leaves.)

For that matter, taxis put pandan leaves to ward off cockroaches too.  JL, our chef friend taught us a trick to ward off houseflies. Apparently, they don’t like the smell of fresh mint.  He demo-ed it when we were having pizza at BaiSha, Li Jiang.  Well.

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