When fresh, lemon grass stalks are juicy and full of sap. They then dry out and turn woody. Even when freshly picked, the outer layers are fibrous and should be removed and added only to stocks (see chicken stock article
). Break off the root, too. Bruise the inner portion with a pestle before infusing it in a sauce. Vong also dices it very finely for flavouring some stir-fried and seared items.