Best Lemongrass Substitutes

Lemongrass has become a prominent flavor accent in many cuisines, particularly Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. You’re losing out if you haven’t utilized it in your own cuisine yet. Although it has a distinct lemony aroma, the herb can give a brilliant depth of flavor to any meal.

Lemongrass’s initial uses were medical, and although it is still a pleasant addition to your cuisine, some surprise health advantages have now emerged. Yet, obtaining this plant might be difficult. Maybe your local shop does not have lemongrass, or you just forgot to get it. What are your options? In these cases, a lemongrass replacement is required.

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Top 5 Lemongrass Substitutes

Lemon Verbena, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Cilantro, and Ginger are the greatest lemongrass alternatives. Lemon balm and lemon fruit are also excellent lemongrass substitutes.

A little lemon zest can help bring out the finest in each of the herbs mentioned below.

1. Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is a powerful plant native to South America. It has a high concentration of oil in its leaves, yet the citrus tastes are not as unpleasant as those found in other citrus species, making it a good lemongrass substitute. Lemon verbena is distinguished by its glossy, green, pointy leaves.

Lemon verbena, like lemongrass, has culinary and therapeutic use. It has a strong herby scent as well, although it is perhaps more stronger than lemongrass. Hence, if you opt to substitute lemon verbena, proceed with care!

If you’re looking for fresh forms of this plant, look for long leaves that finish in points and have a rough feel. Although still lemony, this lemongrass alternative contains far less lemon per inch, so use the zest we recommended previously to supplement.

When replacing lemon verbena for lemongrass, use two leaves per stalk of lemongrass and remove them before serving. Who wants to bite into a lovely soup only to receive a sour mouthful!

2. Kaffir Lime Leaves

Isn’t lime close enough? The Kaffir lime tree is a tiny, thorny shrub with distinctive leaves. These leaves are easily identified by their odd hourglass form. This plant, like lemongrass, is often used in Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese cuisine.

If you want to add a new flavor to a drink, make a coconut or fish-based soup. If you wish to soften the taste, use Kaffir Lime Leaves (or Thai Lime). When lemon is too overpowering, we all resort to lime. They are particularly useful if your curry is spicy.

While shopping, look for fresh leaves. Healthy ones will have an hourglass shape and a gloss from natural oils. If fresh ones are unavailable, the preserved varieties (frozen or dried) are still delicious.

Hence, keep in mind that these leaves will be roughly as potent as your lemongrass. Each stalk may be replaced with one lime leaf. And, like the lemon verbena, think of them as bay leaves that must be removed before serving the meal.

Consider tying them with string and dropping them in to cook, or using cheesecloth to make it easier to fish them out.

3. Cilantro and Ginger

These two make a remarkable combination, and you probably already have them in your kitchen. Ginger has a long history and is the second most popular spice on our list. The global consumption in 2018 was 2.8 million tons. This root spice is connected to cardamom and turmeric since it is a rhizome. It is also regarded as an ayurvedic spice.

Coriander (or Cilantro if we’re talking about the stalks) is another popular herb, and the best thing is that you may utilize the whole plant. The seeds are often referred to as coriander, whilst the stalks are referred to as cilantro. One curious truth is that some individuals have a gene that causes cilantro to taste like soap. Before utilizing this one, always ask your dinner guests whether they enjoy cilantro.

The coriander combination will provide a sweeter, more robust scent to your food. Ginger, along with lemon zest, may be used with the majority of the herbs on this list to create a delicious taste palate. But, cilantro provides a lemongrass replacement that is more similar to the original. The ginger root

Although these two are commonly available in powdered and dried forms, fresh is preferred when you want to impress.

Purchase the whole cilantro plant, as well as the fresh ginger root, from your local store. Before adding them to your recipe, be sure to peel the root and chop the stalks. Unlike the last two, these spices will simmer down perfectly, thus no need to remove them before serving.

Here’s a fast suggestion for choosing these herbs in the market: sniff them (particularly the ginger) to ensure they have a distinct, pungent aroma. The skin of the ginger should be smooth and free of blemishes, and the cilantro stalks should be vibrant green. Neither should have any defects, stains, or mold.

4. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, a member of the mint family, is another spice with a long history. It is also known as simply balm or balm mint, and it is extensively used as an ingredient in tea. Because of its appealing appearance and wonderful aroma, you may wish to plant lemon balm in your kitchen window so that you always have a fresh addition to your salads, soups, and teas.

Several of the herbs on this list contain the word lemon in their name. As a general guideline, if it’s named lemon, it may be an excellent lemongrass substitute.

