Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea)

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 1

I've been cooking with lemongrass a lot lately and rather than toss the leaves into the compost bin as I usually do, I've been turning them into tra xa (Vietnamese lemongrass tea). Again, this would be one of those non-recipe recipes except that I just liked my pictures so much, I thought I'd share.

The glass is from a set that I nabbed from my mom when I was Portland last month. Actually, I raided her cupboards and she let me take what I liked. I took a lot. :)

The teapot below was only $6.95 at The Wok Shop in San Francisco's Chinatown.

I have really horrible lighting in my kitchen -- a small window over the sink and a half-covered window on the other side of my dining table. Sometimes though, as the sun sets, I get marginally better lighting. I think I just liked these photos for the way the light and shadows shifted from one moment to the next. All in all, from the first picture to the last, only eight minutes had passed. I shot off about 50 photos as I played with placement of the teapot and the glass, which object to focus on, and tying off lemongrass leaves.

At 5:06 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 2

At 5:07 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 3

At 5:08 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 4

At 5:12 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 5

At 5:13 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 6

At 5:15 p.m.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea) 7

Oh yeah, and the lemongrass tea recipe.

Tra Xa (Vietnamese Lemongrass Tea)

After chopping off the bottom white stalk for various recipes (use the search bar and type in lemongrass), wash the leaves and scrunch or tie them up and place in a teapot.

Boil water and pour into the pot. Let steep for a minute or so and you've got a lovely non-caffeinated tea.

If you have too many lemongrass leaves, you can chop them up, dry them out, and save them for later pots of tea.


My other Vietnamese drink recipes:
Ca Phe Sua Da / Ca Phe Sua Nong (Vietnamese Milk Coffee Iced / Vietnamese Milk Coffee Hot)
Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Lemonade)
Rau Ma (Vietnamese Pennywort Juice)
Sinh To Bo (Vietnamese Avocado Shake)
Sinh To Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Shake)
Sinh To Dam (Vietnamese Aloe Vera Shake)
Tra Atiso (Vietnamese Artichoke Tea)

1 year ago today, Mi Hoanh Thanh (Vietnamese Wonton Noodle Soup).
2 years ago today, Vietnamese-American-owned Cajun crawfish at The Boiling Crab - Alhambra (Valley Blvd.).


  1. I'm going to give this a try once my Asian market folks return from vacation. I've finally developed a reasonable facsimile of Thai ginger tea and this looks like a close match. I'll keep you posted.

  2. Love the taste of lemon grass tea. My SIL makes it whenever she visits.

  3. I have never had lemongrass tea before but I have tried fruit teas. Your presentation of the teapot and glass look fantastic- great designs! You're not the only one with kitchen lighting troubles. My kitchen gets no light at all, and my regular lights appear yellow when I take photos. So I have to take them either at the entrance of my house or at the stove.

  4. i love those pretty "step-by-step" photos!

  5. lovely! i am sure i'll love lemongrass tea...but when i buy lemongrass here...they don't come with the leaves T_T

  6. The glass the teapot look beautiful and so are your photographs. Although not much lighting is there, they look serene.

  7. thank you so much for that thit kho recipe, keep up the great work.

  8. LOL the series of photos are funny. 4 minutes apparently make a huge difference :P

  9. I've never actually seen the leaves before. Very nice recipe!

  10. Oooh, I like your photos so much, too. Lemongrass tea sounds sure sounds refreshing! Thanks for sharing.

  11. came here through Yasmeen's health nut....your blog is wonderful and i love lemon grass tea.....i had LG in my garden earlier n i am going to get one's damn costly here...

  12. Mary,
    Oooh, Thai ginger tea. I bet you can make a ginger and lemongrass tea that would be pretty good.

    Several of my friends like it a lot too. So it's easy enough to make it when they come over.

    Thanks! I keep trying to improve my photos. It's so hard with such a tiny and gloomy kitchen though.


    :( They usually only sell the stalks because that's the part people use to cook.

    Lone Acorn,
    Thanks! I decided I liked the shadows too.

    You're welcome. And thank you for trying my recipe.

    4 minutes makes all the difference in the world!

    Pig Pig,
    Never? Never saw a lemongrass plant in person?

    Thanks! It's a nice subtle tea without the tannins of real tea leaves.

    Thanks! If you can buy some lemongrass stalks, just put them in a cup of water until they root and you can plant them.

  13. lol, thanks! I've seen these exact leaves in Mexico when someone made this tea (tied in a knot) for me just like in your recipe...and I LOVED it. But the literal translation was lemon tea and I knew that these weren't lemon leaves. I had a sneaking suspicion that it might be lemon grass but I've never seen fresh lemon grass whole and didn't know what stores might have it. So, I would just bring some with me from time to time when I went. (Don't know why I never thought to search for it on google, haha.) But anyway I tried pennywort at a pho restaurant in la and I liked it and wanted to find more info on it and found your site on google (go figure, haha). Meanwhile looking for more healthy vietnamese recipes I chanced on this page and...tadah! Now i know what that other tea I loved so much in Mexico really is! Thanks for posting your blogs and recipes and sharing your is much appreciated! :)

  14. D Smith,
    I have a few friends who love lemongrass tea so I often make it after dinner. Who knew there were people who liked it that much?


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