Thai Curries & Fusion Soups with Lemongrass

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If you’re making Thai for supper and discovered that the fresh lemongrass sitting at the bottom of the refrigerator is beyond its prime, there are some additional ingredients you may substitute for lemongrass in your Thai Green Curry.

Lemongrass is a prominent component in Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup), as well as many other soups, curries, and drinks. It goes well with poultry, beef, and fish, and it often adds a fusion taste to our more Western recipes. It may also be used to flavor dipping sauces, crme brle, and fresh salads with Asian salad greens.

Lemongrass is a kind of herb. The lemongrass plant, Cymbopogon citratus, grows widely in South East Asia and other tropical climes, and the stem of the lemongrass plant is used in cooking.

Lemongrass has the same essential oils as lemons, which gives it a lemon taste with ginger and flowery undertones. Lemongrass was originally used in cosmetics and medicines, as well as cooking, and was even known as fever grass in certain cultures because it was used to cure fevers. Lemongrass is still used to improve digestion and lower blood pressure in several parts of the world, notably the Caribbean.

Lemongrass’s potential advantages were known in the early 1900s, and by the late 1940s, it was being commercially farmed in Haiti and Florida.

Lemongrass includes a variety of bioactive chemicals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and folate, yet you’d have to eat a lot of lemongrass to get any nutritional benefit from them since they’re in such little quantities.

One tablespoon of lemongrass supplies 5% of the daily iron requirement for males and 2% of the daily iron need for women. It also contains citral and limonene, two chemicals that contribute to the unique lemony fragrances of lemongrass, lemons, and other citrus fruits.

Lemongrass is supposed to provide certain health advantages whether ingested in food or tea. Lemongrass has been shown in the laboratory to suppress yeast and bacterial development, and it includes chemicals connected to the reduction of fevers and discomfort.

Lemongrass is now considered safe to ingest in dietary levels, while pregnant women should avoid it due to its association with menstruation management.

Lemongrass may be found fresh, frozen, or dried in your local grocery shop, or an Asian specialty store if not. Lemongrass is often offered in bunches of long stalks. Watch for yellow-white stalks at the base and green stalks towards the top. It should also be strong and bulbous at the base, with fresh outer leaves rather than brown or crusty ones.

Fresh lemongrass can keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or it may be frozen in entire stalks or chopped bits.

Fresh lemongrass should be used in recipes whenever feasible since it has more nuanced and brighter tastes than dried lemongrass, which has more woody notes. Lemongrass is a fragrant plant that gives a somewhat acidic, sharp flavor to dishes without dominating other ingredients.

When using fresh lemongrass, remove the harsher outer leaves as well as the bottom bulb. To aid release the tastes, split the stalk into smaller lengths (two to three inches) and make shallow incisions along their lengths before bending (or bruising) the parts numerous times.

They may then be put to the stew and removed before serving or eaten separately from the meal.

If you choose to keep the lemongrass in the recipe, slice it thinly and add it to your food processor for additional blending since lemongrass is fibrous and stringy. Let the dish to simmer for at least five to ten minutes to gently soften the lemongrass.

Nevertheless, dried lemongrass may be used in recipes that need boiling since this allows the dried lemongrass to rehydrate and develop its tastes. Unless it is a lemongrass powder that may remain in the dish for eating, dried lemongrass should be removed before serving.

When using dried lemongrass, one stalk of fresh lemongrass may be replaced for one teaspoon of dried lemongrass in a recipe, and it is best to stick to meat and poultry recipes that have a basis.

Substituting Lemongrass

While lemongrass has a distinct taste, its greater lemon undertones suggest that lemon (or other citrus fruits) are probably the simplest go-to when you don’t have any lemongrass on hand for your soup or curry.

We’ve included a range of replacements below, some of which are relatively simple to get, while others are more unique and may have to be obtained from speciality retailers.

1. Lemon

Because of its availability, this is perhaps the simplest lemongrass alternative.

In a recipe, one lemon’s zest will substitute one stalk of lemongrass. You may also use lemon zest and arugula to intensify the lemongrass flavor of the meal. If you combine these, one arugula leaf with a teaspoon of lemon zest will substitute for one stalk of lemongrass. Because of its spicy and pungent flavor, arugula should be used sparingly, and it works best in fish stews and broths.

Lemon juice is usually best used to liquid dishes, such as curries or soups, where the additional liquid will not affect the dish’s consistency. Instead of bottled lemon juice, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. If the recipe just calls for a little amount of lemongrass, a squeeze of fresh lime may enough.

If you have preserved lemon, the peel and pulp of this may be used in place of lemongrass in seafood recipes.

2. Ginger and Cilantro

Lemongrass may be substituted with ginger and cilantro in broths and soups.

