Here’s what you can substitute for lemongrass | 10 Best Alternatives

Lemongrass is a perennial herbal grass. It is grown well in some Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam, etc.

 It is used for cooking and herbal medicine. It provides citrus and aromatic flavor in the recipes.  The benefits of lemongrass are many. It has vitamins A, vitamin B complex, and folates. Essential lemongrass oil and lemongrass tea are made from it. 

Do you know what the best substitutes for the lemongrass are? If you do not know about it, in this case, you are not alone because many people all over the world do not know what are the best substitutes for lemongrass?

Read this article if you really want to know what is the best substitutes for lemongrass?  Here you will also find some frequently asked questions answer about lemongrass and lemongrass substitutes.

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Which things can you use instead of Lemongrass?  

1.Lemon Zest 2.Kreung Lemongrass Paste 3.Dried Lemongrass 4. Kaffir Lime Leaves 5.Lemon Balm 6.Lemon Verbena 7.Preserved Lemon 8.Arugula and Lemon Zest 9.Ginger and Coriander 10.Japanese Yuzu.

Continue your reading to know why I have selected these things as the best substitute for lemongrass?

10 Best Substitute for Lemongrass

1. Lemon Zest

If you have lemon zest on your hand, it could be your best bet for the lemongrass substitute, because of lemons available in the local stores. You can find it easily and substitute it in the place of lemongrass.

You have to use one medium-sized lemon in the place of two stalks of lemongrass in a recipe. Because the zest from 1 lemon is equals to 2 stalks of lemongrass.

 Keep in mind; you can increase the amount of lemon zest, depending on your food requirements.

Along with lemon zest, arugula leaf also can be used to provide lemongrass flavor in your recipe. But when you use arugula leaf, you have to combine one tablespoon of lemon zest with an arugula leaf in the place of one stalk of lemongrass.

2. Kreung lemongrass paste

Kreung is one kind of lemongrass paste. It is made from Cambodia. You can use it as a best substitute to lemongrass in different types of recipes.

Kreung contains lemongrass, shallots, and galangal. There are also some other ingredients mixed with it. It gives extra flavor to the recipe.

In this respect, you have to use one tablespoon of lemon paste as an alternative for one tablespoon of fresh lemongrass.

You can buy lemongrass paste (Kreung) in the Asian stores. Also, you can buy it in the local grocery stores or online.

3. Dried lemongrass

Generally, the flavors of plants become more concentrated when they were dried. You can use dried lemongrass as a good alternative for fresh lemongrass.

But you should be careful when you add this to the recipe. If you add it in the amount of too much, your recipe’s flavor could be destroyed. Dried lemongrass has significant citrus and herbal flavor. It is best for poultry and meat dishes. It is also best for the sauce.

For substituting dried lemongrass in recipes, use one tablespoon of dried lemongrass in the place of one stalk of fresh lemongrass. In simple terms, 1 stalk of lemongrass is equals to 1 tablespoon of dried lemongrass.

4. Kaffir Lime Leaves

You can use kaffir lime in the place of lemongrass. It has a unique aroma. Its aroma is much closed to lemongrass’s smell. It is flavored, both citrusy and spicy.

In recipes, it is used like bay leaves. You have to tear the leaves before adding them to the recipes. Also, you have to remove kaffir leaves before serving the recipes.


Since, it is used not for eating, used just for the aroma. The combination of kaffire lime and lime juice brings a tremendous flavor in the soup recipe. Use one kaffir leaf for every one stalk of lemongrass in a recipe. But when you make shall soup or curry, 

Then you have to use one Kaffir lime leaf, 2 tablespoons of lemon juices, & 1 tablespoon of lemon zest in the place of one fresh lemongrass.

Good to know, Kaffir lime is also known as porcupine oranges. Popular kaffir lime leaves are greatly used in Thai, Indonesian, and Cambodian food recipes.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon blam can be the best substitute for lemongrass. This herb has a sweet and aromatic smell. It is used in a certain number of food recipes like desserts. For example, it is used in Lemon curd tartlets and Apricot Mojito.

You can use it chop, half-cut, or full-sized in the recipe, but it should be added at the end of the cooking process.


In this respect, you have to use 3 fresh lemon blam in the place of one stalk of lemongrass. Keep in mind, lemon balm has an excellent health value. It helps to get rid of headaches as well as digestive problems. It also increases digestion.

6. Lemon verbena

High-aromatic lemon verbena is used as a good substitute for lemongrass. It is almost similar to lemongrass. It shall provide citrus and herby flavor to your recipe.

For its intense aromatic characteristics, it is used in a small amount in the recipes. When you add it in the recipe, you should be careful. If you add it too much, your recipes’ flavor will be destroyed as well as you’re all effort.

You can use it chop or whole-sized in the recipe. But you have to remove lemon verbena leaves before serving the recipe. Since, it is used not for eating. Use one or two lemon verbena leaves in the place of one stalk of fresh lemongrass.

7. Preserved lemon

For seafood dishes, preserved lemon will be the best substitute for lemongrass. It will completely add a citrus flavor to your recipes.


But preserved lemon will not dominate over other flavors of your recipes. You can use both preserved lemon’s pulp and peel in your recipes.

You know fresh lemongrass is more flavored than preserved lemons. So, you have to use one and a half tablespoons of preserved lemon in the place of one stalk of fresh lemongrass.

8. Arugula and lemon zest

These two ingredients can be one of the best alternatives for lemongrass. The combination of arugula and lemon zest provides the citrus and herbal flavors to any recipes. You should be used 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1 arugula leaf for every stalk of fresh lemongrass in the recipes.

9. Ginger and coriander

A combination of both ginger and coriander can be the best substitute for lemongrass. You have to use 2 tablespoons of crush coriander stalks mixing with 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger root in the place of one stalk of fresh lemongrass.

 Remember, you have to use coriander stalks more than leaves since its stalks are high in flavor. The combination of coriander and ginger will provide a sweet and intense flavor to your recipes. It is best for soups and broths.

10. Japanese Yuzu

Along with the above-described lemongrass substitutes, Japanese yuzu can be your best bet for substituting lemongrass. But it is not easy to find it because it is not available in every vegetable store.

It is popularly used in traditional savory and sweet foods. It is also best for curry and seafood recipes.

To use Japanese Yuzu in the recipes, add it until your recipes reach your liked levels of flavor. If you want to know the best substitute for tarragon visit this article: Best substitutes for tarragon

Top 10 Best Lemongrass substitute

Final thought

If you don’t have lemongrass on your hand, you can substitute it by above mentioned 10 best substitutes. These substitutes will make the best replacement for lemongrass, especially, lemon zest, Kaffire lime, and dried lemon.

Now, if someone asked you what the best substitute for lemongrass is? You will be able to answer this question easily and quickly. If you feel this post is informative and helpful, please share it with your friends and leave a comment below.

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