Best Lemongrass Substitute – Are you a fan of Thai cuisine? If you use lemongrass in cooking, and you find that your stored lemongrass is rotten or not fresh anymore, you can try using a substitute for lemongrass in your Thai dishes. We’ve put together some substitutes for lemongrass for your perfect Thai cooking.
Lemongrass is also included in dishes such as Tom Kha Gai (chicken coconut soup), and lemongrass is also used in many other dishes such as curries and teas. This dish pairs well with dishes such as chicken, seafood, and red meat. Can also be added to dipping sauce as a flavoring, can also be served in fresh salads.
What is Lemongrass?
Lemongrass is an herb that has a distinctive aroma and a number of health benefits. In scientific language it is called Cymbopogon citratus, this plant is widely grown in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The stalks of lemongrass are usually used in cooking after the stems have been crushed or bruised.
Lemongrass is a nutrient-rich herb, it also contains essential oils with a scent similar to lemon, a blend of ginger and floral notes. Like in cooking, lemongrass is also used in cosmetics and in medicine. Because it is widely used in medicine, it is sometimes called fever grass. In some cultures and traditional life, lemongrass is used in treating fever. Some areas like the Caribbean they use lemongrass to improve digestion and treat fever.
Initially in the 1900s and when the benefits of lemongrass began to be widely known until the end of 1945. Lemongrass is a plant grown for commercial purposes such as in Haiti and Florida.
Also see: 5 Facts About Thai Tea
There are many bioactive compounds in lemongrass such as vitamin B, magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, zinc, folate and phosphorus. This amount is only a small amount in lemongrass, to get a large supply of course we have to consume a lot of lemongrass.
If you drink it in tea or consume it in food, lemongrass provides several benefits such as inhibiting the growth of fungi and bacteria. It also contains compounds that can relieve fever and pain.
Until now, lemongrass is safe for consumption when eaten with food. however, pregnant women should limit it because it relates to menstrual control.
Several Substitutes for Lemongrass in Foods
Lemongrass is indeed a spice or herbal plant that has a unique taste, the plant has an aroma almost the same as orange or citrus. So when you don’t have lemongrass you can replace it with orange.
Here we have collected some substitutes for lemongrass, some are young to find, there are also other ingredients that are only available in certain stores.
Lemon is an easy substitute for lemongrass because you can easily find lemons in traditional markets. The zest of one lemon will replace a stick of lemongrass. You can also use lemon and arugula zest to give it a more unique and complete lemongrass taste.
If you use arugula and lemon, the ratio is one teaspoon of lemon peel and one arugula leaf, this is the same as a stick of lemongrass in your cooking. Arugula has a spicy taste so it is important that you add it to your cooking. This lemongrass substitute is very suitable for use in stews and fish stock dishes.
As for lemon juice, it is the best substitute for lemongrass too but not in stews but rather suitable for use in liquid recipes like soups or curries. So, extra fluids don’t change your meal. Wanna to use lemon juice, then use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled lemon. If your recipe only calls for a little lemongrass, you can also use a little fresh lemon juice.
If you are storing cured lemons, use the peel and pulp for seafood using lemongrass. So, lemon zest and pulp make a great substitute for lemongrass in this dish.
2. Ginger and Cilantro
Ginger and Cilantro are the best substitutes for lemongrass in dishes such as broths and soups.
Take two teaspoons of coriander sticks and two teaspoons of ginger will replace one stick of lemongrass. You should use the cilantro stalks, not the leaves, as the stems have a stronger, richer aroma.
3. Kaffir Lime Leaves
Kaffir limes (Citrus hystrix) is a citrus fruit that has a bitter, spicy taste and rippled fruit skin. This orange is also called hedgehog, the fruit is commonly used for medicine and is not consumed directly because of its very strong taste. In the past, the villagers used this kaffir as a fruit to get rid of dandruff and nourish hair and it was used as a substitute for lime in fish to be cooked.
Indeed, kaffir lime cannot be eaten directly, but the peel can be used for flavoring in curry paste, while the leaves can be eaten by slicing thinly. Kaffir lime leaves are very popular for their use in various dishes such as soups, curries, salads, and are widely used in various Thai, Cambodian, Indonesian dishes, it is also said to have a unique taste.
Also see: Ginger Tea Recipes and Health Benefits
Lime leaves are one of the best substitutes for lemongrass, for example in curries or soups. You can replace one lemongrass stick with one lime leaf, two tablespoons of lime juice, and one tablespoon of lime peel.
Kreung is also mentioned with lemongrass paste. This is a spice in frangipani cuisine, you can find this pasta in several retail shops. Kreung in its manufacture contains galangal and shallots.
One tablespoon of chopped fresh lemongrass can be replaced with a teaspoon of the paste. If you use three or 4 lemongrass sticks, then you can get 1/2 cup chopped lemongrass or 4 ounces of lemongrass.
5. Japanese Yuzu
Japanese Yuzu is also said to be citrus junus, Japanese yuzu is an orange the size of a grapefruit, and the skin is slightly mandarin orange. It has a floral aroma and is similar to the bergamot essential oil that found in Earl Gray tea.
Japanese Yuzu is a fruit that is often a flavoring addition in East Asian foods, such as in curry and fish dishes. Yuzu fruit is different from lemon or lime, the fruit is large but has little water content, making it difficult to extract it to get the same results as lime or lemon. So, to get the same Yuzu juice as one lemon, sometimes you have to extract two yuzu or even three. So, be careful adding yuzu juice lest the food taste too strong as the flavor is very strong.
6. Another substitute for lemongrass
Another suitable substitute for lemongrass is four lemon balm leaves for one stalk of lemongrass. Lemon balm is ideal as a cover and chopped and then added at the end of cooking.
Apart from lemon balm, there is also lemon verbena which can be added to curries, savory cakes, and use it very carefully because of its very strong aroma. To replace one lemongrass, you have to use two pieces of lemon verbena leaves which are chopped.