The lemon flavor is one that you cannot do without if you always desire to have a tasty delicacy. The complex and fresh lemongrass recipe is one that is quite difficult to replicate. If you feel that you are already having a bad day because you can barely get some lemongrass, just know that you have not lost it all. You simply need the best lemongrass substitute.
There are some perfect substitutes you can use and still get a close lemongrass simulation of the lemongrass flavor. Are you interested in knowing more about these lemongrass substitutes?Keep reading and learn more about some substitutes that will no doubt save the day.
The Ultimate Lemongrass Substitutes
The unique flavor of lemongrass makes it ideal for grilled meats, curries, stews and soups. Even if the substitutes are said to have similar flavors, they can still not match up to the herbal flavor of lemongrass. Despite that, you can still rely on them to bring out the best in your meals.
1. Lemon Juice
If you are seeking a quick way to get your dish to attain a citrus flavor, this is the way out. Picking out the right lemon is key. As you pick out lemons for this purpose, look out for fresh ones with a slightly soft feel. The soft feel gives you an assurance that the lemons are juicy and have a thin skin.
To extract lemon juice from your lemons, slice the lemons into halves and load the pieces into a citrus juicer then squeeze out the juice. As you add the lemon juice to your dish, keep checking on the quantity of the lemon juice. Too much of it is bound to make your dish extremely acidic.
I would recommend that you use the freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than the bottled one. This is because the freshly squeezed juice will give you better results. Luckily, the procedure of making it is quite simple.
2. Lemon Zest
This one has been my all-time best due to its certain availability and effectiveness. For every lemongrass required by a certain recipe, a zest of one lemon will just be adequate. Add your lemon zest little by little as you continuously taste to ensure that its taste is just right according to the dish you are cooking.
Dumping quite a tablespoon of it might leave you with bitter regrets. The citrus flavor will no doubt give your food an extra different flavor. Making lemon zest is quite simple. Wash your lemon first and dry it up with a clean paper towel. You simply need to grate the exterior part of the lemon’s skin.
It gives an intense lemon flavor, and you will only feel just a little bitter taste. To achieve this, make sure that you grate the thin outer skin only, leaving out the white pith which is bound to make your food very bitter. To add some herbal undertone to your meals, you are free to add some herbs to your lemon zest.
3. Lemon Verbena Leaves
This one is closely similar to lemon zest. The shrub will not give your food a taste that is completely similar to that of lemongrass, but it will be close, say a distinct citrus flavor.For every single stalk of lemongrass you need for your recipe, you can rely on two lemon verbena leaves to bring out the taste you desire. A little amount of it will go a long way as it has a strong aroma and flavor.
To use them in your recipes, finely chop the leaves into the dish. Chopping them allows the release of the flavor appropriately and uniformly. You can also opt to place the entire leaves in your cooking pan and remove them before you serve.
The best thing about the lemon verbena leaves is that you can harvest or buy a lot of them and store them in a frozen state in ice cube trays immersed in clean water. You can also dry out the lemon verbena leaves and store them in a tightly sealed container if you intend to use them at a later date.
4. Kaffir Lime Leaves
The kaffir lime leaves also have the capability of adding a citrusy flavor to your soups, broths, and curries. You can easily recognize them from their unique double leaf lobes and green color. To bring out the best of the taste in your dishes, tear the kaffir lime leaf into two.
If you have older leaves at hand, get rid of the stalk and the midrib which are likely to cause your food to be very bitter. You can also improve the taste brought about by the kaffir lime leaves by using them together with other ingredients such as the lime zest.
For effectiveness purposes, you can substitute one stalk of lemongrass needed for your recipe with a single leaf of kaffir lime leaf combined with exactly two tablespoons of lemon juice which has been freshly squeezed and a single tablespoon of lime zest.
With these amounts of substitutes, you can be sure to get the best citrus taste in your curries and soups.
5. Fresh Ginger Combined With Coriander Stalks
Ginger always brings out a certain strong and distinct taste in meals. You can barely ignore its goodness. For you to be sure that your ginger is fresh, it should always feel very hard, but its skin should feel smooth. To keep them looking fresh, wrap it in a plastic bag and place it in a refrigerator.
Coriander stalks, on the other hand, have an aromatic and zesty flavor. When combined, these two can never go wrong. Their taste can be described as reminiscent, very close to that of lemongrass.
To aid you in the right measurements for your broths and soup, for every one stalk of lemongrass needed in your recipe, use two tablespoons of both fresh ginger and coriander stalks. In this case, the coriander stalks seem to be more preferable compared to the leaves. This is because they have more flavor.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is ideal for desserts. You can opt to have some lemon balm in your backyard for convenience purposes, or you can also decide to get some from the nearest supermarket or grocery store down the street in the herb section.
To achieve the ultimate taste, use exactly four lemon balm leaves to substitute one stalk of lemongrass needed in your recipe. Chop the lemon balm leaves and add them to your dish towards the end of the cooking procedure.
You can store lemon balm for a longer period of time and still retain their flavor for a longer period. Chop the leaves into smaller pieces and immerse them in fresh water then place each of the mixtures in a tray with ice cubes. Refrigerate them in that state.
If you have dried lemon balm, place them in a plastic bag which is resealable and store the dried lemon bam in a place that is cool and dry.This way you can have them handy whenever you run out of lemongrass substitute.
7. Lemongrass Paste
The name given to lemongrass paste is kreung. Its origin is in Cambodia, and you can rely on it as a substitute for lemongrass in a variety of dishes. You can comfortably find it in grocery stores. It is packaged in squeezable tubes which can store it in good condition for a long period.
The ingredients of lemongrass paste:
- 1 galangal
- 6 finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger
- 3 minced cloves garlic
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1/4 cup of water
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
To make, ground all ingredients in a food processor or the traditional mortar and pestle.
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Get The Best Out of Your Lemongrass Substitute
I hope that you have learned about the various lemongrass substitutes that are viable. Running out of lemongrass which could be an important ingredient in your recipe does not mean that your desire to make that particular dish should end there and then. You can rely on the best lemongrass substitute to bring out the best in your meal.
Lemon zest happens to be my all-time lemongrass substitute which brings out a flavor that is almost similar to that of lemongrass. Lemon juice, on the other hand, comes in handy when I am in a hurry to get my meals ready. Feel free to try out the different lemongrass substitutes, and in the long run, you can clearly tell the one that brings out the best in your dishes.
Leave a comment on the article and kindly tell us your favorite lemongrass substitute and why you chose that particular one. In case you need clarification on any issue discussed in this article, feel free to make inquiries and we shall sort it out.