Replace one stalk of lemongrass with two tablespoons of cilantro stems and two teaspoons of fresh ginger. It is critical to utilize cilantro stalks rather than leaves since the stalks have a stronger taste.

3. Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir limes (Citrus hystrix) are limes with rough skin and a bitter flavor. The limes, sometimes known as porcupine oranges, are not eaten but are often utilized in housekeeping items in countries such as Thailand.

While the limes themselves are inedible, the zest may be used non curry pastes and the leaves can be eaten either cooked or very thinly sliced. Kaffir lime leaves are used in Thai, Cambodian, and Indonesian cuisines to flavor curries, stir-fries, soups, and salads. They have a distinct citrusy and spicy taste and scent.

Kaffir lime leaves are often used in cooking in the same way as bay leaves are; they may be used whole or in smaller pieces, but if they are sliced finely to be ingested, the rough mid-rib of the leaf must be removed. Otherwise, remove the Kaffir lime leaves before serving.

Kaffir lime leaves, which are part of the citrus family, may be found fresh, dried, or frozen, however you may need to visit an Asian specialty shop to get them.

In a curry or soup, substitute one stalk of lemongrass with one Kaffir lime leaf, two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and one tablespoon lime zest.

4. Kreung

Kreung, or lemongrass paste, is a Cambodian culinary ingredient that may be found in several Asian supermarkets. In addition to lemongrass, kreung includes galangal (a ginger-like root with a strong and lemony taste and pine-y undertones) and shallots.

Instead of one tablespoon of fresh and chopped lemongrass, add one teaspoon of paste.

To give you an idea, three to four stalks of lemongrass cut will provide around half a cup (4 oz) of chopped lemongrass.

5. Japanese Yuzu

Japanese yuzu, also known as citrus junus, is a citrus fruit that is lemon-colored, grapefruit-sized, and has overtones of mandarin orange in its zest! Yuzu has a flowery scent and flavor that is comparable to bergamot in Earl Grey tea.

Yuzu is used in both sweet and savory dishes in East Asian cuisine, and is often used to curries or seafood cuisines.

Since yuzu has bigger pips and generates less juice, it will be more difficult to extract the same quantity of juice as a lemon or lime in any recipe. If a recipe calls for the juice of one lemon, you’ll probably need two or more yuzu to extract the same quantity of liquid, however yuzu should be used with caution since it has a strong taste.

6. Other Lemongrass Alternatives

Four lemon balm leaves may be substituted for one stalk of lemongrass. Lemon balm is best used in desserts and should be sliced and put at the end of the cooking period.

Lemon verbena may also be used in savory cakes, curries, and sauces, however it should be handled with caution due to its strong scent and taste. In lieu of one stalk of lemongrass, use two chopped or torn lemon verbena leaves.

Final Words

If you don’t have fresh, dried, or frozen lemongrass on hand, the simplest substitutions are lemon, ginger, cilantro, or kaffir lime leaves. Several of these may also be combined to symbolize not just the distinct taste of lemongrass, but also its powerful scent.


Is there any substitute for lemongrass?

To substitute the herbaceous tones in lemongrass, use cilantro (coriander), mint, or arugula.

What herbs are like 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 I use lemon juice instead of lemongrass paste?

Lemon juice in tiny quantities may be used as a replacement for lemongrass (via Greedy Gourmet), and limes can also be used in a pinch. Use the lime zest in the same way as you would lemon zest. Lime zest, on the other hand, works well in recipes that simply call for a touch of lemongrass.

What can I use instead of lemongrass essential oil?

If you can’t get Lemongrass, try Lavender on your skin, Chamomile on your hair, or Ylang Ylang on both!

What can I use instead of lemongrass Thai?

Lemon Zest is the best lemongrass substitute. Although the aroma isn’t as strong and nuanced as lemongrass, lemon zest is the most often used component. … Lime Zest…. Lime Leaves…. Basil, Mint, or Cilantro…. Preserved Lemon.

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.

Is lemongrass similar to cilantro?

Cilantro has a pleasant, lemony taste that makes it an excellent replacement for lemongrass. 1 tablespoon cilantro paste may be substituted for 1 stalk lemongrass. Cilantro goes well with Mexican and Thai meals.

Is lemongrass the same as coriander?

What is the difference between Lemongrass and Coriander? Lemongrass has more Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium than Coriander, while Coriander contains more Vitamin A RAE, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6. Lemongrass provides 209% greater Manganese daily requirement coverage.

Is lemongrass like green onion?

Lemongrass is distinguished by its light yellow-green stalks and strong citrus fragrance. It has a bulbous bottom and woody, stiff stems, similar to green onions. This zesty plant has a distinct taste that combines sour lemon with the brightness of mint.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of lemon?

Bottled lemon juice is a handy option that may be substituted for fresh lemon juice.

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