Best Lemongrass Substitutes: Top Alternatives For Your Kitchen

Lemongrass is a plant that is used to make lemongrass tea. It’s also known as Cymbopogon citratus, and it’s a Southeast Asian plant. As a result, numerous culinary concepts with lemongrass can be found in Asian cuisines such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Lemongrass plants, on the other hand, maybe found in various tropical areas such as South and Central America or Africa.

Lemongrass plants have a short rootstock with multiple stiff stalks. It comes in a dry or powdered form and has a citrus taste. For cooking, we just utilize the stem of the lemongrass plant, not the entire plant. It works well with meat, seafood, chicken, fish, and vegetables and is widely used in teas, soups, and curries.

Aromatherapy makes extensive use of lemongrass essential oil. Lemongrass has been shown in several research to have antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. These research findings are encouraging.

Lemongrass has a distinct flavor:

Lemongrass has a lemony tone with a tinge of herbal flavor, almost like a cross between lemon and lemon mint. The flavor is mild and blends well with the other elements. Lemongrass also gives your food a strong flavor without being bitter like lemon.

Lemongrass Health Benefits:

Antioxidant: Isoorientin, chlorogenic acid, and swertiajaponin are just a few of the antioxidants found in lemongrass. It also has antibacterial properties and can help to reduce tooth decay, cavities, and gum irritation.

Anti-inflammation: Citral and geranial chemicals in lemongrass can help to inhibit the development of inflammatory indicators in the body.

Digestive health: Lemongrass tea is commonly used to treat stomach pains, indigestion, and other digestive issues.

Skin treatment: Lemongrass essential oil can be utilized as a therapeutic agent to treat various inflammatory skin diseases due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. However, like with any other form of skin treatment, you should test it on your arms first to see whether you’re allergic before applying it to your entire face.

Insect repellent: Citral and geranial chemicals (anti-inflammatory agents) also have the ability to ward off unwelcome insects.

Uses Of Lemongrass In Foods And Drinks:

As I previously stated, lemongrass has several health advantages, and I will discuss some of the finest ways to use lemongrass in daily meals and beverages.

Tea with Lemongrass:

Lemongrass is frequently included in ginger teas to provide a flowery, spicy, and refreshing flavor. Have you ever awoken to a hot cup of high-quality ginger tea with a hint of lemongrass? It’s just fantastic.

Adding ice to your tea is another great way to enjoy it. To create a cup of lemongrass-ginger iced tea, steep some lemongrass and ginger root stalks in hot water.

Lemongrass is used in detox tea because of its therapeutic effects. Green tea mixes are the most popular herbal tea blends with lemongrass. Because lemongrass has anti-inflammatory characteristics, green tea blends containing lemongrass components can help decrease acne, pimples, and indigestion. You may buy lemongrass green tea blends at the market or create a cup of iced lemongrass green tea at home to soothe your summer thirst.

Food with Lemongrass:

Because lemongrass stalks are tough and should be chopped before cooking, lemongrass should be removed before eating. Prepare for at least 10 minutes of duration.

Lemongrass is well-known in Southeast Asian cuisines, particularly Thai and Malaysian. It goes great with beef or chicken as well. Lemongrass can add a tangy and invigorating scent to roasted chicken or lamb chops. Of course, it may be used in marinades and soups, but it can also be used in stir-fries. Lemongrass stalks may be used to add flavor to your crème Brulee.

Best Lemongrass Substitutes

Lemongrass is a unique ingredient used mostly in Southeast Asian cuisine. You may run out of fresh lemongrass or be unable to locate it. Lemongrass alternatives can be used instead. Most of the ingredients to substitute lemongrass are likely to be found in your pantry.

1. Mint Leaves + Lime Juice + Ginger + Sugar:

Take around 6 to 8 mint leaves, carefully cut them, and place them in a bowl if you’re creating your Asian-inspired vegetarian meal — Tom Yum but without the lemongrass.

To make 2 teaspoons of lime juice, squeeze half a lime. If you squeeze too hard, you may end up with a bitter flavor.

After that, finely chop the fresh ginger and measure 14 teaspoons. Finally, stir together all of the ingredients with a quarter teaspoon of sugar. Lemongrass adds richness to this dish with its aromatic perfume from the mint leaves, citrus flavor from the juice, and a peppery tang from the ginger. It’s best to use it soon before serving.

2. Kaffir Leaf + Lime Zest + Lemon Juice:

A blend of lime zest, lemon juice, and Kaffir leaf is another suitable replacement for lemongrass (lime leaf). Although kaffir leaf has a citrus scent, it does not have the same flavor as lemongrass. That’s why, to get that tangy citrus flavor, I recommend adding lemon juice.

Remember to use fresh lemon juice and to remove the hard mid-rib of the Kaffir leaf. Also, because lemon juice can make a meal too acidic, you should use it sparingly. 2 tablespoons is usually sufficient. Curries and soups benefit the most from this recipe.