The most sensitive herb on this list is lemon balm. It has a strong mint flavor, so it goes well with chicken, sweets, and drinks. As a result, for every stalk of lemongrass in your dish, add three lemon balm leaves. When buying coriander and ginger, seek for fresh, green leaves at the grocery shop.

One last point to mention about lemon balm is how to cook with it. Although cutting gives forth more taste, using entire leaves to your recipes is also acceptable. It is also appropriate to leave them in when serving.

5. Lemon

We realize this seems obvious, but we wanted to add it on the list. Lemongrass is a very fine replacement.

This yellow fruit juice has a strong acidity (about 5%), which gives it the deliciously sour flavor we all know and love. Although it has been present for generations, historians aren’t clear whether it was a natural growth or a hybrid fruit of a citron and a bitter orange. With 19.4 million tons produced, this staple far outnumbers ginger.

This one is also the most adaptable since you can cook with its flesh, peel, and juice, all of which offer diverse flavors. To keep the lemon tastes from overwhelming the rest of the meal, we suggest utilizing the zest. The natural oils present in the peel of the fruit are better for this purpose than the more acidic sour juice.

To make things simpler, substitute the zest of one medium-sized lemon for one stalk in your recipes. If you’re not sure how to zest a lemon or if you don’t have the right equipment, try this instruction to zesting lemons three different methods.

Other Lemongrass Alternatives and Final Tips

Arugula and kreung are among the honorable mentions on this list (lemongrass paste). Any of these spices should work well in place of lemongrass in your recipes. Finding the correct flavor match in your food is entirely a question of taste.

The last piece of advice we have is to experiment with lesser portions of the sauce or broth. Put separate bowls or cups with cooked broth and add modest quantities of each herb to see which ones taste the best to your specific palate.

Combination of ginger. They have the most common tastes, are more inexpensive, and are more accessible than the other herbs on this list. You can’t go wrong if you think of each meal as a new experience. We recommend beginning with lemon zest.


What herbs are similar to lemongrass?

Depending on what you have on hand and what you want to add to your recipe, there are several lemongrass replacements available. Lemon verbena, basil, mint, lavender, thyme, oregano, parsley, and citronella are all terrific choices. Other choices include preserved lemon, coriander stems, and arugula.

Can you sub lemon juice for lemongrass?

A basic, freshly squeezed lemon juice may also be an excellent substitute for lemongrass. Be wary of using too much lemon juice, since it may overpower other tastes by making your cuisine excessively acidic.

What can I use instead of lemongrass in rice?

Arugula + Lemon Zest #6

This combination comes the closest to a perfect lemongrass substitute. The peppery arugula leaf imparts a herbaceous note, while the lemon zest gives a zesty taste. To substitute one lemongrass stalk, combine one arugula leaf and one teaspoon of zest.

What flavor does lemongrass give?

Lemongrass is stated to have a moderate citrus flavor with a ginger undertone. This plant, named for its lemony scent, actually contains the same oils as the lemon fruit and is often used as a replacement for lemon flavoring. Fresh lemongrass may also have flowery and refreshing mint overtones.

What is the same as lemongrass?

Cymbopogon, commonly known as lemongrass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, Cochin grass, Malabar grass, oily heads, citronella grass, or fever grass, is a genus of grasses native to Asia, Africa, Australia, and tropical islands.

What is the other kind of lemon grass?

Lemongrass. Varieties.
Sugandhi (OD 19) (OD 19) It may grow in a variety of soil and climatic conditions.
Pragati (LS48) (LS48) It is a tall growing type with a dark purple leaf sheath that is excellent for subtropical and tropical climates in the north Indian plains and Tarai belt.
Praman (Clone 29)… RRL 16…. CKP 25…. Jama Rosa…. More Varieties.

Why is it recommended to use lemon grass?

Lemongrass could help inhibit the development of certain germs and yeast. Lemongrass also includes chemicals known to ease pain and swelling, lower fever, enhance blood sugar and cholesterol levels, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant effects.

Is lemon and lemongrass the same?

Let’s have a look at lemongrass now. Despite their similar aroma and taste, lemons and lemongrass are not related. Lemons are a kind of tree fruit, but lemongrass is a tropical plant native to Asia. Lemongrass is often found as a component in cooking or as an essential oil.

What flavors mix with lemongrass?

Lemongrass combines beautifully with almost every citrus oil, notably Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, and Orange. It may also be used to give milder flower oils like Chamomile, Rose, and Ylang Ylang a “bite.”

What does lemongrass do to a dish?

Lemongrass is used in a range of recipes, from soups and stews to fragrant Thai curry pastes and even cocktails, to provide a bright, aromatic flavor. It retains its flavor even when cooked for extended periods of time, making it an excellent option for slow-cooked stews and curries.

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