You may have encountered lemongrass at some point in your life before. Lemongrass is one of the main ingredients used in Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian cuisines, but it’s also used in many different types of soups, as well. Unfortunately, unless you have access to an Asian market in your town or your grocery store is stocked with everything, there’s a good chance that you might not be able to get your hands on lemongrass. Luckily, there are other things out there that can provide you with the same unique zestiness that you can get from lemongrass. So before you pull your hair out attempting to find lemongrass for that new recipe you’ve been dying to try, keep reading to discover some incredible alternatives that will compliment your meal very nicely.
Lemongrass Alternative- The Substitute
While preserved lemon may be an incredible alternative to fresh lemon, it’s also great for homemade cheese, ice cream, and tarts. Even though you can typically purchase preserved lemon in the grocery store, it’s also extremely easy to make at home! Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you make your own preserved lemon from scratch:
Step One- Cut the lemons into quarters, but don’t cut through the base.
Step Two- Put all of your lemons into a bowl and add salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for 24 hours.
Step Three- After 24 hours, put the lemon into canning jars. Make sure to seal the lid.
The best amount of time to preserve your lemons for use is three months, so make sure that you use your patience to allow it the time it needs to sit.
Lemon zest is not only one of the easiest things to find, it’s also extremely easy to make yourself. And thanks to the fact that it has a tangy taste like lemongrass, it makes the perfect substitute for a wide variety of different uses. When using lemon zest as a substitute for lemongrass, one stalk of lemongrass is equal to a teaspoon of lemon zest. Even if you don’t want to use lemon zest as a substitute for lemongrass, you should know that lemon zest also gives a great aroma to many dishes, so it’s always nice to have around, anyways.
Fresh Ginger and Coriander Stalks
As we said before, lemongrass is often used in different kinds of soup. If you’re looking for a lemongrass substitute to use in soup, then you could try combining fresh ginger and coriander stalks. You may even have these two ingredients in your pantry already because they’re so common. When using this combo as a substitute for lemongrass, make sure that you use the stalks of the coriander because that’s where most of the taste is held. Use two teaspoons of fresh ginger and two teaspoons of coriander stalks for one stalk of lemongrass.
Lemon Juice + Lime Zest + Kaffir Lime Leaf
This one may be a bit of a challenge, but it’s worth it. Using lemon juice, lime zest, and kaffir lime leaf may be frustrating because it requires three ingredients, but it’s fun and easy to make. For one stalk of lemongrass, you would use one tablespoon of lime zest, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and one kaffir lime leaf. This recipe is best used for soup and curry, but it’s important to remember to use fresh squeezed lemon juice and not the pre-packaged lemon juice that you find in bottles at the grocery store.
Coming from South America, lemon verbena is not only used in cooking, but it’s also used for medicinal reasons, as well. While most people use lemon verbena for poultry and fish dishes, it can also be used in salad dressings, drinks, and jams! Lemon verbena is also known to reduce inflammation, help aid in digestion, reduces fevers, and it can improve your immune system, as well. But we’re not here to talk about the medicinal value of this important herb, so let’s talk about how to use it as a substitute for lemongrass. For every single stalk of lemongrass needed for your recipe, you would use two lemon verbena leaves. Lemon verbena has a much stronger taste than lemongrass, so you have to mindful while using it in your dishes. Just remember to tear or chop the lemon verbena leaves before you use them and your recipe will turn out just fine!
Another impressive herb that can be used as a substitute for lemongrass is lemon balm. While this herb may come from the mint family, it has a delicious citrus scent that allows it to be a perfect substitute for lemongrass. Despite the fact that it makes a great addition to different recipes, lemon balm is also used to relieve anxiety, improve cognitive performance, and reduce pain. It is also known to help people lose weight. Before using lemon balm in your cooking, make sure to chop it nicely. Lemon balm typically makes a great substitute for lemongrass when it’s being used in dessert dishes.
Typically found in Asian stores, Kroeung makes a fantastic substitute for lemongrass. Originating from Cambodia, this paste packs a huge taste because it’s made from several different ingredients. In order to make Kroeung, kaffir limes, lemongrass, and galangal are combined. While you can buy Kroeung in specialty stores, you can also make it yourself from a simple recipe that you can find online!
As you can see, there are plenty of different substitutes for lemongrass. As long as you follow the guidelines provided when it comes to using the different herbs, your food should taste just the way you want it to. If you’re unsure what recipes these ingredients would work well with, you can always do additional research on your own as well! Needless to say, lemongrass tastes amazing, but because it can be hard to find, people can go their whole lives never tasting it. With these delicious ingredients at your disposal, you can certainly add some much-needed zest into your life!