3. Arugula + Lemon Zest:

If you have any leftover lemons, grate one teaspoon of lemon zest and combine with one arugula leaf. Lemon zest enhances the citrus flavor of the meal, while arugula mimics the herbal flavor. Arugula has a pungent and spicy flavor, so don’t overdo it.

If you can’t get arugula, there are alternative options, but taste as you go to make sure the final flavor is what you intended. Fresh lemon and arugula leaf combo, on the other hand, goes nicely with broths and fish stews.

Also, fresh lemon and arugula leaves should be used in this recipe. It should go well with fish stews or broths.

4. Coriander with fresh ginger:

Coriander, commonly known as “Chinese parsley” or cilantro, is widely available in Asian supermarkets. It has a light, lemony flavor and can be used with fresh ginger to generate the distinctive tanginess of lemongrass.

Lemongrass and ginger are frequently combined, notably in ginger drinks. Because ginger has such a strong taste, all you need to do is grate roughly 2 teaspoons of it and combine it with 2 teaspoons of chopped coriander. Soups or broths are ideal for this combination.

5. Lemon Verbena

If you are a tea drinker, and nothing beats a couple of stalks of lemongrass in a cup of tea. Lemon verbena is a wonderful alternative for lemongrass in tea blends.

Lemon verbena is another herb that you can buy in a container and cultivate in your herb garden to use later. Lemon verbena has a strong perfume and flavor, so just use a small amount. Before adding the leaves to your tea, tear or cut them. Curries, sauces, and flavorful cakes may all be made with it.

6. Lemon Balm:

Lemon balm is another lemongrass replacement that you can cultivate in your own yard and that goes great with tea. It imparts a citrus scent and flavor to your food and is best utilized in sweets. Three or four lemon balms should plenty, since using too many would give your meal a too flavorful note without the astringent taste of lemongrass.

Lemon balm can also be used as a substitute for basil. It’s also highly nutritious, since it may aid with digestive issues, cramps, and headaches, just like basil. One of the greatest herbal teas for colds is lemon balm tea.

7. Lemongrass Paste:

If you buy lemongrass, buy a lot of it and grind it into a paste. Use it if you want a zesty, minty taste in your soups or curries. The recipe is easy to follow. Cut approximately 2 inches from the bottom of the stalks and peel away the outer coating. Then finely chop it before blending it with a few tablespoons of water in a blender.

The paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. If you want your lemongrass paste to keep longer, place it in an ice tray and freeze it. 

If you don’t want to go to the hassle of preparing lemongrass paste from scratch, look for Kreung, a Cambodian lemongrass paste, in squeezable tubes in any Asian supermarket. All you’ll need for a nice lemongrass alternative is that.

8. Lemongrass Powder or Dried Lemongrass:

Dried lemongrass or lemongrass powder are also excellent lemongrass alternatives. Because the herbal and lemony flavor of lemongrass is intensified when dried or powdered, it will taste much more substantial. It’s important to pay attention to the quantity you’re going to add.

One teaspoon of lemongrass powder or dried lemongrass will be enough in recipes that call for one stalk of lemongrass. To enhance the flavor of dried lemongrass, I recommend adding a drop of lemongrass essential oil.

How Long Does Lemongrass Last?

If stored correctly, fresh lemongrass can keep up to 10 days in the refrigerator. If you want to keep lemongrass for a longer period of time, you may freeze it or grind it into a paste. If stored correctly, certain lemongrass replacements, such as dried lemongrass or powdered lemongrass, can keep up to two or three years.

Conclusion:

What is a decent lemongrass substitute? Don’t panic if your recipe asks for lemongrass but you don’t have any. You’ll discover one, or a mix, of the above lemongrass alternatives that work best for you in duplicating your wonderful recipes.

A lemongrass plant in a tiny container on your balcony or front porch is a nice idea. It thrives in a variety of soils and requires very little maintenance.

You may also stock up on fresh lemongrass whenever you come across it and freeze it for later use. You may also learn how to utilize dried lemongrass as a substitute for lemongrass in cooking, as well as how to convert lemongrass paste to stalks, and more.

FAQs:

Q. How do you distinguish between lemon and lemongrass?

They’re just two distinct types of vegetables! They are quite similar, however, lemongrass grows as a stalk rather than a fruit on a tree. Lemongrass will have a stronger ginger flavor.

Q. Can I use dried lemongrass instead of fresh?

Because dried lemongrass has a stronger flavor, we recommend using half the quantity recommended for fresh lemongrass.

Q. What is the best way to preserve fresh lemongrass?

The easiest method to keep entire, fresh lemongrass fresh is to wrap it loosely in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. You may also make a paste with the lemongrass.

Q. How long does lemongrass stay in the refrigerator?

Lemongrass may be stored for a few weeks, but it tastes best and has the finest flavor when used within the first 10 days.

Q. How much water does lemongrass require?

Lemongrass prefers a damp, but not wet, soil environment. If you’re growing lemongrass in a garden, water it every few days or anytime the top inch of soil becomes dry.