Lemongrass is a very popular herb in many types of Asian cuisine. It has an interesting flavor and aroma that cannot be replicated by any other herb. However, if you don’t have lemongrass on hand, there are some substitutes that can help make your dish taste similar to what it would with the original ingredient.
Benefits of Lemongrass
Lemongrass has a lot of great health benefits. It is an antioxidant, with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to soothe stomach upset, headaches, muscle pain and more. It also contains vitamin C which will boost your immune system during cold season. Lemons have been shown in studies as being helpful for lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure while fighting off cancer cells.
Can You Substitute Lemongrass?
You can substitute lemongrass with any of these 12 items: ginger, garlic, galangal, turmeric root, lime zest and juice (or lemon), cilantro roots or stems plus leaves (also known as coriander). If you want to go a little further away from the original flavor profile then try adding fresh basil or mint along with some ground pepper or hot sauce. The key is using ingredients that will have an earthy flavor to them rather than fruit flavors if possible.
Lemongrass is a great ingredient to use in cooking when you want your dish to have an earthy flavor. It works well with fresh herbs like basil or mint, as they both carry the same aromatic qualities but are less intense than lemongrass itself. You can also add some salt and other ingredients that will create a flavorful concoction such as sugar cane juice, rice vinegar, lime juice or soy sauce (in addition of course to salt).
Other types of herb that work well for cooking include rosemary, thyme and bay leaves; these three options give off the same aroma without having to cook them from scratch first since they already come dried and ready-to-go!
1) Fresh Ginger and Coriander Stalks
Fresh ginger and coriander stems make for a great substitute. You can even add them to an Italian dish like chicken cacciatore or tomato sauce, since they offer the same earthy flavor as lemongrass without having to simmer in water first!
2) Garlic and Scallions
Garlic and scallion bulbs also make a great substitute as they are easy to find in packets at grocery stores. You can add them to dishes like stir-fries or fried rice, without having to cook the garlic first!
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about smelling up your whole kitchen with these substitutes; it won’t be an overpowering aroma for those around you! Plus, there’s no need for water since both ingredients are dry anyway.
A final option includes using soy sauce instead of lemongrass altogether. It will give off a slightly different taste depending on what dish you’re cooking – but if saltiness is all that matters then this may be the better choice for you!
3) Mint leaves
If you want a fresh and light substitution, this is the perfect choice! Mint leaves can be chopped up to add flavor to dishes like fish or chicken.
This substitute is perfect for a dish like chicken or fish that may be tangy. The citrus and peppery flavors will add brightness to an otherwise bland meal!
Top Tip: Be careful when adding cilantro if you’re cooking with other ingredients which are already spicy, as it could lead to the food being too hot.
5) Basil leaves
Another great substitute for the lemongrass is basil leaves. The earthy and grassy flavors of this herb will be a good addition to dishes like chicken or fish that you’re cooking on the stove-top, in particular if they need some more flavor!
6) Coriander seeds
Coriander seeds are a great substitute for people who don’t want to use the original lemongrass because they find it too sharp. They have similar earthy flavors, but can be added at the start of cooking so that their flavor is imparted on dishes like meat or fish as well!
7) Kaffir lime peel, sliced thinly or minced finely (or substitute with lemon zest if unavailable).
Kaffir limes are a great substitute for lemongrass because they have similar flavors and the peel is a delicious addition to Southeast Asian dishes. The best way to use them would be minced finely or sliced thinly, then added at the start of cooking so that their flavor can infuse into your dish! Their oily juices will also help balance out any harshness in other ingredients you’re using.
8) Preserved Lemon.
Preserved Lemons are a great substitute for lemongrass because they also have similar flavors and can be used in the same way: remove from their salty brine, rinse well to wash away any saltiness, and then slice or mince finely before using.
The best way to use preserved lemons is by removing them from their brine and rinsing well until all of the salt has been washed off. Then you can either chop it up finely (or even better, cut into slivers) if you want something more substantial on top of your dish that will stay put; or thinly sliced for delicate dishes where its flavor would shine through but not overwhelm other ingredients. You just need one tablespoon per serving!
9) Arugula and Lemon Zest
Arugula and lemon zest are a tasty combination that also happens to be naturally high in vitamin C, which is important because lemongrass contains the same amount of this powerful antioxidant.
You can use either dried or fresh arugula for this dish as they both have similar flavors but different textures: if you choose dry, it’s best to lightly sauté first before adding any liquid; with fresh leaves, just mix them into your pasta sauce or sprinkle over salad greens after dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Since lemon zest has no flavor of its own and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, this should be the last resort if nothing else seems like a good substitute. It’s not recommended to use fresh lemon peel because there are traces of acid that could affect the outcome of your recipe- but adding some juice from half a lemon won’t hurt anything!
11) Dried Lemongrass
If you have a light hand when cooking, dried lemongrass will work just as well (though it might take longer to release its flavors). Dried lemongrass is also great for making your own herbal teas or infusions.
12) Lemon Juice
Lemon juice can be substituted for lemongrass in a pinch, but it’s not as potent or rich-tasting. If you’re looking to keep this substitution flavorless, add the juice of half a lemon instead of one.
13) Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a great substitute for lemongrass. It has an aromatic, citric flavor that can withstand long cooking times without being lost to the heat.
14) Lemon Verbena
This herb is sweet with citrus notes and tastes remarkably similar to lemongrass when cooked in recipes or used as tea.
15) Gremolata (citrus zest + chopped parsley)
If you have extra orange peel left over from juicing this might be your best bet! The other flavors are so mild that they’ll blend well together while still imparting some of their own aromas- just make sure not to add any juice because it will change the consistency of your dish entirely!
16) Kreung (Lemongrass Paste)
Kreung is a paste made of ground lemongrass leaves that has a more potent aroma than fresh. It’s used in many Thai dishes and can be found at most Asian grocery stores.
17) Ginger Root Powder or Fresh Grated Ginger Root
This is a great option if you’re looking for something that’s not too strong. It has a light lemon flavor and takes on the taste of whatever it is cooked with so use these sparingly!
18) Ground Thyme Leaves (Thymus Vulgaris)
Ground thyme leaves are another popular substitute found in many Thai recipes since it closely resembles the aroma of fresh lemongrass.
19) Ground Coriander Seeds (Coriandrum Sativum)
Ground coriander seeds are an excellent substitute because of their spicy aroma that is similar to lemongrass. It’s also rich in essential oils and has a citrus-like flavor so it makes for the perfect substitution!
20) Cilantro or Chinese Parsley (Coriandrum Sativum L.)
Cilantro is an excellent substitute because of its citrusy aroma which makes it perfect for stir fry or other Asian-inspired recipes. It’s also rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as folate so use these often!
We hope these options help for those of you who are trying to avoid using lemongrass but still want the flavors it provides! btw lemongrass is an easy to grow herb that can be used in many dishes, so if you have any growing near your house then feel free to use them instead. Or even better, try planting some yourself – they’re very low maintenance and will grow quickly once planted!