Looking for a new exotic and delicious dessert to serve at your next meal? Seek no further than this aromatic Lemongrass Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert with an Indonesian twist.
How is your summer going? OK technically summer the season just started but I bet your social calendar is already in full swing! I know mine is as I seem to not have a weekend in town until end of July and on that weekend I am hosting an out of town guest. So I had no choice but to go look in my old recipe archives. You know those recipes we made but never got around to posting (because of the pics, sorry not the best)? Well you are in luck because I have been holding out on a goodie with this Lemongrass Panna Cotta. It’s a perfect sunny light dessert with an exotic twist!
One of my favorite restaurants in Montreal – and the only worthwhile one at that – is an Indonesian restaurant called Nonya. And I always go of the Rijsttafel tasting menu when we are a group.
Rijsttafel is actually a Dutch term used to describe a meal made up of many sides and served with rice. I love it because you can try a whole bunch of different dishes at once.
One of the reasons I love food from Indonesia so much is that the taste is so colorful, exotic, and out of my normal element. And you know I consume food from so many parts of the world but I am rarely surprised by a new taste – not the case with Indonesian food. You will often find satay, curries, fork tender pieces of meat and poultry, sea food, lots of coconut milk based dishes and complex flavors.
Every time I have been at Nonya the only dessert option with the tasting menu was a delicious Indonesian black rice pudding. But the last time I went there was a second offering: a fabulous Lemongrass Panna Cotta.
What is Lemongrass?
Raise your hand if you are a fan of lemongrass! I am a huge fan but I know a lot of people who just cannot stand it. Lemongrass is a tropical island plant from the grass family and is known for how fragrant it is. The taste would be best described as a fresh citrus ginger mint flavor. Also it is a bit like citronella as well. It really gives a dish a lot of depth. You can buy hard tough stalks of lemongrass. Your best bet is to cut it into manageable pieces, crush the stalks with a knife, and then infuse you dish with it and discard the stalks before serving.
I love me a nice panna cotta recipe and it is so easy to make, contrary to popular belief. I fell so hard for the Lemongrass Panna Cotta I just had to recreate it at home. Talk about fusion cuisine: Italian and Indonesian!
My adapted recipe was found on an Australian online news site of all places. But it was almost just as delectable as the one I had from the restaurant.
Exquisite Lemongrass Panna Cotta
- 600 ml heavy cream
- 250 ml coconut milk
- 3 to 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder
- Cut lemongrass into 5cm/2 in pieces and smash them with the back of you knife.
- On medium heat, add the cream, milk, lemongrass and sugar to a saucepan and heat until just simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- Add the gelatin to the mixture and whisk until well dissolved.
- Leave the mixture to cool for 20 minutes and then pour through a fine sieve to strain. Pour evenly into 8 moulds or bowls sprayed with oil.
- Cover with cling film as to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours.
I made this as a part of a plated dessert for my culinary school. My chef instructor said it was amazing. Thanks so much for the recipe
Thank you for choosing my recipe!
I made it, the moment I read it!! I just loved the sound of it and could smell the fragrance.
I had just brought fresh lemongrass stalks this evening… and had to use some for this dish.
I love the delicate taste of Pannacotta, and definitely had to try this out.
Can it be inverted by immersing the dish in hot water?? Since I would be refrigerating it overnight. Will post a photo later.
I love your comment Kripa and so happy you made the recipe! Yes, the flavor is delicate. In theory, yes you can unmold it with hot water. Just don’t let water touch the panna cotta or leave it in too long. Tag @cultureatz if you post it, would love to see your results.
Sadly Evelyn…I don’t think my gelatin was strong enough to be able to unmold it… but all the same I served it in pretty dishes… and it was so so delicious! Thanks so much
I love lemongrass and I love Panna Cotta – definitely one I will be trying at home too
Thank you Fiona, it really is a winning combo,hope you enjoy!
Do you take the lemongrass pieces out after you have heated up the cream with them in it
Hi Robert, yes you do, at step 4, everything goes through a fine sieve.
I can imagine the flavor and the fragrance of this panna cotta! It looks absolutely perfect!
Thank you Katerina 🙂
Great pictures Evelyne! And the recipe is awesome. We love panna cotta but have never made it with coconut milk. That and the lemon grass sound like fabulous flavor for a panna cotta.
Thank you MJ! All the touches really turn this panna cotta into a new discovery 🙂
We grow a big pot of lemon grass every summer. Guess I need to research how to harvest it. 🙂
Oh really, yes to find out how to harvest it…that is so cool
I totally want to make this! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
I hope you do make it, it is awesome Carmen!
Okay, this looks mouthwatering! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much Lauren 🙂
I love love panna cotta, but never had lemongrass..it sounds and looks delicious Evelyne…every exotic indeed. Thanks for the inspiration my dear.
I hope you are having a fabulous week 🙂
Thanks Juliana, hope you give this quick summer treat a try 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!
We just love trying new recipes. This looks like a terrific one for a refreshing summer dessert. Thanks!
Thanks Sue and yes awesome light summer recipe!
Eve, I’ve heard a lot about PANNA COTTA but never made it or had it before. I’ve used the lemongrass oil many times and I like the smell but never used it in cooking. I bet I will like this. Looks so creamy and delicious.
Thanks Amira! Oh you have lemongrass oil? Is it cooking grade? Lots of Asian countries use it is curries and stir fries. And it goes well is some sweets.
What a unique twist on panna cotta! I love when cuisines and flavors from two different parts of the world are fused together to make something unexpected and delicious.
Thanks Erin, and so agree fusion can be so good when they are done well.
Lemongrass is a new item for me it was nice to learn about it thanks for the education and the recipe .
My pleasure Cindy I hope you will try lemongrass soon, in this recipe or an Asian curry 🙂
I didn’t even know what a panna cotta was, but it looks delicious, and I LOVE lemongrass!
So glad for this new discovery! I hope you will give panna cotta shot…so easy and you can flavor it with anything.
I love panna cotta, too, and yours is both elegant and exotic (and I’m certain it’s delicious!).
Thanks Liz I do wish I had one around for the required 3pm sugar rush 🙂
That looks great, I bet it’s wonderfully fragrant as well. GG
Suoer fragrant indeed, thanks for your comment!
What a fun combo!! I would definitely be down for that. I’m on the pro-lemongrass team!! But to be honest, I think I’ve only had it in savory dishes. Very keen to try it as a sweet dish!
Thanks Hilary! Oh it is just as delicious in a sweet setting 🙂
I love panna cotta and have a recipe I want to make soon. I am sure this falvour combination is divine 🙂
Thanks Tandy! Will your be making an appearance on your blog? 😀
We love Asian flavours like lemongrass and pandan and they work so well in a panna cotta! 😀
I was pretty sure this one would be up your alley 😉
GORGEOUS! I did some ginger lemongrass panna cotta a few years ago and really loved them, yours are far more elegant though! So yum!
So cool you have made some before, so good right? Oh well, I just stuck a kafir leaf in it 🙂
Love lemon grass. When we lived in Florida, I was lucky enough to be able to grow it in my garden. Year round! Doesn’t get any better than that 🙂 Anyway, this looks lovely — thanks.
Oh wow so cool you could grow it! I thought it would have needed an even more tropical climate. Thanks for stopping John!
This is so creative! Thumbs up for you, Evelyne.
Thanks so much Angie!